I’ve had my last issue of Food and Wine opened to the same recipe for long enough that the magazine is now a bit misshapen. I came upon a recipe for a Bittersweet Chocolate Crémeux that looked delicious. I had never heard of a “crémeux” before, but it’s a rich French pudding. My French heritage got the better of me, and I decided it needed to be made. The fact that it’s salted chocolate makes it that much more awesome.
And seeing as I can never leave anything alone, I toasted and chopped some hazelnuts to garnish the top.
Think of the creamiest, most decadent chocolate pudding you’ve ever had, add sea salt to it, and magnify the intensity by about 1000, and this is it. I love canned pudding off a buffet table, but this crémeux is out of this world!
1 10-ounce bag bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Chips)
1/4 C hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1 pint heavy cream
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and milk to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and salt. Gradually whisk in the hot cream, a little at a time, to temper the yolks. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (5-10 minutes). The custard should be slightly thickened and coat the back of the spoon.
Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl, and strain the custard over top through a fine-mesh strainer. Let the mixture stand until melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk vigorously until smooth, then pour the crémeux into a shallow glass or ceramic dish. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the crémeux and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, whip the cream with the vanilla bean paste and the sugar. Serve the crémeux topped with the toasted hazelnuts and the whipped cream