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Maida Heatter's Chocolate Regal


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Chocolate Amatller Barcelona 1899
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  Alphonse Mucha - Chocolat Ideal
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Chocolate Regal

Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts
Maida Heatter's Book of
Great Chocolate Desserts

by Maida Heatter, 1995, Random House

“The ultimate chocolate extravaganza! WARNING: This should be served only to avowed chocolate lovers, preferably in small portions after a light luncheon or dinner. This looks like a cake and cuts like a cake, but there any similarity ends. Call it what you will, but it is simply wonderful and wonderfully simple. And easy and foolproof to make. It tastes somewhat like a rich pot de crème, only more so.
It may be made a day or two before serving. But before you start, you will need a 9-inch springform pan; it can be deep or shallow, but the sides and the bottom of the pan must fit securely or the mixture, which is thin, might run out. (If you doubt your pan, place it on a square of aluminum foil and bring the sides of the foil securely up around the outside of the pan. Unless the pan is really bad, probably very little will run out anyhow.)

12 portions

1 pound Maillard’s Eagle Sweet chocolate, broken into pieces (see Note)
1 cup milk
Pinch of salt
3/4 pound (3 sticks) sweet [unsalted] butter, at room temperature
(it must be soft, but don’t melt it or cream it first) and cut into pieces
6 or 7 egg yolks (6 from eggs graded extra-large or jumbo;
7 from smaller eggs)

Adjust rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a round of baking-pan liner paper or wax paper to fit the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Butter the sides (not the bottom) of the pan and one side of the round of paper. Place the paper in the pan, buttered side up.
Place the chocolate, milk, and salt in the top of a large double boiler over hot water on moderate heat, or in a heavy 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom and sides, until the chocolate is completely melted – don’t worry if the mixture isn’t smooth.
Transfer to the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low speed only until smooth. Then let stand for 4 or 5 minutes to cool slightly.
On low speed alternately add pieces of the butter and the egg yolks, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and beating only until incorporated after each addition. Do not beat on high speed and do not beat any more than necessary – the mixture should not lighten in color.
When it is smooth, pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 minutes, no longer. It will still be soft and shiny and will not look done. Remove it from the oven!
Let stand until it reaches room temperature. Then refrigerate for a few hours until completely firm. It may be kept refrigerated for a day or two if you wish.
With a small, sharp knife cut around the sides to release – press the blade firmly against the pan in order not to cut into the dessert. Remove the sides of the spring form. Cover the dessert with a flat cake plate and invert. Remove the bottom of the pan. (If it doesn’t lift off, insert a narrow metal spatula or a table knife between the paper and the pan and gently and carefully work it around to release the pan.) Peel off the paper lining. The Chocolate Regal will be 1 inch high.
Now cover it generously with the following whipped cream, or refrigerate it and whipped-cream it later on.

Regal Whipped Cream

2 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey

Place the cold water in a small heatproof cup. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let stand for 5 minutes. Then place the cup in a small pan of shallow hot water over low heat to melt the gelatin.
Meanwhile, in the small bowl of the electric mixer (the bowl and beaters should be chilled) whip about 1 3/4 cups (reserve about 1/4 cup) of the cream and the vanilla. While beating, gradually add the honey and scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula – the honey might settle to the bottom. Whip only until the cream has increased in volume and thickened, but not until it is form enough to hold a shape.
When the gelatin is dissolved, remove the cup from the hot water. Stir the reserved 1/4 cup of cream into the gelatin and immediately, while beating, add it all at once to the partially whipped cream. Continue to beat until the cream holds a shape and is stiff enough to spread. But remember that it is always more delicious if it is a bit soft and creamy instead of stiff.
The cream may be put on simple and smoothly in a thick layer, or it may be swirled with a rubber spatula or the back of a large spoon. Or spread only a thin coating to cover the dessert, then use a pastry bag fitted with a star tube and, using the remaining cream, form either a lattice design on the top or decorate with rosettes or swirls.

Optional:  A bit of shaved chocolate may be sprinkled over the top. Or a few chopped, unsalted green pistachio nuts. But there is something regal about keeping the decoration at a minimum.
Brandied black bing cherries go well with dense chocolate desserts. They may be served with this, placing a spoonful of them alongside each portion. Use the bought ones or prepare your own as follows: A day or two before using, drain a can of plain pitted black bing cherries. Add 2 tablespoons of Cognac and 2 tablespoons of kirsch. Let stand, covered, stirring occasionally – they may either be refrigerated or at room temperature.
Note:  Maillard’s Eagle Sweet, despite its name, is semisweet. I am sure that this can be made with other semisweet chocolates. Just remember that there is no sugar, no vanilla, no coffee, rum, Cognac, etc. The only flavor is the chocolate, so use a delicious one.

Featured Archive Recipe:
Chocolatier's Chocolate Terrine with Espresso Sauce

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