How about an adult version of that childhood memory, all gussied up with high-quality bittersweet chocolate and a fancy Italian name?
Yeah, me too….read on.
I was lucky enough to know both of my grandmothers for many years before they passed, and they couldn't have been any different, especially when busy in the kitchen. My Italian grandmother was all about rustic old world savory fare made with the best ingredients she could find, and didn't have much time for sweets (except around the holidays). My dad's mom on the other hand (of British descent), was never happier than when she was pouring cream over some sugary delight that she had made special for us grand-kids. I don't care what it was, from cold or hot breakfast cereal to her coveted grape-nut, butterscotch, or chocolate puddings, in her book everything was made better by a drizzle (or deluge) of fresh heavy cream.
Hard to argue with that logic if you ask me.
So here is a dish that would please both my nanas, my mom's mom would dig it's fancy Italian name and dependence on the best quality chocolate, while my dad's would certainly approve of it's heart-slowing volume of heavy cream.
I do wish they were both here to enjoy it with us, as I'm sure they, like the kids, would find this dish to be sick. That is, once I explained to them that sick these days is actually really….really good!
Cheers – Steve
by: Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren, from their cookbook A16: Food + Wine
- 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- sprinkle of finishing salt (we used Maldon) for garnish – optional
- Combine the bittersweet and milk chocolates in a heatproof bowl, place over (not touching) barely simmering water in a pot, and leave to melt.
- Meanwhile, warm the milk in a small pot over medium heat, just until it begins to simmer. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, and then gradually whisk in the warm milk.
- When the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Strain the egg-yolk mixture through a fine meshed strainer into the melted chocolate and stir until combined.
- In a small pot, heat 1 cup of the cream over medium heat, just until it begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and slowly stir the warm cream into the chocolate mixture. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup of cream.
- Heat the oven to 350℉.
- Pour the custard into 8 – 1 cup ramekins. Cover each ramekin tightly with foil and place the ramekins in a baking pan at least 2 inches deep. Carefully pour hot tap water into the baking pan to come 2/3 up the sides of the ramekins. bake until the edges appear to be set but the middle is still loose, about 40 minutes. carefully remove the ramekins from the pan, let cool, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Sprinkle with a little finishing salt, or top with a dollop of whipped cream when serving if you so desire.