Pavé au Chocolat

In which I raid Anne Seranne again and make what it basically a tiramisu but with chocolate instead of cream and filter coffee and cognac, instead of espresso and marsala. This is from chapter 4, ‘Cornstarch, rice, farina, and other creamy desserts’ from The Complete Book of Desserts (1952, Faber and Faber for the Cookery Book Club).

Pavé au Chocolat (Blender method)

6oz semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
¼ cup boiling water or strong coffee
4 egg yolks
½ cup soft butter [this is translated at the front of the book as 4oz]
4 tablespoons cognac
½ cup cold water
5oz lady-fingers
Whipped cream


Into container of an electric blender put chocolate pieces and boiling liquid.

Cover and blend on a high speed for about 10 seconds, or until sauce is smooth.

Remove cover and add egg yolk and butter and continue to blend until smooth, stopping it stir down if necessary.

Empty chocolate cream into a bowl.

Add half the cognac to the container, cover, and blend for a few seconds.

Add to the chocolate cream and mix.

Combine remaining cognac and cold water.

Line bottom of a spring-form pan with waxed paper. Dip lady-fingers, one at a time, into the diluted cognac ands arrange a layer of lady-fingers in pan. Spread with a layer of chocolate cream, using about half the cream. Arrange another layer of lady-fingers and top with the remaining chocolate cream. Cover with lady-fingers and chill for atleast 2 hours.

To serve: run knife around sides of pan and invert dessert. Discard waxed paper and decorate with rosettes of whipped cream. Serves 8.

Notes

  • This was very simple and would certainly be do-able for those without a blender, simply by melting the broken chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and placing it on a firm surface and indulging in some vigorous stirring.
  • I used a silicon loaf tin, lined as suggested, as my spring-form tin didn’t seem to be a suitable size.
  • No rosette piping for me – I just served the whipped cream in a bowl

Results

IMG_1066Results

This was incredibly rich but the flavour wasn’t quite right, somehow. I used filter coffee and admittedly not particularly great booze but when I make this again, I might leave the coffee out and use amaretto or rum instead. I also wondered if there is a better biscuit than sponge fingers, they lighten the pudding but seem to be too much of a contrast – maybe amaretti would be better, maybe these?

It looked OK, far from elegant, perhaps making it in a round container would improve the appearance. I cut the remainder into slices and froze them and can confirm that this has done it no harm at all.

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