3 ounces pecans, toasted-just 5 minutes in a 350 degree oven will do it.
3 Tbsp. Granulated sugar
½ cup butter
½ tsp. Vanilla
1 cup flour
½ tsp. Salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
3 ½ ounces dark chocolate (semi-sweet will do) coarsely chopped
1 ounce milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. Butter
1/4 tsp. Vanilla
pinch of salt
(Note: I just use 4 ½ ounces of semi sweet and never had a complaint.)
Cream Cheese Layer:
1 lb. Cream cheese
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. Powdered sugar
2 cups heavy cream
chocolate shavings for garnish
Place the pecans and sugar in a food processor and pulse together for 30 seconds. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla and the pecan-sugar mixture, then stir in the flour and salt until just mixed. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Use your fingers to press the chilled dough into a 9-inch ssquare baking diwh. Prick the dough with a fork and bake 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool the cooked dough while preparing the remaining layers.
Heat the cream for the pudding in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat (Thick bottomed pans mean less liklihood of scorching). Stir together the sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl. When the cream is hot (but not boiling), temper the cream into the yolks by slowly adding half the cream while stirring vigorously, then stir the egg mixture back into the cream in the cream in the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Place the chocolate(s) in a mixing bowl with the butter, vanilla and salt. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate and butter are melted. Spread the pudding in a shallow dish to cool and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap placed directly on the surface so a skin does not form.
In a small mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and ½ cup powdered sugar together until smooth.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, whip the cream to soft peaks, then add the remaining 2 Tbsp. Sugar and whip a few minutes more, until soft peaks form.
Spread the cream cheese over the cooled shortbread crust, top with the pudding, and then add the whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Garnish with additional chocolate shavings if desired.