The dessert course. To some it is the whole purpose of going to a restaurant, a justified indulgence, a required and fitting end to any meal out. Rich chocolate, buttery crusts, sweet caramel, and tart fruit all compete for the limelight on dessert menus. Whether it be a simple coffee kiosk or trendy destination restaurant, every restaurant concept has some form of dessert. Pastry chefs, like savory chefs, strive to capture creative inspiration, unique pairings, and a memorable end to the meal. So what are the latest trends in dessert? No surprise really, just think classic and comfort.
Generally without exception, the top five desserts are as follows:
1. Ice Cream, house churned if possible with flavors of vanilla bean (always) to even bacon (rarely)
2. Chocolate of course, in all forms
3. Crème brulee
4. Fruit, often apple, hot with a cold ice cream
5. Key Lime or Lemon pie/cream/custard
It seems that everyone has a childhood memory or tradition that includes a dessert. For me, it was always a simple chocolate pudding, though years later I learned it had a fancy name, Chocolate Pot du Creme.We make this recipe often in the test kitchen, incredibly simple and delicious. Give it a try!
Chocolate Pudding (Pot du Creme)
1 qt heavy cream, 2/3 cup sugar, 12 ounces Semi Sweet Chocolate, 1 cup egg yolks, 2 tsp vanilla.
1. Cut the chocolate into pieces about 1/2" and place into a stainless steel mixing bowl.
2. Place the cream and chocolate into a sauce pot to melt the chocolate, do not boil.
3. Whisk in the sugar, egg yolks and the vanilla.
4. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.
5. Pour 8 oz. into individual jumbo cappuccino mugs.
6. Place into a water bath with enough water to cover the cups halfway. Cover loosely with foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven until set, generally 45-60 minutes.
7. Cool and serve with a dollop of whipped cream, and chocolate shavings.
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