Now here’s what I call “cooking for poor poets!” Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal offered this recipe, and I had to share it. I will definitely be trying this one out.
A Little Something Sweet
Baked Hot Chocolate
A few minutes in the oven turns the winter elixir into a three-layered masterpiece
I’ve always believed in hot chocolate for dessert—so long as it’s ridiculously rich and served in a demitasse cup with something playful, like a peppermint stick. And then I discovered a recipe for Baked Hot Chocolate in “The Essence of Chocolate,” by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg, founders of the chocolate manufacturer Scharffen Berger. While I will continue to serve hot chocolate after dinner, this novel concoction is a fun, delicious riff on the original drink.
This recipe is credited to Heidi Friedlander, a pastry chef who served it over a dozen years ago at the Cleveland bistro Moxie, where it remains the most popular dessert. With only four ingredients, it couldn’t be easier to make. Cooking these simple kitchen staples results in three layers of differing texture: The top layer is slightly crispy; the middle, a warm, silken pudding and, at the bottom, you’ll find the most unctuous hot chocolate imaginable.
The key here is very good chocolate. Choose one you would like to eat instead of a decent baking bar. If whipped cream is to your fancy, sweeten it ever so sparingly with confectioners’ sugar. Spiking the cream with a splash of bourbon will surely not arouse complaint either. Serve these in small mugs for a trompe-l’oeil effect—at least one of your guests will unknowingly try to take a sip of dessert. A last course that’s both trick and treat.
What To Do
6. Serve warm or at room temperature with a generous dollop of whipped cream, if desired. Puddings may be refrigerated for up to one day. To reheat, bring them to room temperature and then set in a 350-degree oven until warm, about 5 minutes.
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