If you were a chocolate, you would want this for dessert. Intense is an understatement. â€œDeath by Chocolate,â€ a much more appropriate name compared with the original name coined by Francois Payard â€“ â€œChocolate Pudding Cake.â€ And bizarrely, it is INCREDIBLY EASY to make but your guests will think you have recently graduated from pastry school. It requires no baking, no flour, no fancy techniques. Just a lot of good chocolate, milk, sugar and eggs, butter and vanilla. If you love chocolate, this is the ultimate dessert. I take no responsibilities for the potential negative medical repercussions as a result of ingesting too much of thisâ€¦
To make, assemble 14 ounces (400 grams) of good semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped. I used some of the huge block of Callebaut that we have in the pantry. Also 1 and 1/3 cups of whole milk, 2/3 cup of white or caster sugar, two large egg yolks, 1 pound of unsalted butter and 2 teaspoons of good vanilla (preferably not artificial). Some cocoa powder for dusting the final product; I found Valrhona cocoa powder at Cookâ€™s Exchange. Place the chocolate in a medium-sized stainless bowl, already chopped. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and all of the sugar (except 2 tablespoons) and stir over medium heat until dissolved. Remove the milk when it starts to bubble at the edges. In a separate bowl whisk the two egg yolks with the remaining sugar, then add several tablespoons of the hot milk while whisking away. Then add the egg mixture back to the milk and whisk it vigorously over low heat until it thickens slightly. Payard recommends using a thermomenter to determine if it has reached 183F, but I didnâ€™t bother. Immediately pour the milk mixture over the chocolate and whisk until it is all melted and smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Whisk in the butter (MUST BE at room temperature) in small cubes and keep adding it until all incorporated and smooth; yes, it needs THAT much butter!
Place the batter in a small round or oval pan (I made three of the ones in the photo) and wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, take the dessert out of the freezer and briefly plunge the pan into a warm bath to loosen the dessert and turn it over onto a serving platter. Use a spatula to make a pattern on the surface of the dessert and then sprinkle generously with cocoa. Let this stand for at least 20-30 minutes before serving. Do not serve this frozen, it doesnâ€™t do the chocolate justice. It should slowly come down to room temperature for ideal taste. Give guests small slivers and watch them go nuts. We also served this sandwiched between fresh lenguas de gato and subsequently with boholano broas and they were an incredible hit. The recipe here is fully Francois Payardâ€™s. I added some richness by substituting some of the milk with thickened cream. Absolutely delicious.