Call it chocolate cream or pudding or ‘creme au chocolat’ – making sure you pronounce it with that typical French accent, which makes it sound oh so elegant! Call it whatever you may… This is one of those timeless classic desserts. It is quite quick and easy to make and surely fuss-free and fool proof. It is always appreciated by household members or dinner guests. You can turn it into a really elegant dessert if you pour it in fancy serving glasses and decorate appropriately. I don’t know how long this creme au chocolat has been around and surely there are various versions of it made across countries around the world. This one’s my version. It contains no eggs and you can also omit the butter and substitute the milk with any lactose-free alternative to make a vegan version of your own if you wish. You can also replace the all purpose flour with an extra tablespoon each of rice flour and cornstarch to convert this into a gluten-free dessert as well. Those are all possibilities available for those with special dietary restrictions. But whatever you do I strongly suggest you most definitely add the minimum 80 grams of bitter chocolate at the end of the cooking process. That will surely complement this treat in a most delectable way.
Once you have cooked your cream and cooled it properly, it is totally up to you how to serve it. As a child, my most favorite toppings were dessicated coconut or finely ground toasted hazelnuts. Other varieties may be a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some fancy chocolate shavings, any fresh or frozen fruits, especially raspberries, sour cherries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries etc. And then you can add some more flavor with a sprinkling of either my childhood favorite toppings or some finely ground pistachios, almonds, walnuts or pecans… Chocolate pairs marvelously with so many other flavors that this list could go on and on. Let your imagination guide you as you whisk your cream to a slow simmer…
(Yields 6 to 8 servings)
- 1 liter whole fat milk
- 3 tbsp bitter cocoa
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp rice flour
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (170 gr) caster sugar
- 80-100 gr good quality bitter chocolate, chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
Step by step method
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- Place cocoa, cornstarch, flour, rice flour, sugar and a pinch of salt in a pot. Combine with awhisk and add about 100-150 ml of plain water to mix into a thick slurry.
- Gradually add milk to the pot, mixing with a whisk to combine. Place pot over medium heat and stir with a whisk continuously until mixture starts to boil.
- Once it starts boiling, lower heat and add butter, mix until it melts.
- Now take pot off the heat and add chopped chocolate. Mix well until all chocolate has melted into the cream.
- Pour mixture into your serving dishes, using a ladle if you wish. Depending on the size of your serving dishes you should obtain 6 to 8 servings.
- Leave to cool at room temperature first. Then cover each dish with cling film and place in refrigerator to cool thoroughly, at least 5-6 hours before serving.