Pavé, or paving square or stone, is the most deceptive “brownie” you will ever taste. It is flourless and lactose free but you would never know. They are as light as air, not overly sweet and absolutely melt in your mouth. Serve them with a big dollop of nocino cream, the perfect complement to chocolate.
For the Chocolate Walnut Pavés:
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 7 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 7 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 6 eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup toasted and finely chopped walnuts
- Confectioners' sugar
For the Nocino-Scented Cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 to 3 tablespoons nocino or walnut liqueur
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter the sides and the bottom of a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan. Line the bottom with baking parchment and flour the pan lightly.
- Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan. Chop the chocolate coarsely and add it to the butter. Stir constantly over low heat until just melted and smooth; be careful not to overheat or the chocolate will turn grainy. It should not get much hotter than 115°F.
- Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks with approximately half of the sugar until light and creamy. Beat the chocolate/butter mixture into the sugar/yolks.
- Warm the egg whites slightly by swirling them in a bowl above a gas flame or over hot water. Beat to a stiff peak and add the rest of the sugar. Continue to beat to incorporate the sugar completely but without deflating the whites.
- Spread the egg whites and walnuts over the chocolate mixture and fold them together with the fewest strokes possible without deflating the whites.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake until it has risen around the edges and a skewer comes out with just a couple of crumbs on it, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Turn it out of the pan onto a rack while it is still warm. Remove the parchment while it is still warm. Turn it over, trim the edges and cut into squares.
- Dust with confectioners' sugar and optional threads of melted chocolate. Serve with Nocino-Scented Cream
- If making the Nocino-Scented Cream: Whip the cream to soft peaks and flavor with the nocino and sugar.