Chocolate Bars with Sesame
Rich chocolate bars — more properly, discs, as these are cut into rounds — are combined with mocha sabayon and sour cherries, a perfect marriage of flavors. The sabayon begins with a cold infusion of coffee beans and milk which takes two days; you must plan ahead for this pretty Austrian dessert!
- Mocha Milk Sabayon
- Milk - 2 cups
- Coffee Beans - 1 cup
- Egg Yolks - 7
- Confectioner's Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Sour Cherry Confit
- Sour Cherries - 2 cups, stemmed and pitted
- Water - 1 cup
- Kirsch - 1/4 cup
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Chocolate Bars
- Unsalted Butter - 8 ounces (2 sticks)
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 8 ounces
- Egg Yolks - 5
- Confectioner's Sugar - 1/3 cup
- Flour - 1 tablespoon
- Egg Whites - 9
- Sugar - 3/4 cup
- Sesame seeds - 1/2 cup
- Confectioner's sugar for dusting
To prepare the mocha milk: Combine the milk and coffee beans in a container and refrigerate for 2 days. Strain. Bring the milk to a boil in the top of a double boiler over boiling water. Whisk the egg yolks and confectioner's sugar together until the sugar has completely dissolved. Whisk a large spoonful of hot milk into the egg mixture to temper it, then whisk the remaining hot milk into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour back into the pan used for the milk and place back over the double boiler. Cook and whisk the mixture 3 to 4 minutes, until it thickens slightly to the consistency of cream. Remove and whisk until cooled to room temperature. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Cover and chill until ready to use.
To prepare the cherry confit: Put the cherries and water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 10 to 20 minutes, until the cherries are softened but still hold their shape. Remove the cherries from the juice and stir in the Kirsch and nutmeg; reduce by one half over medium-high heat. Return the cherries to the syrupy juice and set aside. Let cool. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
To make the bars: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Butter an 8-inch square spring-form pan and dust with flour. Melt the chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Whisk the egg yolks and confectioner's sugar together in a bowl set over hot water until thick enough to form a ribbon when drizzled back upon itself. Whisk in the flour. Pour the chocolate mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into the egg mixture and fold together. Beat the egg whites until foamy; sprinkle the sugar over the egg whites and continue beating to firm peaks. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold the egg whites and chocolate mixture together in three additions, being careful to preserve the volume. Fill the prepared pan, then sprinkle the sesame seeds over the mixture. Bake 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Remove the pan and cut into 4-inch discs.
To serve: Place a chocolate disc on each chilled dessert plate. Spoon mocha sabayon around the discs. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Spoon several cherries on each plate and drizzle a little cherry syrup over the plates.