Tuesday, April 6, 2010
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a chocolate pudding unlike any you've ever had before. It's a signature dessert at Cibrèo, a well-known trattoria near the outdoor market in Florence. Unlike most puddings, this silken, barely sweet budini is served warm with sweet cream on the side. The flavor is rich, the texture is creamy and the bittersweet taste of good chocolate will bring cioccolato fans to their knees. It is that good. It is, alas, despite the true ease with which its made, not something you'll prepare often. The silken texture of the baked custard comes from copious quantities of cream and eggs that only marathon runners can handle on a regular basis. I've tried to make healthier substitutions for the more egregious ingredients but it simply doesn't work. So, Bob and I have this once a year, in smaller portions than recommended in the recipe, and, when I make this for us, I cut the recipe in half to make four 6-ounce servings. There's no reason to give temptation free reign in the refrigerator. If you like chocolate you'll love this dessert. Here's the recipe for the pudding as it is served at Cibrèo.
Chocolate Flans ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, inspired by Patricia Wells
Nonstick spray or butter to prepare ramekins
8 ounces top quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
Optional garnish: whipped cream, cocoa powder
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray or butter six (1-cup) ramekins and place them in a roasting pan large enough to hold them without their sides touching. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
2) Combine chocolate and milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat to melt chocolate. Remove from heat source and let cool for 5 minutes.
3) Whisk remaining ingredients into pan until blended. If you wish, strain custard before pouring into ramekins. Transfer roasting pan, containing ramekins, to oven. Add boiling water to roasting pan until it reaches halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake until edges of flans are set but center still trembles, about 45 to 50 minutes.
4) Carefully remove custards from oven. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with heavy cream and cocoa powder if desired. Yield: 6 servings.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
Lemon Pudding - One Perfect Bite
Double Chocolate Pudding - One Perfect Bite
Butterscotch Pudding - One Perfect Bite