Chocolate Wickedness

        I guess I should confess I borrowed this recipe from Paula Peck’s Art of Fine Baking (still one of my favorite baking guides) and I added my own sauce. In the Seventies, when we came home late from hours in a disco, Chocolate Wickedness was my idea of the perfect nightcap and a weapon of seduction.  “You know chocolate is an aphrodisiac, “ I used to say. Kept in a jar in the freezer, it can always be available for emergencies. (These instructions include hints for hand-beating, which I still do sometimes for nostalgia’s sake.) 

        1 cup heavy cream

        11⁄2 lbs. semisweet chocolate

        3 egg yolks

        1⁄2 cup brewed espresso coffee or 11⁄2 tsp. instant espresso dissolved in 1⁄2 cup boiling water

        1⁄2 cup crème de cacao

        6 egg whites

        Pinch of salt

        1⁄4 cup sugar

        Using a wire whisk or electric beater, whip cream until thick. Refrigerate until ready to use.

        Put chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in egg yolks, coffee, and crème de cacao. Mix until smooth. Remove from heat, and cool.

        Beat egg whites with salt until they stand in soft peaks. Add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition. Beat several more minutes until very stiff. (If beating by hand, it will take at least five minutes.)

        Fold whipped cream into egg whites and then fold chocolate mixture into that mix.

        Pour into a large glass bowl or 10-cup soufflé dish. Freeze for a minimum of 4 hours. Let sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

        Serve with mock crème fraîche, made by blending 1⁄2 cup heavy cream, whipped into gentle peaks, with the 2⁄3 cup of sour cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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