Editor’s note: Before you read this, check out The Most Romantic Thing a Guy Can Do This Valentine’s Day if you haven’t already, and also don’t miss Ben’s other recipes for rosemary nutmeg angel hair pasta, candied saffron scallops, and coq au vin.
Chocolate Cremeux Crunch
125 grams whole milk
125 grams heavy cream or whipping cream
3 egg yolks
6 tablespoons of sugar (less if you are using a sweeter chocolate)
240 grams of the best bittersweet chocolate you can find (55-60% is best) chopped to 1/4 inch pieces.
8 homemade or store-bought high quality cookies: chocolate biscuits, shortbread or graham crackers are best
Step 1: Crack eggs and separate yolk from egg white. Toss whites.
Step 2: Break up chocolate bar and set aside.
Step 1: In a bowl whisk the egg yolks vigorously with 4 tablespoons of sugar to make a pale, thick mixture. This can be done by hand or with an electric mixer. Then, bring the cream, milk and remaining sugar to a light boil, stirring constantly over a medium heat. Dairy can scorch, so be sure to stir constantly.
Step 2: Once the cream mixture comes to a light boil, remove from heat and mix around one tablespoon into the egg mixture while beating- the cream mixture is hot and can cook the eggs, so constant mixing is required!
Step 3: Add 2 more tablespoons of the cream mixture slowly until the mix loosens to a yogurt consistency. Now put the loosened egg mixture back into the pot with the cream mixture and stir to combine.
Step 4: Place the custard back on low heat and stir without stopping until it becomes thick (it’s ready when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon). Remove from heat and stir for 2 minutes to cool slightly. Then add the chocolate and mix well until all the chocolate is very smooth.
Step 5: Pour the mixture into individual cups, cover with plastic, and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, chop the cookies to make chunky crumbs–they can be uneven sizes, it’ll give a nice variety of textures. Remove plastic wrap from cups and top each pot with cookie crumbs. Top with whipped cream for a little added flair. Serve cold.
Chocolate Custard for Idiots
Recipe adapted from Jo Notkin.
Jo is an accomplished pastry chef that constructs nuanced desserts that leave the eater distracted with pleasure and searching for answers. I, on the other hand, think that breaking up a chocolate bar into a bowl and serving it with ice cream is a big achievement.
Whether you prepare Jo’s easy recipe or my even easier version (see below), this chocolate dish makes you look like you can whip up complex confections. If by chance you mangle dinner or put your foot in your mouth, either recipe will help you salvage the night.
3 egg yolks
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup heavy milk
1 large dark chocolate baking bar
½ cup sugar
Step 1: Put eggs yolks in bowl
Step 2: Add sugar and mix until yellow.
Step 3: Add milk and cream and turn on stove to medium
Step 4: When close to simmer add chocolate bar and stir.
Step 5: When mixture becomes thick, pour into containers and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
On top of cookies with warmed up cream. It’s borderline illegal.