A few years ago, Ingrid and I (along with some friends) participated in a yurt dining experience at a nearby ski resort. We snowshoed from the resort to their yurt where we enjoyed an unbelievable five-course meal prepared by a master chef right there in the yurt. The entire meal was unutterably exquisite but the highlight was, of course, dessert. It was a bread pudding, which may sound like a humble dessert but this was no ordinary bread pudding. The bread in the bread pudding was croissant and pound cake. Delectable as the bread pudding itself was, though, what really stuck with us were the sauces: heirloom chocolate and bourbon crème anglaise.
Why heirloom chocolate? It turns out that nearly all of the chocolate that you or I have ever tasted has come from a single variety of the cacao tree. More easily and widely cultivated than other varieties of the tree, its beans are also the most bitter tasting. Other varieties, heirloom varieties, are almost always less bitter and bring with them new flavors you likely have not experienced before.
Ingrid immediately remembered that heirloom chocolate sauce when we started working on our chocolate recipes. We wanted to re-create it as best we could. We were delighted to find a local supplier of heirloom chocolate, Millcreek Cacao Roasters. Armed with our heirloom chocolate, we mixed it with just enough cream, butter, and corn syrup to produce a sauce with the right texture but that still had an intense chocolate flavor. And, like the chef that night, we paired it with a luscious bread pudding.