• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 8 Servings

Cuscus Dolce (Dessert Couscous)

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Italian, Desserts

 Ingredients List

  • -------------------------------CUSTARD CREAM-------------------------------
  • 60 Pistachio nuts
  • Coarse-grained salt
  • 5 Extra-large eggs
  • 8 tb Sugar
  • 1 c Heavy cream; cold
  • 1/2 c Milk; lukewarm
  • 2 tb Rosewater


1 lb Couscous (not instant)
1 c Water; cold
1/2 ts Salt

3 1/2 c Flour
1 c Water; cold

2 tb Sugar
1 ts Confectioners' sugar
5 dr Vanilla extract
2 oz Semisweet chocolate
3 oz Almonds; toasted
2 oz Candied citron
2 oz Candied orange peel

In Sicily, couscous is even a dessert, incorporating the age-old
Mediterranean almonds, rosewater, pistachio nuts, candied citron, and
orange peel as well as chocolate and custard cream, which most likely were
added in later centuries.

Prepare the custard cream. Blanch the pistachio nuts in a pan of boiling
water with coarse salt added (otherwise the nuts will turn yellow). Dry the
nuts with paper towels, then finely chop them on a board or grind them in a
food processor. Place the egg yolks in a medium-sized crockery or glass
bowl, add the sugar, and use a wooden spoon to mix the sugar into the yolks
until they turn a lighter color. Slowly add the cream, then the lukewarm
milk, mixing steadily. Add the chopped nuts and the rosewater, and mix very
well. Place in the top of a double boiler.

Bring water to a boil in the bottom of the double boiler. When the water
begins to boil, insert the top, making sure the water does not touch it,
and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, always in the same direction. When
the cream coats the spoon, just before it boils (absolutely do not allow
the cream to boil), remove the top of the double boiler from the heat and
continue to stir the contents for 1 minute more. Transfer the custard to an
empty wine bottle (to keep skin from forming), cork it, and refrigerate
until needed.

Prepare the couscous: Spread out the grain on a large serving platter or
cookie sheet. Dissolve the salt in a small bowl with 1 cup of the water.
Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the salted water on the grain, then use the fingers
of one hand to rub some grains against the palm itself, using a rotating
motion to incorporate the water evenly into the grain. Keep repeating this
with additinal teaspoons of salted water and grains until you have used up
1/4 cup of water and the couscous is evenly wet all over. Spread the grain
evenly over a cotton dish towel and let rest for 1 hour.

Put 8 cups of water in stockpot. Put a strainer or steamer which fits
snuggly over stockpot. Using the flour and a cup of cold water, prepare a
thcik dough to seal the area connecting the two halves of the steamer. Roll
this dough into a thick rope long enough to fit around the perimeter of the
pot. Using the rope of dough, cover the circle where the top and bottom
parts of the steam meet to seal it. Place the steamer over medium heat, and
when the water reaches a boil and the steam begins to rise through the
holes of the strainer, add the couscous grain. (It is also convenient to
spread a cheesecloth over the strainer holes to facilitate removing the
steamed grains.) Cover tightly with a lid and steam for 30 minutes.

Spoon out the couscous onto a large platter and start rubbing the grains
between the palms of your hands, incorporating the remaining 3/4 cup of
salted water, little by little to separate any that have stuck together and
to retain an even and uniform consistency of individual grains. Let the
couscous rest for 1 hour until cool.

Mix the granulated and confectioners' sugar with the vanilla in a large
bowl. Cut the chocolate into pieces the size of half an almond. Cut the
toasted almonds in half and the candied fruit into pieces the same size.
Add the couscous, chocolate, and almonds to the bowl with the sugar and mix
very well. Transfer the couscous to a large serving platter and arrange it
in one thick layer. Pour the cooled custard cream over the couscous and
serve, spooning out the sweet grain topped with custard sauce.

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