Thursday, March 7, 2013
s'more-style chocolate cognac pudding with marshmallow topping.
Hey all you sugar-loving like-minded people out there! There's this dessert you need to take note of, and it's called S'more-style Cognac Pudding. It's deep dark chocolate cognac pudding layered with sweet-salty ritz crunch and billowy fluffy marshmallow topping. Feel the love.
I took this recipe from Baked Elements and just changed it up a bit by swapping cognac for whiskey, since a bottle of cognac was opened already and the whiskey was not. The marshmallow topping was also supposed to contain a touch of alcohol but I left it out because I was too lazy to retrieve the bottle again, the sloth I am. More importantly, and I would bold, italicize and underline this if I weren't so unwilling to let the sudden interjection of outstanding words disrupt the uniformity of this post, is the ritz crunch. Originally, I was supposed to use a graham cracker crust that would be crushed into large pieces for the crunch element in this dessert but I decided to do things differently. I opted to use Momofuku's recipe for the crunch instead and I'm not in the least bit sorry for wrecking the flow of the initial recipe.
The crunch had a sharp yet complementary contrast of sweet and salty and they mostly managed to retain their crunch even when sandwiched between the chocolate pudding. Actually, while I do appreciate the texture contrast immensely, I have to admit that slightly soggy ritz crunch tastes infinitely better at times. Moisture conveys flavour. It's a fact. Believe it. If you really have a thing against sogginess, reserve some crunch to sprinkle on at the side while you eat but honestly, please give the soggy crackers a chance.
And the chocolate pudding, how can I not wax lyrical about it. It's dark, it's intense, it's addictive. You will want more pudding than crunch, trust me. And if you've never added alcohol to chocolate pudding, you've been deprived.
Oh and if you absolutely have to make the marshmallow topping a day before, do take note that the meringue will weep a little. I don't think that it's catastrophical but don't be alarmed if you see some liquids pooling below the meringue.
S'mores-Style Chocolate Cognac Pudding with Marshmallow Topping
makes 6 servings
partially adapted from Baked Elements
For the ritz crunch:
110g ritz crackers, roughly crushed
20g milk powder
98g butter, melted
Preheat oven to 275F. Prepare a baking sheet.
Toss the crackers, sugar, milk powder and salt together until evenly mixed. Add in the melted butter and toss to coat evenly.
Bake for 20 minutes or until they look slightly toasted and smell buttery and delicious. Set aside to cool and break into clusters. You may have more than you need but that's a good thing.
For the chocolate cognac pudding:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp cognac
1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt together in a saucepan. Whisk in the egg yolks to blend. Gradually whisk in the milk, then the cream. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it comes to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds, remove from heat, and continue to whisk for 15 seconds to release excess heat. Add the chocolate, cognac and butter and whisk until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth. Let the pudding cool slightly, about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.
Spoon 1/3 cup of pudding into each of 6 1-cup glasses. Top with some of the ritz crunch and cover with another 1/3 cup of pudding per glass. Smooth the tops. Refrigerate glasses for at least 2 hours, until ready serve.
For the marshmallow topping:
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 1/4 tsp cognac
Whisk all the ingredients together constantly in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, until the mixture reaches 160F. Remove from heat and whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks, 6 to 8 minutes.
Top each chilled pudding with marshmallow topping. Use a blowtorch to lightly toast the topping if desired. Serve immediately.