Chef Jeff’s Pine Needle, Chocolate Textures, & Pistachio

Private Chef Jeff Nappe, based out of New Jersey, curates beautiful elegant dishes. Using techniques and ingredients used in different cultures such as Indian, Norwegian and Japanese. Understanding textural, visual and taste appeal, you can count on New Jersey Resident & Chef, Jeff, to create your new favorite dish.

Chocolate comes together in many textures for this dish. The lingering mint flavor in the ice cream marries all the ingredients right together while being complimented and brought out even more by the pistachio. All of these ingredients have such an affinity for each other it creates a flavor profile that is out of this world.

Serves 4


pine needle ice cream

Whole milk, 1 c

Heavy cream, 1 c

Egg yolks, 6

Sugar, 1 cup

Vanilla extract, 1 tbsp

Mint extract, 1 tbsp

Parsley (for blanching), 1 c

Granny smith apple, 1

1 knob of ginger

pine needle chefs essence, 2 drops

(specialty order only)

Green food coloring, 3-4 drops

Xanathan gum, 1/2 tsp

Salt, 1 tsp


Unsalted butter (softened), 1/4 c

Coconut oil, 1/4 c

Coconut sugar, 1 c

Eggs, 2

Vanilla extract, 1 tbsp

Dark cocoa- powder, 1/2 c

AP flour, 1/2 c

Salt, 1 tsp

Baking powder, 1/2 tsp

1/2 knob of ginger, minced

chocolate cremeux

High quality dark chocolate, 8 oz

Egg yolks, 2

Sugar, 2 tbsp

Vanilla extract, 1 tbsp

Chocolate chefs- essence, 2 drops

Water, 1/4 c– 2/3 c

Heavy cream, 2 tbsp

Xanathan gum, 1/8 tsp

AP flour, 1/8 tsp

Salt, 1/2 tsp

chocolate meringue

Sugar, 1/2 c

Egg whites, 2 lg

Dark cocoa powder, 1/4 c

Pinch of salt

Meringue- powder, 1-2 tbsp

chocolate soil

Unsalted butter (softened), 1/4 c

AP flour, 1 c

Raw sugar, 1 c

Dark cocoa powder, 1/2 c

Salt, 1 tsp

Vanilla extract, 2 tsp

pistachio powder

Pistachios (roasted), 1 c

Powdered sugar, 1/2 c

Maltodextrin, 1/4-1/2 c

Evoo, 1 tsp

Salt, 1 tsp

Green food coloring, 3-5 drops


  1. For the pine needle ice cream, pour 1 c whole milk and 1 c heavy cream into a medium pot with a low flame. Allow mixture to get hot but do not let it come to a boil. 
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk 6 egg yolks with 1 c of sugar, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, and 1 tbsp mint extract. Pour egg mixture into milk and cream mixture once its hot. Keep flame on low/ low medium. Do not make the flame any higher, this is your base which all the ingredients for the ice cream will be added into. Make sure to keep on gently whisking or stirring until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. 
  3. In a small pot of boiling water put 1 tbsp salt and 2 c of parsley. Allow to blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove parsley and drop into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and allow vibrant green color to come out of the parsley. 
  4. Using a vitamix put in 1 ice cube, 1/4-1/2 c of water, and the 2 c of blanched parsley. Puree on high speed until completely smooth. You may have to add another 1/4 c of water to achieve a full puree depending on the blender you’re using. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into a small saucepan with a medium flame. Reduce the mixture until it is a pasty consistency, about 5 minutes. Pour reduced parsley into the ice cream mixture. Whisk gently. 
  5. Take out 1 knob of ginger, remove the skin using a spoon. Grate the entire knob all the way down and pick up all of the broken down ginger. Press through a fine mesh strainer (or just squeeze it out with your hand) into the ice cream mixture. 
  6. Using a granny smith apple, remove the seeds, leave the skin on and put through either a juicer or a vitamix with 1/4-1/2 c of water. Puree. Pour into a small sauce pan and reduce until 1/2 the liquid remains. Pour the mixture into the ice cream base and stir. 
  7. Put 4 drops of pine needle chefs essence, 4 drops green food coloring, 1/2 tsp xanathan gum, and 1 tsp salt into the ice cream mixture and whisk gently. Put the flame on the lowest possible setting at this point and let it sit for 5 minutes. Pour ice cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into an airtight container. Freeze overnight before serving. 
  8. For the brownies, using a large mixing bowl put 1/4 c unsalted butter (softened), 1/4 c coconut oil, 1 c coconut sugar, 2 eggs, and 1 tbsp vanilla extract. Combine ingredients on low using an electric hand mixer.
