Friday, January 25, 2008

Comfortably Sweet

Versatile, forgiving, comforting recipes are my favorite. Soup is one of them. Comfort food at its best, you can make it anything you like. Sometimes creamy, sometimes chunky, full of veggies, or not.

Chances are though, if I say “soup” you’re not thinking sweet. Needless to say, when I found this recipe for a
“chocolate soup” I was intrigued. Fruit, chocolate and crème anglaise, what could be bad about that? Nothing! Except that I wouldn’t call it a soup, really. It’s more like a cross between a chocolate fondue and a crème brulée, a gratin of sorts. With each spoonful you get the creaminess of the crème anglaise, the sweet tartness of the warm fruit and gorgeous, truffle like chocolate sauce. If it’s as cold where you are as it is here right now, you’ll need this soup to get over the winter blahs.

I had fresh cherries, blueberries and oranges on hand but you could use any kind of fruit you like. Fresh strawberries would be wonderful, as would raspberries or blackberries. I must warn you though, this dessert is for someone with a serious sweet tooth. While the original recipe says it serves 4, I’m pretty sure if you use smaller gratin dishes and serve this with a cookie or two on the side, it could serve 6 easily. And if chocolate isn’t your thing (!) the crème anglaise, which is just a fancy term for custard sauce, is absolutely wonderful, warm over orange segments, or any other fruit you choose.

Food is comfort. Change things around and find what’s comforting to you, that’s what it’s all about.

Custard Sauce (Crème Anglaise)
Adapted from Allrecipes
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs
1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, cook and stir milk and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Stir in a small amount of hot milk mixture into eggs; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture reaches 160 degrees F or is thick enough to coat a metal spoon.

Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature, stirring several times. Transfer to a bowl; press a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap on top of custard. Refrigerate.

Hot fruit and dark chocolate soup
Adapted from
1 litre (4 cups) of a variety of fruit, cut in chunks
150 g (15 squares) Lindt 70% cocoa dark chocolate
80 mL (1/3 cup) half-and-half
30 mL (2 tablespoons) butter
250 mL (1 cup) crème anglaise
60 mL (1/4 cup) brown sugar

Combine chopped fruit.

Melt chocolate, half-and half and butter in a double boiler or in a microwave oven until mixture is smooth.
Divide this chocolate mixture among 4 to 6 oven-proof bowls.
Divide fruit, crème anglaise and brown sugar equally into each bowl.
Place bowls on a baking sheet and broil under oven grill for 5 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Nic said...

I was looking at the photo and thinking 'yum... olives and tomatoes', but chocolate and berries are much more to my liking!!
Great idea, thanks for sharing!

JEP said...

OMG...what a lovely dessert!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I also thought I was looking at olives and tomatoes at first, but was happy to be wrong! I've been on a MAJOR soup kick lately. This thought hadn't even crossed my mind though!

Anonymous said...

Oh beautiful! This looks like a delicious dessert!

Anonymous said...

This dessert looks so good! And there's fruit in it so it's healthy right? :)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Oh, you totally fooled me. I thought the first pic was a bowl of veggie soup. Chocolate soup sounds like the kind of soup I could get my kids to eat.

LyB said...

Nic - Chocolate and berries is one of the best combinations!

Jep - Thanks so much!

Miss Scarlett - I had never thought of it before either but I'll certainly be making it again!

Kristen - Thank you!

Lori - Of course it's healthy! ;)

Lynn - Looks like I fooled a lot of people! And my kids loved the soup, they'd gladly have it everyday! :)

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