HomeRecipesSonho de Paçoca by Nicholas Forte

Sonho de Paçoca by Nicholas Forte

(This article appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

Inspired by the popular Brazilian treat Paçoca, this dessert was meant to bring my wife back to her childhood memories of living in Brazil. Within a Valrhona Blond Dulcey 32% chocolate shell are layers of praline, cremeux, cake, and sable, all highlighting the star of the show, peanuts. I chose to use an antique style silicone soap mold for the chocolate shell, but feel free to use any mold you like.

Yield: 8 servings

Dulcey Chocolate Shell

  • Valrhona Blond Dulcey 32% chocolate, tempered
  1. Pour the tempered chocolate into the mold. Tap to eliminate air bubbles, then flip over and empty. Clean top of mold. Let harden.
  2. Remove chocolate shells from the mold. Reserve for assembly.

Peanut Sablé

  • 125 g all-purpose flour
  • 35 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 15 g ground peanuts
  • 2 g salt
  • 75 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 25 g whole eggs
  • 1 g vanilla paste
  1. Combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, ground peanuts and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the cold butter cubes and mix on low speed until mixture becomes uniform and sand-like. Add the whole eggs and vanilla paste and mix until just combined.
  2. Roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Cut out circles (size depending on your mold) and bake for 10-12 minutes at 338˚F (170˚C)until golden brown. Reserve for assembly.

Peanut Cake

  • 100 g whole eggs
  • 65 g granulated sugar, divided
  • 30 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 50 g almond flour
  • 24 g ground peanuts
  • 24 g egg whites
  1. Whip the whole eggs and 50 g of the sugar until pale and thick, around 3 minutes. Add melted butter and mix until combined. Add almond flour and ground peanuts to egg mixture. Whip egg whites until foamy, then slowly add the remaining 15 g sugar to achieve a nice meringue. Combine the peanut mixture with the meringue and spread thin in a half sheet pan. Bake 12-15 minutes at 350˚F (180˚C) until golden brown.
  2. Cut into same size as the peanut sable and reserve for assembly.

Peanut Praline

  • 250 g salted roasted peanuts
  • 160 g granulated sugar
  • 40 g water
  • 5 g vanilla paste
  1. Warm peanuts in oven at 300˚F (150˚C).
  2. Cook sugar and water to 240˚F (116˚C). Remove from heat and stir in peanuts and vanilla paste. Continue to stir until peanuts become sandy and the sugar crystallizes. Cool completely, then blend into a smooth praline.

Peanut Praline Cremeux

  • 1 g gelatin sheet (gold)
  • 170 g heavy cream, divided
  • 95 g Peanut Praline
  • 2 g vanilla paste
  1. Soak gelatin in ice water until softened.
  2. Bring 70 g of the cream and the vanilla to a boil, then add the softened gelatin and whisk to dissolve. Pour the hot cream over the Peanut Praline and mix with a hand blender until you obtain a nice emulsion. Add the remaining 100 g cold cream and continue to hand blend until shiny and smooth. Use immediately.


  • Edible gold dust

Pipe a thin layer of Peanut Praline into the chocolate shell. Pipe a layer of cremeux on top of the praline. Place a round of cake onto the cremeux. Finally, place a round of Peanut Sablé on top of the cake. Let set in refrigerator for 2 hours before flipping over. Brush the outside of the chocolate shell with edible gold dust.

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