Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ultimate Chocolate Dessert

This dessert originates from Le Antiche Sere at Sogna in Italy; an old medieval borgo. I have made this dessert many times and every time the rave reviews were worth the every effort made.

13 ozs (365 grams) semisweet chocolate (use the best you can buy)
11 ozs (310 grams) unsalted butter
8 eggs, separated
10 ozs (285 grams) almonds, toasted and ground to a powder
¾ cup (180 milliliters) sifted powdered sugar (try to find powdered sugar without cornstarch if you can)
6 ozs (170 grams) white chocolate
2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) cognac

Variation of sauce: Bourbon Sauce
1 Cup Heavy Cream
½ tablespoon corn starch
1 Tablespoon water
3 Tablespoons Sugar (caster or baker’s sugar)
¼ cup Bourbon

Procedure for the chocolate soufflés:
Melt the semisweet chocolate and butter together in a double boiler (check out the awesome porcelain and copper double boilers at sur la table

Cool for 5 minutes

Beat the yolks and add them to the chocolate and butter mixture, stirring on very low heat. Then add the ground almonds and powdered sugar. Remove from the heat and allow cooling.

Whip the egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the mixture. Divide the mixture among 10 buttered ramekins or other similar forms and bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350F or 175C.

Unmold and serve on a pool of warm white chocolate melted with a dash of cognac.
I find a nice Bourbon sauce changes this dessert from ultra refined to decadently wicked. This is the same sauce I use for my “knock-your-socks-off” bread pudding.
Whiskey Sauce: (again, please use good Bourbon!)

Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Whisk the cornstarch and water together then whisk into the cream and bring to a boil while constantly whisking away and let simmer for a few seconds, taking care not to burn the mixture on the bottom. Remove from heat.

Stir in the sugar and the bourbon. Taste to make sure the sauce is sufficiently sweet to taste with a good bourbon flavor and should have a nice thick consistency. Cool to room temperature.

I find this sauce served warm, just finished that is, over the unmolded chocolate tart to be "killer."

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