Submitted by Sarah Underwood from her father Philip Cannon's recipe, Houston, Texas
The Chocolate Hydrogen Bomb came about when Philip Cannon was in his manic chocolate phase of life, looking for the purest sugar high available, and before anyone knew that some chocolate was good for you. He found a recipe for a classic French chocolate dish that was good but did not have the number of textures that he sought, so it fell by the wayside. Far from being an old family recipe, it was the product of Mr. Cannon's desire to have a multitextured, industrial-strength chocolate dessert. When we asked about the recipe, he said, "We try, we taste, we modify, we pass it on...what a great tradition!"
Chocolate Hydrogen Bombs should be illegal. This dessert is so decadent that it seems naughty. It must be wrong, but it tastes so right.
Elizabeth David's French Country Cooking, 1951
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until creamy.
In a small saucepan, scald the milk (heating it to just under boiling, when small bubbles form around the edge of the saucepan). Remove from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Place the egg yolk in a separate bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually blend the milk into the yolk and beat well. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the chocolate and honey over low heat, stirring constantly. When the chocolate is melted, slowly add the yolk-milk mixture and mix until well incorporated. Add the creamed butter, one-fourth at a time, making sure to blend well before adding more. Continue to stir the mixture over low heat until the chocolate sauce is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to let cool while you prepare the macaroons.
Place 3 or 4 amaretti in each of six martini glasses or small serving dishes. Drizzle 1/4 teaspoon of the brandy over each cookie. Allow them to soak for a couple of minutes. Pour the chocolate sauce over and around the cookies in each dish, allowing the sauce to pool in the bottom. Cover the glasses with plastic wrap and chill for 8 hours or overnight. Bring them to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Top with a large dollop of the whipped cream.
Place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until it begins to stiffen, about 90 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until soft peaks form, about 20 seconds longer.
Sugar Mommas Note: For amaretti cookies, we suggest the following brands, available at Italian specialty stores or online: Balocco, Bonomi, or Lazzaroni.
Modern Variation: In lieu of brandy, use your favorite liquor, such as rum, cognac, or whiskey, or forget the alcohol altogether.
Old School: Mr. Cannon makes a large bowl of Chocolate Hydrogen Bomb "soup" rather than individual servings. Drizzle 1/4 teaspoon brandy over each amaretti. Place a layer of amaretti on the bottom of a large glass soufflé dish (1-1/2 quarts) or crystal bowl. Pour a layer of chocolate sauce over and around these. Add a second layer of amaretti and repeat. Continue to add layers and chocolate until all of the amaretti have been used. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving. Top with Chocolate Hydrogen Bomb Whipped Cream and serve.
Carpool Crunch: Use store-bought whipped topping.
As an alternative to the Chocolate Hydrogen Bomb, Mr. Cannon whips out this "grown-up dessert" on the spur of the moment. A modified version of the Velvet Hammer cocktail, it is fast, easy, and tasty-the usual result of combining things that are very good on their own.
Place the ice cream, liqueur, and brandy in a blender and mix until smooth. Add milk as needed to achieve a thick but (barely) pourable liquid. Divide evenly among four cocktail glasses. Dust the tops with crushed cookies and cocoa powder and serve.
Sass It Up: For festive serving glasses, place a wet paper towel on the counter next to the bowl of crushed cookies. Press the rim of each glass onto the towel to moisten it lightly, then dip the rim into the bowl of cookie crumbs.
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This page created December 2011
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