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Crème florentine

Ingredients

¾ pint milk
4 egg yolks
1½ oz caster sugar
½ oz gelatine (soaked in 4 tablespoons cold water)
½ pint double cream (lightly whipped)

For almond praline

2 oz almonds (unblanched)
2 oz caster sugar

To finish

1 fresh pineapple, or 1 large can pineapple slices
4 tablespoons caster sugar (for fresh pineapple)
1 miniature bottle of kirsch (optional)

Fluted sponge cake mould (1½ pints capacity) ; enamel plate, or baking sheet


Method

Lightly oil the cake mould and plate or baking sheet.


To prepare almond praline put the almonds with 2 oz caster sugar in a small, heavy pan over gentle heat. As the sugar begins to change colour, increase the heat a little and stir carefully with a metal spoon, turning the almonds to make sure they get toasted right through. When the mixture is a rich brown caramel, tip it quickly on to the plate or baking sheet. Leave it to cool, then crush with a rolling pin or pass through a mincer or nut mill. Set aside.


Scald the milk, cream the egg yolks and remaining sugar to­gether until thick and light in colour, then pour on the hot milk. Return mixture to the sauce­pan and stir continually over very gentle heat until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. (A double saucepan may be used.)


Strain the custard into a bowl, add the soaked gelatine and stir until it is dissolved; leave to cool. Stand the bowl of custard in cold water, with ice cubes added, and gently stir the custard until it begins to thicken. Then fold in the cream and almond praline. Turn the mousse into the prepared mould, cover with foil and leave in the refrigerator to set.


Meanwhile remove the skin from the fresh pineapple, cut flesh in slices and remove the core. Dust with sugar and sprinkle with the kirsch. Turn out the mousse and surround with the pineapple slices.

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