Chocolate and Red Wine Crema

After seven-plus months of sleep deprivation, spit-up and bliss, I totally get Mother’s Day.

And this weekend I’m indulging.

There are few things better in life than wine and chocolate (OK, maybe cheese). Combine the two and wham-o.

The recipe calls for Valpolicella, an Italian red that would no doubt be great here. I opted for something less expensive. The wine guy at Trader Joe’s suggested an inexpensive Merlot, so that’s what I used. The result was nothing less than decadent.

It’s extremely rich. If making this for a group, make a lite dinner. Otherwise no one will be able to finish dessert.

Chocolate and Red Wine Crema
The Babbo Cookbook

1 cup red wine, preferably Valpolicella or another medium-bodied, fruity red (I used a merlot)
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
8 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Combine the red wine and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by two thirds, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Heat both chocolates in a large bowl over a double boiler until melted. Whisk in the red wine syrup, followed by the egg yolks.

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, 1 cup of the cream, and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Heat until scalded, then whisk quickly into the chocolate mixture. Whisk in the butter. Divide the custard among individual custard cups or wine glasses. Chill until completely set.

Remove from refrigerator about an hour before serving, so that crema will soften. Just before serving, whip the remaining 1 cup of cream to soft peaks. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and whip to stiff peaks. Top each serving of custard with a small dollop of whipped cream.

Serves 12.


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