by Stephanie Zonis
An unusual dessert for the culinarily adventurous! A flour tortilla is brushed with butter, then sprinkled with sugar, black pepper and chili powder. The tortilla is then baked, wrapped around good sorbet or ice cream, and served with espresso-caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and cinnamon. Delicious! Be warned that this is not a neat, tidy dessert, even if you serve it with a knife and fork (I eat these with my hands); it is messy (wonderfully so) and must be served immediately upon completion. The dessert also requires last-minute preparation, though the sauces must be made in advance.
It's easy to adapt this to suit your tastes. For example, I prefer to make these using coffee or chocolate sorbet (Sharon's Sorbet works well here), but a good vanilla ice cream (like Double Rainbow French Vanilla) would be fine, too. If you aren't partial to black pepper or chili powder, you can omit either or both. If you don't care for coffee, leave the dissolved espresso out of the caramel sauce. There are many ways to play with this recipe.
I used flour tortillas that are approximately 7 inches in diameter to develop this recipe. The brand I like is Baja; they are distributed by the Baja Trading Company, Inc. And are available from Maine to Florida and out to Ohio. If you can't find them, use any good brand, but keep the tortillas in the 7-to 9-inch diameter range. If your tortillas are larger than mine, you may have to adjust ingredient quantities a bit, but again, you can play with the amounts, as they aren't critical (except in the sauces).
I would not advise making more than one "batch" of this recipe at one time. You must work with the heated tortillas before they become crisp, and in any case most baking sheets will not accomodate more than four tortillas of this size without some overlapping. These burritos are a bit different and just plain fun. Incidentally, both sauces make more than you'll need for 4 servings, but both can dress up a dish of ice cream or a number of other desserts, too. You'll need a large frying pan, at least 11 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep, for the caramel sauce; I prefer a pan with a nonstick finish, as it's easier to clean.
5 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate,
chopped or as chips
Few grains salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. instant espresso powder
1 tsp. hot water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter,
cut into small pieces, at room temperature
1 pint good quality coffee sorbet OR
chocolate sorbet OR vanilla sorbet
OR vanilla ice cream
Warmed chocolate sauce
Warmed espresso-caramel sauce
For Chocolate Sauce:
Combine chopped chocolate and salt in small heatproof bowl. In small saucepan over low heat, heat cream until very hot, stirring occasionally. Pour about two-thirds of hot cream over chocolate. Let stand for a minute or two, then stir or whisk gently until smooth. (If necessary, place bowl of chocolate over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl); stir often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water.) Gradually stir or whisk in remaining cream. Cool briefly, then chill until needed. Store in refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. Makes about 1 cup
For Espresso-Caramel Sauce:
In a small cup, dissolve the espresso powder in the hot water. Set aside near stove.
Place sugar in frying pan, which must be at least 11 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep. Do not attempt to make this sauce in a smaller pan; it will bubble over. Place sugar over medium-high heat, shaking pan occasionally until sugar begins to melt. Reduce heat to medium. Stir sugar occasionally as it melts with a wooden spoon or paddle (the utensil you choose must be able to take high heat and must not scratch the finish of your pan). It will likely form small, gravel-like, white lumps as you stir when it is melting initially--OK. Stir more often as more sugar melts and it begins to brown.
Meanwhile, heat cream in small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. Turn off heat, but keep cream hot; it must be very hot when it's added to the caramelized sugar.
Keep stirring the sugar until all lumps are melted and the syrup is a dark brown (it may be helpful to break up the lumps with the edge of the wooden spoon/paddle). The caramel will be smoking hot at this point, and it may make cracking noises occasionally--OK. As soon as all the lumps are melted, CAREFULLY add the hot cream, all at once--the mixture will bubble furiously, so watch out! Stir the cream into the caramelized sugar; it will take a few minutes to get everything completely incorporated, but when it is you'll have a beautiful bubbling caramel sauce. Add the butter pieces in three additions, stirring after each addition to melt and incorporate. Remove from heat; stir in dissolved espresso. Cool slightly, then chill until needed, covering tightly when very cold. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes about 1-1/3 cups
To make and serve the Burritos:
You'll need a large cookie sheet, large enough so that four tortillas placed on it don't overlap (if necessary, the very edges of the tortillas can extend over the edges of the baking sheet, but ideally they will not). Line the sheet with aluminum foil, preferably heavy-duty. Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Have ready 4 medium dessert plates, knives and forks if you have to be adult about it, and plenty of napkins. Have ready a large working space on a table or countertop near the oven, large enough for the cookie sheet and the 4 dessert plates. Have ready a broad-bladed spatula and a tablespoon or other large spoon.
