Chocolate Konafi, Charred Sweet Potato Ice Cream, Candied Sweet Potatoes

Adapted by
March 2019
Yield: 24 large portions


1.375 kilograms heavy cream
750 grams sugar
Chocolate Labneh Ganache:
60 grams glucose syrup
800 grams heavy cream
600 grams 70% chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 grams salt
100 grams labneh
Orange Blossom Syrup:
8 cups sugar
Peels of 4 oranges
20 grams orange blossom water
Sweet Potato Purée:
5 pounds sweet potatoes
1 pound salt
Sweet Potato Ice Cream:
125 grams brown sugar
3 grams salt
125 grams glucose syrup
250 grams sugar
750 grams heavy cream
625 grams milk
250 grams egg yolks
Candied Sweet Potato:
5 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced medium
lemon juice
Zest of 1 orange
To Assemble and Serve:
1 kilogram Kataifi , strands cut into 1-inch lengths and teased apart
Nonstick spray


For the Dressing

In a pot over medium heat, combine cream and sugar; scald, stirring frequently to dissolve sugar. Chill in an ice bath, cover, and refrigerate overnight (the cream mixture will thicken slightly).

For the Chocolate Labneh Ganache

In a small pot, combine glucose and cream; bring to a simmer. In a large heatproof container, combine remaining ingredients. Pour in hot cream mixture. After 1 minute, whisk until smooth. 
Chocolate Labneh Ganache may be made ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator, and warmed slightly in a double boiler to loosen before filling the konafi.

For the Orange Blossom Syrup

In a pot over medium heat, combine all ingredients plus 1 quart water; bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. When sugar dissolves, transfer syrup to a heatproof container and chill. Cover and refrigerate, discarding orange peels. 

For the Sweet Potato Purée

Heat oven to 350°F. On a sheet tray, cover potatoes with salt. Roast until fork tender, about 90 minutes; cool. Prepare and heat a charcoal grill with the grill as close to the coals as possible, making sure that the coals are ripping hot. Place potatoes on the grill and turn them until blackened; cool and peel, removing any hard bits. Transfer to a food processor and purée.

For the Sweet Potato Ice Cream

In a small pot, combine brown sugar, salt, and 875 grams Sweet Potato Purée. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve brown sugar; remove from heat. In a separate pot, combine glucose, sugar, cream, and milk. Scald, whisking occasionally, and remove from heat. In a metal bowl, whisk egg yolks while gradually adding hot cream mixture, 1 ladle at a time. Transfer mixture back to the pot and heat to 175°F, whisking constantly. Strain through a chinois into a large heatproof container with Sweet Potato Purée mixture. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and combined; chill. Transfer to PacoJet canisters and freeze. Spin when ready. 

For the Candied Sweet Potato

Heat convection oven to 350°F. Scale and record weight of diced potatoes; transfer to a half-hotel pan. By weight of potatoes, scale 30 percent honey, 50 percent sugar, 0.5 percent salt, and 44 percent orange juice, and then combine with zest in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and pour over sweet potatoes. Cover pan with a double layer of foil and cook in oven 1½ to 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes until potatoes are cooked through. Remove from oven and cool. 

To Assemble and Serve

Heat convection oven to 375°F. In a bowl, toss to combine kataifi and 1.44 kilograms cold Dressing, evenly coating strands. Scale 1.2 kilograms dressed kataifi. Lightly coat a hotel pan with nonstick spray, line with parchment, and spray again. Press the kataifi evenly onto the bottom of the pan and about half an inch up the sides. Spread 1 kilogram softened Chocolate Labneh Ganache evenly inside the frame of kataifi. Scatter remaining dressed kataifi on top of the ganache, making sure none of the chocolate will be exposed in the oven. Lightly press to flatten. Bake 25 minutes, rotate, decrease heat to 350°F, and bake 30 to 40 minutes more, until deeply golden brown on top. Immediately out of the oven, drizzle the Konafi liberally with Orange Blossom Syrup. Cool completely before cutting into 24 squares. To serve, reheat konafi in oven, transfer to serving plates, top with scoops of Sweet Potato Ice Cream, and finish with spoonfuls of Candied Sweet Potato.