Chocolate Soup, it just sounds sooooo very sexy, images of lovers jumping into a pool of rich silky chocolate and then…. well, I’ll leave that to your imagination. This dessert is the ultimate in naughty decadence and of course it involves chocolate. I’ve been making this dessert for probably 15 years now and it’s the one I go back to again and again for a romantic Valentine’s Day meal à deux – this is the grand finale of all meals.
In fact, any dessert containing chocolate will do, after all, it’s meant to be an aphrodisiac and it is Valentine’s Day after all. Pepper ice cream I hear you say? Well when I stumbled upon this recipe, it said serve with pepper ice cream and although I’ve tried to make a vanilla based ice cream with grindings of pepper, it didn’t quite work out that way, so I get the best vanilla ice cream and that must be Haagen Dazs. I soften this by leaving it out of the fridge for 10-15 minutes, scoop out a 2-3 generous scoops and grind lots of pepper into it. I then form 2 perfect scoops and place them in individual ramekins and pop in the freezer until needed. Curiously, it’s a match made in heaven a bit like adding balsamic vinegar to strawberries, in fact, some people add a grinding of pepper to their strawberries soaked in balsamic, so it really does work. If this is too wacky for you, leave it out and just use plain vanilla ice cream. This dessert can be made in advance the day before or in the morning, serve with my Velvet Kiss cocktail.
The chocolate mix above is ready for the meringue. I can’t stress enough, do not let the bowl touch the simmering water at all, use a large bowl so steam does not enter the chocolate, otherwise, you’ll be left with a cloggy mess that can’t be rescued.
The meringue mix above is ready to be folded into chocolate.
Above,the dessert ready to go into the oven, use heart-shaped ramekins for Valentine’s Day wow effect.
CHOCOLATE SOUP WITH VANILLA PEPPER ICE CREAM
If you don't like pepper, you think it's too weird a taste, leave it out but use mega good quality vanilla ice cream. This dessert can be made in advance. If you don't want to make 6 portions, halve the recipe and share the extra dessert the following day using two spoons, very romantic!
- 50g butter
- 50g good quality milk chocolate
- 25g good quality dark chocolate min 72% cocoa solids
- 40g cocoa powder
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tbsp creme fraiche
- 1 tub good quality vanilla ice cream to serve
Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/150C.
Melt the butter and both the chocolates over a pan of barely simmering water. About 150ml of water is all that is needed, make sure bowl is large and does not come into contact with any water. Using a large bowl means steam doesn't get into the chocolate otherwise the chocolate siezes and becomes a grainy mess.
Once melted, stir in the cocoa powder, 50g of the sugar, the honey, egg yolks and the creme fraiche to make thick chocolatey paste.
Meanwhile use a clean (wash before if needed) bowl and whisk the egg whites until still. Stir in the remainder 50g of sugar to make a meringue.
Use a tablespoon of the meringue and stir into the chocolate mix to loosen it then gently fold in the rest.
Divide the mix between your 3 or 6 ramekins (making sure they're heatproof). Pop on an oven tray and bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until a crust forms and the edges begin to puffen up a bit. If you're making these in advance and you're using straight from the fridge, allow 15 minutes baking time.
For the pepper ice cream. Take ice cream out of freezer for 10-15 minutes to soften a little. Take out 2-3 scoops (enough for 2 portions of the dessert) grind plenty of pepper into the ice cream and mix. Form 2 perfect scoops with an ice cream spoon and place in 2 small ramekins and pop back into freezer until needed.
After the dessert is baked, served along side the ice cream, place the ice cream on top of the soup to melt in together and make a gloriously delicious chocloalte soup. Enjoy!
I can't stress enough about using a bowl bigger than the saucepan you're simmering the water in. As a rule, I use a medium saucepan with about 150ml of water that's barely simmering and a bowl double the size. This way it does not come into contact with the water and steam does not get into the choclate. If water touches the basin, it will seize the chocolate and it will separate and become a cloggy mess, it cannot be rescued and you have to start again with fresh chocolate, this will also happen if steam enters the bowl and comes into contact with the chocolate. If you're making the dessert in advance, it will be cold from the fridge so it will need 15 minutes in the oven. Make sure your ramekins are heatproof, use pretty heart shaped ones. Prepare the ice cream in advance and above all, use good quality chocolate and the dark chocolate must be at least a minimum of 60/70% in cocoa solids.