I’ve been drawn to desserts lately, most likely because I do most of the work on desserts at the restaurant. Last week while looking for a suitable dessert to make (it ended up being the dates with the goat cheese that I wrote about), I was thumbing through various cookbooks and school binders when I came across the veloute recipe in the French Laundry cookbook.
I’m not usually drawn to chocolate desserts, but this looked and sounded good. Maybe it was the pornographicesque photograph of it on the opposite page. I knew I wanted to make this soon.
When I told Erin about it, asked if I’d seen the recent post on French Laundry at Home. I hadn’t, but did go to see what the difficulty rating was – not very hard, an added bonus.
So this past Monday I woke up at 7 and went to the grocery store to buy all the appropriate ingredients, most notably the bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened cocoa and whole wheat pastry flour (which Whole Foods unbelievable had, who knew?).
The dessert was in fact pretty easy to make. The ice cream was easy to make, after all it’s just ice cream and I make creme anglaise often enough at work to not be bothered by it.
As for the specifics of the recipe, I substituted powdered gelatin instead of using a gelatin sheet (I thought it best to not steal from work and quite honestly don’t know where around here to get gelatin sheets). I also used 4 ramekins plus 2 ring molds for the veloutes, because seriously, who the fuck has 6 identical-size ring molds?
My only complaint (and unless you own the cookbook you can’t know), is that the end product does not come out looking exactly like the photograph. And based on French Laundry at Home’s photographs and my own, it can’t, because there’s a step missing. Keller’s (or whoever baked them for the cookbook) veloutes are taller and there is a distinguishable line around the top, indicating that they were partially baked in their molds prior to being unmolded. The recipe has you unmold each veloute on to the top of the cookie to bake it, which results in a much more rounded and flatter appearance. It’s a minor complaint, and one that really doesn’t matter at all in the final product, which is delicious, decadent and extremely filling.
The best part about this dessert is that we have enough veloutes to have the dessert two more times, plus there’s enough ice cream to just have around for a little while. I’ll definitely be making this again.