Skyscraper with Figs and Chocolate Roof
You will think you deserve a construction degree after finishing this creation. Phyllo tubes are used to hold up triangular chocolate roof; melted milk chocolate serves as the “cement.” A caramel nest caps the construction. Just before it is placed on the table, ice cream is added. The colorful dots of puree around the plate are a simple touch which can be used with other desserts -- and the easiest part of this amazing dessert.
- Phyllo Dough - 3 sheets, thawed, approximately 14 inches by 18 inches
- Almond Flour - 1/4 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1 ounce, melted
- Confectioner’s sugar
- special equipment: Six 18-inch-by-3/4-inch PVC pipes
- Chocolate Roof
- Dark Chocolate - 8 ounces, chopped
- White Chocolate - 2 ounces, chopped
- Caramel Nests
- Sugar - 2 cups
- Hot Water - 1 cup
- Cream of Tartar - 1/4 teaspoon
- Fig Compote
- Fresh Figs - 1-1/2 pounds, half left whole, half cut in dice
- Port wine - 1/2 cup
- Brown Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Cinnamon Stick - 1
- Vanilla bean - 1/2
- Pecans - 1/3 cup, toasted (see Basics) and chopped fine
- Golden raisins - 1/3 cup
- Unflavored gelatin - 1 packet
- Cool Water - 2 tablespoons
- Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon
- Raspberry Puree (see Basics) - 1/2 cup
- Mango Puree (see Basics) - 1/2 cup
- Kiwi Puree (see Basics) - 1/2 cup
- Giandura or Milk Chocolate - 8 ounces, chopped
- Fresh Raspberries - 1/4 pint
- Whole Figs - 6, small
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup, beaten to firm peaks
- Ice Cream - 6 small, scoops, flavor optional 6 mint sprigs
- Mint sprigs
- Spun-Sugar Twists - 6, (optional; see Basics)
To make the towers: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Brush the PVC pipes with melted butter. Lay one sheet of phyllo on a clean work surface. Keep the other loosely covered with a damp towel. Cut in half lengthwise. Brush each half lightly with melted butter. Fold each in half lengthwise. Roll each around a PVC pipe form, pressing along the seam to seal. Score into three 6-inch sections, but leave on the pipe. Place in the prepared baking pan. Repeat with remaining sheets of phyllo. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, rotating once, until golden on all sides. Remove and let cool slightly, then slide off the pipe to make eighteen 6-inch phyllo tubes. Set aside in a cool dry place.
To make the chocolate roof: Lay a Silpad or sheet of semi-stiff plastic over a baking sheet. In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the white chocolate. Drizzle the chocolate over the Silpad in swirls, keeping the swirls within about a 12-inch-by-9-inch area. Put in the freezer for 20 minutes. In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the dark chocolate. Working quickly, remove the frozen white chocolate design from the freezer and spoon dark chocolate over it, spreading the dark chocolate out very thin over the white chocolate swirls. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove and trim the chocolate to a 10-inch-by-8-inch rectangle. Cut in half to form two 5-inch-by-8-inch rectangles. Cut each rectangle into 3 triangles. Cut three 1-1/4-inch circles in each the triangle; the phyllo tubes will pass through these holes when the skyscraper is assembled. Save the chocolate discs which come out of the triangles. Store in a cool place until ready to use.
To make the caramel nests: Spray the bottoms of 6 cups or small bowls lightly with oil spray and wipe with a paper towel. Place them, bottom-up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine all ingredients. Place over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches 320 F, or turns pale amber and is at the hard-crack stage. Remove from heat and let cool just a few minutes; do not let it begin to harden. Take a spoonful of syrup and quickly drizzle it in looping strands over the bottom of a prepared cup or bowl. Drizzle another spoonful if necessary to create a lattice-like cup. Repeat to form nests on all of the remaining cups or bowls. Any extra may be drizzled in swirls or designs on the parchment for later use. Let cool and set.
To make the compote: Mix the Port, sugar, cinnamon, and whole figs in a heavy saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan with the point of a sharp knife, then put the pod in the pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the nuts and raisins. Cook 5 more minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to 3 tablespoons. Put in a food processor and pulse until the figs are broken up but are not yet pureed. Stir in the reserved diced figs. Let cool.
To assemble: Put the raspberry, mango, and kiwi puree in separate squeeze bottles. Alternating colors, put a row of puree dots around the outside of each chilled dessert plate. In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the Giandura or milk chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then put into a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip. Slip three phyllo tubes into each chocolate triangle, trimming the holes of the triangle with a small sharp knife or long vegetable peeler if necessary to get them to fit. On one dessert plate, stand a phyllo tube - chocolate triangle assembly. Pipe about 1/2 inch of hot milk chocolate into each tube, holding it until the chocolate firms enough to hold it vertical. Repeat with the other plates and assemblies. Put the cooled compote in a pastry bag and pipe into the phyllo tubes. Top the filled tubes with raspberries, reserving 6 raspberries. Cut the figs almost through to the bottom and open out like petals; set one beside each skyscraper.
Put the whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a medium fluted tip and pipe three puffs of whipped cream, equally-spaced, on the edge of each plate. Stand a chocolate disc in each. Place a caramel nest on top of each tower, cradling it between the phyllo tubes. At the last second, place a scoop of ice cream in each fig and each caramel nest. Put a mint leaf on top of the ice cream in each fig. Garnish the ice cream with a few mint leaves, one of the reserved raspberries, and a spun sugar twist.