This recipe comes from Jill O'Connor's book, Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey. This has got to be the cutest book that I have seen. I have had it for a while and have only made these. Flipping through the pages on a rainy day, this recipe just called me out and said...yes, you know you want me....well, I have to admit that I did. Except, I was thinking, by the look of the picture, that it was like a chocolate pudding, and that you would eat it warm. It is not like that at all. Now, don't get me wrong, it was very good, very chocolaty, what do you expect with 24 ounces of chocolate and 6 cups of half and half. But, it was exactly what it said...soup. Slurping from a spoon, soup. I am pretty positive that I don't like chocolate soup. I will probably make this again, but will use it as a hot chocolate drink.
On the other hand, the croutons. How can you go wrong with pound cake, butter, cinnamon and sugar? These were great just to snack on!
For the soup:
1/2 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup water
pinch of salt
6 Cups half and half
2 tsp instant espresso powder
24 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used semisweet)
Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and starts to change color. Increase the heat to high and boil until the syrup turns a deep amber color, 4-5 minutes. Watch carefully, as it can burn quickly. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the salt and half and half. Use a long handled wooded spoon to carefully stir in the half and half, as the caramel has a tendency to hiss and splash as the cold cream hits it. Bring the mixture just to a gentle boil, stirring to dissolve the caramel into the half and half, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the espresso powder and chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Divide the soup into 8 shallow bowls and top with croutons.
For the crouton:
1 loaf of your favorite pound cake
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the broiler. Cut a razor thin slice from both ends of the pound cake to reveal the interior. Cut the trimmed loaf of pound cake crosswise into 8 equal slices. Trim each slice to form perfect, uniform, squares. Stir the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Brush both sides of the pound cake slices with the melted butter and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar. Place the slices on a large baking sheet and broil until the sugar on top stars to bubble and turn brown, 1-2 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, turn the slices over, and broil the second sides in the same way. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack to cool. use a serrated knife to carefully cut each slice into 4 equal squares.