  9. Add 1/2 c dark cocoa powder, 1/2 c AP flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp baking powder to the brownie mixture. Using the electric hand mixer combine ingredients on medium speed. Take out 1/2 a knob of ginger and remove the skin using a metal spoon. Gate ginger until fully broken down and squeeze out the liquid into the brownie batter. Combine on low with the electric mixer and pour into a 8×12 greased baking pan. Bake on 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven. Allow to cool fully. Keep refrigerated or freeze after 3 days.
  10. For the chocolate meringue, put 2 egg whites (room temperature) into a medium mixing bowl with a pinch of salt. Use an electric hand mixer at high speed to get stiff peaks. Pour in 1/2 c of sugar in two pours of about 1/4 c each time while using the hand mixer. Add 1/4 c dark cocoa powder, 2 tbsp sugar, and 1 tbsp meringue powder. Combine ingredients on medium speed. 
  11. Using a sheet tray lined with parchment paper, spread out meringue using a rubber spatula to about 3-4 mm thickness. Bake at 225 degrees for about 45 minutes-1 hour or until dry and firm. 
  12. For the pistachios, line a small tray with parchment paper and put 1 c pistachios with a small drizzle of oil. Bake for 6-8 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to cool fully. Put toasted pistachios, 1/2 c powdered sugar, 1/2-1/2 c maltodextrin, 1 tsp evoo, 1 tsp salt, and 5 drops green coloring. Pulse on high speed in a vitamix. Expect some sticking during the process of turning this mixture into a powder. Shut the machine off and use a rubber spatula to scrap out anything thats stuck. Then pulse on high again. 
  13. For the chocolate “soil”, mix together 1/4 c unsalted butter, 1 c AP flour, 1 c raw sugar, 1/2 c dark cocoa powder, 1 tsp salt, & 2 tsp vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Once fully combined use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten it out. Put “dough” on a baking tray lined with parchment into an oven at 350 degrees and bake 10-15 minutes. Once cool and crispy, break into pieces and pulse in the vitamix on medium until reaching a crumb consistency.
  14. For the chocolate cremeux, put chocolate into a double boiler.
  15. In a separate bowl whisk 2 egg yolks, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 drops chocolate chefs essence, and 1 tbsp vanilla. Transfer egg mixture into double boiler with chocolate. Mixture will clump up once it is gently mixed. Add 2 tbsp heavy cream, 1/4 c water, 1/8 tsp xanathan gum, 1/8 AP flour, and 1/2 tsp salt. Whisk until smooth. You may have to add an additional 1/4-1/2 c water to achieve desired consistency. 
  16. For plating, put down one square brownie and drizzle 1-2 tbsp chocolate cremeux around it circularly. Top the brownie with a heaping tbsp of pistachio powder & chocolate “soil. Put 1 scoop of pine ice cream on top of the powder & “soil”. Finish by placing a piece of broken chocolate meringue on top of the ice cream. Serve. 

Note-Meringues can be an unintentional headache. Make sure parts of your mixer and the bowl you use are free of any oil which will result in a flat meringue. Also a very humid room will mess it up as well. It all factors in, which is why I keep a meringue powder around. If you are in a humid place put the meringue powder in with the egg whites to start. However, if conditions are normal then make your meringue as planned. The meringue powder will go in last as a way to help bind the ingredients together. It works best in situations where the ingredient you add to the meringue isn’t supposed to be there, for example adding juiced turmeric (which contains trace oils).

Note-This can be made a few days in advance if you are using the meringue powder and storing it in an air tight container. However, if you should encounter any moisture a day or 2 after baking it you can just reheat the pieces at 225 degrees briefly to crisp them back up. Allow to cool. 

This recipe is just one of the many recipes that can be found in Chef Jeff Nappe’s book, Tastings, which can be found on Amazon or by clicking the link below.

Recipe From:

Chef Jeff

Be on the look out for his upcoming book this spring!

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