When we were in Paris in 2002, we had a very memorable lunch at the Restaurant au Pot de Feu. The main dishes have long faded from memory (escargot? salad? pork medallions? soup? duck confit?) but the desserts have stuck with us. Mine was Ile Flottante (Floating Island), a sweet, soft, melting and marshmallowy meringue and custard confection and David`s was Pavé au Chocolat. Basically it`s a slab of chocolate truffle, and it was served floating in a pool of créme anglaise (a thin milky vanilla custard) and dolloped with some raspberry sauce. I knew I could recreate it when I got home and Ive been impressing people with this super easy recipe for years. Now it`s your turn to take TWO INGREDIENTS and TEN MINUTES and make an awesomely french dessert that will make people oh-la-la! The picture shows it with a homemade créme anglaise and an orange sauce, but it`s absolutely just as delicious and even prettier with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh raspberries.
Serves 8-12 (it`s very rich, so small slices are in order)
12 ounces very good quality dark chocolate, chopped extremely fine. Good chocolate is important!
1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
First, prepare your pan by taking a mini loaf pan and lining it with plastic wrap. Leave lots of overhang so you can wrap the whole thing up later. Finely chop chocolate by hand or in a food processor and place in a large glass or metal bowl and get a whisk ready. In a saucepan, bring cream just to the boil. Immediately pour cream over chocolate. Let sit a few seconds and then stir with the whisk until all the chocolate is melted and you have a velvety pool of liquid heaven. Don't incorporate too much air - just stir gently until it`s all melted. Hey! Yove just made ganache! Fight the urge to eat the whole thing with a spoon while it's still warm and pour chocolate mixture into the prepared pan. Place in the fridge until the top is set, then wrap well with the plastic wrap. Keep in fridge at least 4 hours or up to several days. To slice, unmold the pavé, unwrap and then dip a knife into hot water, wipe dry and slice with the hot knife. Let warm up for about 20 minutes before serving as it's not at its melty decadent best right out of the fridge. Garnish with whipped cream, fruit, a raspberry, strawberry or orange sauce, a dusting of powdered sugar or cocoa or anything else you can think of.