In good style, I’d like to start with a dessert. Sunday was farmer’s market day, and peaches are just coming into season. I am always a bit skeptical about the first peaches, mostly because there are few things more disappointing than a peach that is not ripe. But our purchases on Sunday were anything but disappointing, at least if one considers the yellow peaches. Every one of them has been perfectly ripe, a combination of extreme sweetness with a complement of sour. The white peaches have been less spectacular, and I have to consider that perhaps they are just less flavorful in nature. We have eaten two peaches for dessert every day this week, and to celebrate the last two peaches (undoubtedly we will just buy more at the Thursday farmer’s market, but that seems so far away) I wanted to try making a chocolate sauce recipe that has been on my mind for a while. Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts is by far my favorite dessert cookbook, and Michel Guerard’s French Chocolate Sauce is one of thirteen chocolate sauce recipes if one includes variations. The French chocolate sauce recipe was recommended to me by Peter’s mother, and is surprisingly easy. It requires only basic pantry items, no cream, chocolate bars, or coffee flavor needed. I often forget how easy and delicious the combination of fresh fruit and chocolate is, but now that most of the chocolate sauce is safely stored away in the fridge (it would have lasted another hour sitting on the counter before we devoured it by the spoonful) it may be the makings of desserts all week. If it lasts that long.
Michel Guerard’s French Chocolate Sauce
(~2 cups of delicious chocolate sauce)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
Mix cocoa, sugar, and salt in saucepan. Whisk in water until sauce is smooth. The sauce will have a watery consistency. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the butter to the sauce and simmer for another 3 minutes, stirring to melt the butter. Sauce should thicken considerably in this process, although not to the point of being like hot fudge. Serve warm and keep leftovers in the fridge, if you’re lucky enough to have any.
Peter has embarked on a bread adventure. He has been baking his way through Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day. We started the week with Pain a l’Ancienne Rustic Bread as a loaf of ciabatta and four little baby baguettes, both unbelievably delicious. I adore large holes in my bread so that breakfast can be as messy as possible. We devoured the baby baguettes as a before-bed snack; they smelled so good in the oven and had the most pleasing puffed-up shape. This is my fault for suggesting that we bake bread after dinner. Then yesterday we tried a boule of Lean Bread, which has smaller holes than the Rustic Bread, presumably because the dough isn’t nearly as wet. Tonight we baked the second half of the dough into a torpedo or batard, and lucky for our future selves we were so distracted by the peaches in chocolate that we haven’t even cut into it.