Hot Chocolate Creams from Provence
I first encountered this unctuous Provençal indulgence on a trip to France. I was instantly seduced by its wonderful gamut of textures, the crusty outside yielding to a warm creamy interior, as though chocolate had been given the texture of a soft-ripening cheese. Soon after my return. I tried a recipe in a cookbook of traditional Provençal cooking by Jean-Andre Charial-Thuilier. Ultimately I came up with a version that calls for about as much chocolate as the recipe can handle and still produce the spectrum of textures. It is far and away the most popular dessert I’ve ever served at Rialto—and it’s a breeze to make.
You can make the chocolate mixture a day ahead; prepare the mixture as instructed, then refrigerate. Let come up to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionFormal Dinner Party
Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturebuttery, chocolatey, rich
Type of Dishchocolate dessert
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ pound semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease four 4-ounce ramekins with 1 tablespoon of the butter and then dust each one with ½ teaspoon flour.
Melt the chocolate with the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over low heat. As soon as the chocolate starts to melt, remove from the heat and beat until the mixture is smooth. (If making ahead, cover and refrigerate the mixture, for as long as overnight. Allow it to come up to room temperature before continuing.)
Beat the eggs in a large bowl with the sugar until the sugar dissolves and the eggs are foamy. Fold the chocolate mixture into the eggs.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared ramekins. Bake for 12 minutes, or until just set—the centers will still be slightly liquid. Let stand for 3 to 4 minutes, then turn them out onto warm plates and serve.
2002 Jody Adams and Ken Rivard