While the oven heats, soften the sorbet or ice cream. Remove the carton lid and plastic liner (if any). Place opened carton in microwave; microwave at 50% (medium) power until the ice cream/sorbet is softened but not melted (this usually takes me 15 to 20 seconds for ice cream, and 30 to 35 seconds for sorbet; it will take less time if you use an ice cream that isn't rock-hard directly out of the freezer, so be careful). with a sharp knife, mark the top of the carton into quarters; these marks will make it easier to determine the roughly 1/2 cup of the ice cream/sorbet you'll use for each burrito. Replace the softened ice cream/sorbet in the freezer, still without its lid.
Warm the sauces; you'll need about 1/2 cup of each (do not heat all of either sauce unless you think you'll use it; repeated reheating and re-chilling can make the sauces grainy). Heat them in the microwave at 50% (medium) power; heat for short intervals, stirring thoroughly after each, just until the sauces are melted and warm (not hot). Alternatively, you can place the cold sauces in separate small heatproof bowls. Place the bowls over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of either bowl), and stir often until melted and warm. Remove from heat and hot water. Have the warmed sauces and cinnamon ready for use.
Melt the 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter. with a pastry brush or fingers, use some of the melted butter to butter the foil on the cookie sheet. Warm each tortilla just before using it--either place in the microwave on a paper towel on 50% (medium power) for 8 to 10 seconds, or sprinkle very lightly with water and heat on each side for a few seconds on a heated, non-greased (preferably nonstick) griddle over medium heat.
Brush one side of the warmed tortilla with some of the remaining melted butter. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. Of sugar on top of the butter, covering the entire surface of the tortilla as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the sugar with black pepper and chili powder to taste, but note that if you do not use a fair amount of each you won't be able to taste them in the finished product. Place the tortilla, sugar side up, onto the buttered, lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas. If there is any leftover melted butter, drizzle it onto the tortillas.
Place tortillas into preheated oven. Bake 4 minutes. Reach into the oven and, with a small, sharp knife, prick any sections of the tortillas that have puffed up (you may have to do this in two or three places if a large area is involved). Don't waste too much time doing this, just do the best you can. Close the oven door; bake the tortillas 1 minute longer (5 minutes in total).
Remove baking sheet to cooling rack. Now, WORK QUICKLY!! Place 2 or 3 large tablespoonfuls of the softened ice cream/sorbet (totalling about 1/2 cup) in a line between the center and one edge of one hot tortilla (tortillas are still on the baking sheet at this point). Using a broad-bladed spatula to help, fold the side of the tortilla closest to the ice cream over it, then roll up the tortilla as best you can. If you use smaller tortillas, your best bet may be to fold one edge over the ice cream/sorbet, then fold the other edge over that, preferably overlapping slightly; if you use "too much" ice cream/sorbet, you may not be able to get the tortilla edges to overlap--OK. Still using the spatula as an aid, turn the burrito over so that the seam side is down, and place it on a dessert plate. Start at one short end and drizzle inward about halfway with approximately 2 Tbsp. Of the warmed chocolate sauce, then drizzle the other short end inward about halfway with roughly the same amount of warmed caramel sauce. Sprinkle a bit of ground cinnamon on top. The hot tortilla will harden around the colder ice cream/sorbet, and quickly become crisp, while the ice cream/sorbet will begin to melt from the heat of the tortilla. Repeat with remaining three tortillas. Serve IMMEDIATELY.
If you use 8 or 9 inch diameter tortillas, it may be best to prepare only two at a time. Most baking sheets that fit into home ovens are not large enough to fit four tortillas of this size without overlapping. In addition, if using tortillas of this size, you'll need large plates for serving.
I have used several different kinds of sugar for these burritos. Granulated sugar will work just fine, as will light brown sugar (break up any lumps with your fingers). But if you want sugar that's a bit different, I really like a brand called "Florida Crystals". I've used their Natural Sugar (a milled cane sugar with a definite hint of molasses) for these, as well as their Demerara, a coarse-grained light brown sugar that gives a bit of crunch, which is nice for textural contrast in this dessert. You can find the company on the web at: www.FloridaCrystals.com.
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This page originally created in 1998 and modified October 2007
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