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Chocolate Is Love

Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to indulge in chocolate, one of history’s most beloved treats. Here are our favorite recipes that combine the seduction of chocolate with the science of sous vide.

BY Marilyn Kitzes

Around for more than 2,000 years, the word “chocolate” can be traced to the Aztec word “xocoatl,” which referred to a bitter drink brewed from cacao beans. In fact, throughout most of chocolate’s history, it was consumed as a beverage—and often thought to be magical. The Mayans believed cacao was “the food of the gods,” and it was used during special rituals like the birth of a child, marriages, and funerals. Just ask any chocoholic—its rich, smooth texture is truly bewitching. Perhaps it’s because chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a compound that’s released in the brain when you fall in love. Or maybe it’s because chocolate simply tastes so darn good.

Sous Vide Chocolate Pudding with Banana Crème Anglaise

Although the history of pudding goes back hundreds of years, chocolate pudding as we know it was often considered a dessert for children during the late 19th and 20th century. In fact, the combination of chocolate and cream, licked off a spoon, may be one of the best memories from childhood. Rich, thick, and smooth, pudding is the ultimate comfort food. At once retro and decadent, this recipe from the chefs at Cuisine Solutions elevates the basic chocolate pudding to new heights with a creamy banana créme anglaise that’s just right for a sophisticated gathering.

Mocha Pot de Crème

A loose French dessert that dates back to the 17th century, pot de créme means “pot of custard” or “pot of cream.” According to Gourmet Sleuth, pot de crème is technically a lightly-set, baked custard. And because the French do not have a word for “custard,” the dish is referred to as “crème.” As the French would have it, the dish was traditionally served in a beautifully adorned mini porcelain pot with lid. Any way you serve it, we promise our version—with bold espresso—will give you the chocolate jolt you crave.

Spiked Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Whipped Cream

True to its ancient Central American roots, hot chocolate is believed to be restorative. The perfect elixir on a cold day, hot chocolate drinks were widely consumed by the wealthy in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. In 17th century England, “chocolate houses”—much like today’s coffee houses—were trendy places where men socialized and were served hot chocolate in beautiful pitchers (think Limoges). Our adults-only recipe infuses butterscotch schnaps and dark rum or bourbon into a sous vide masterpiece.

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Dedicated to the Art & Science of Sous-Vide
The first publication devoted to the art and science of sous vide cooking, featuring innovative recipes, visual inspiration, expert techniques for cooking sous vide at home, and exclusive interviews with world-class chefs.