Recipe: Dark Chocolate Soup with Cinnamon-Toasted Pound-Cake Croutons
Recipe courtesy of Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth by Jill O'Connor

Published by Chronicle Books


Dark Chocolate Soup with Cinnamon-Toasted Pound-Cake Croutons

Just the sound of this dessert makes me smile. The thought of slurping up a large spoonful of rich, creamy chocolate— thick and rich as Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate waterfall— will make children and adults equally happy. The velvety pound-cake croutons are brushed with melted butter, sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar, and broiled till they are sweet and crispy. I like to use my favorite cream cheese pound cake recipe, but you can use your own recipe, or purchased pound cake, with equal success.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 cups half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Cinnamon-Toasted Pound-Cake Croutons (recipe follows)
  • 8 scoops vanilla ice cream
Directions:
  1. Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling gently from time to time, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil until the syrup turns a deep amber color, about 4 to 5 minutes. (Watch carefully, as it can burn quickly.) Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt and half-and-half. Bring the mixture just to a gentle boil, stirring to dissolve the caramel into the half-and-half, about 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the espresso powder and chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Divide the soup among 8 shallow soup bowls. Carefully place a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center of each bowl and float 4 pound-cake croutons around each scoop of ice cream. Serve immediately.
Cinnamon-Toasted Pound Cake Croutons

Instead of plain, square croutons, feel free to use a heart, star or other cookie cutter to give your croutons a more fanciful shape.

Makes 32 croutons

Ingredients:
  • 1 loaf (81/2 by 41/2 inches) My Favorite Cream Cheese Pound Cake or purchased pound cake
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Directions:
  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Cut a razor-thin slice from both ends of the pound cake to reveal the interior. Cut the trimmed loaf of pound cake into 8 equal slices. Trim each slice to form perfect, uniform, squares.
  3. Stir the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  4. 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 starts to bubble and turn brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn the slices over to broil the second sides in the same way. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Use a serrated knife to carefully cut each slice into 4 equal squares.


 
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