Use the best quality chocolate you can get your hands on - preferably in the 60-80% range. Also, this is the perfect make-ahead dessert, you can absolutely make it a day ahead of time. I've also done it with muscovado/brown sugar - A+! Also, as noted below, this recipe does feature raw egg* - I buy and use the best eggs I can, keep them refrigerated, and am personally comfortable with the risk (and I always mention if I'm serving something with raw egg in it). But it's really up to each individual to make the call. The standard disclaimer recommends children, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone with an immune system disorder should avoid eating uncooked egg because of salmonella risk.
2 eggs, brought to room temperature shortly before using*
6 ounces / 170 g good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons fine grain sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
fine grain sea salt
to top: heavy cream, loosely whipped, slightly sweetened (optional)
Separate the whites and yolks of the eggs. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold very stiff peaks.
Combine the chocolate, water, sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt in a double boiler. If you don't have a double-boiler, you can fashion one by combining the ingredients in a medium stainless steel bowl, and then placing this bowl atop a small simmering saucepan of water. The idea is to apply just enough gentle heat to melt the chocolate. Stir until the ingredients come together smoothly. Remove from heat, and beat in the egg yolks. Add the egg whites, and fold gently until the pudding is uniform in texture. Pour the pudding into serving cups or glasses, and chill well - preferably for a few hours. Serve topped with a bit of whipped cream.
*This recipe does use raw egg - children, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone with an immune system disorder should avoid eating uncooked egg because of salmonella risk.
Adapted from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants by Michel Oliver. Published by Random House, 1966.
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