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Bittersweet chocolate tartufo with olive oil gelato and olive oil-fried croutons

Bittersweet chocolate tartufo with olive oil gelato and olive oil-fried croutons
Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times

Call me old-fashioned, but I am not a fan of the current trend wherein bacon, avocado and other ingredients normally considered staples of savory cooking are used to make desserts, instead of, say, a BLT. The only exception to this ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, plus setting times | Serves 8

Chocolate glaze

  • 1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, preferably 70% Cordillera
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons brandy

Step 1Cut the chocolate into 2-inch pieces. In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate with corn syrup and butter over barely simmering water. (The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl or the chocolate will burn.) Turn off the heat, stir in brandy and let mixture stand over warm water until ready to use.

Bittersweet chocolate tartufo

  • 1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate (preferably 70% Cordillera), finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • 7 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon whisky
  • Chocolate glaze, warmed

Step 1Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange 8 (3 inches diameter, 2 inches high) metal ring molds evenly on baking sheet. Set aside.

Step 2Place finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof, nonreactive bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream and creme fraiche to a full boil. Pour over the finely chopped chocolate. Set aside to melt, without stirring, for 20 minutes. Once the chocolate has melted, gently whisk in the softened butter, corn syrup and whisky.

Step 3Pour one-fourth cup plus 2 tablespoons of the tartufo filling into ring molds and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Add one tablespoon of warm glaze over the set tartufo, tilting the molded tartufo, shaking it a bit, to make a thin, even covering. Return to refrigerator to set glaze until ready to serve.

Bittersweet chocolate tartufo with olive oil gelato and olive oil-fried croutons

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for garnishing
  • 1/4 pound Pullman bread loaf, crust removed, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Tartufos
  • Olive oil gelato

Step 1To make the croutons, heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until it is almost smoking and slides easily in the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Line a plate with paper towels. Add the croutons to the oil and cook until golden brown, 30 to 40 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove the croutons to the prepared plate and season them with salt. If the croutons appear greasy, transfer them to a clean paper towel to drain further.

Step 2When ready to serve the dessert, remove the baking sheet with the tartufos from the refrigerator and set aside to come to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes. Place one tartufo in its mold on an entree-sized plate. Using a blowtorch or warm towel, quickly warm the sides of the metal molds and carefully lift off the mold. Garnish the top with a few pieces of the olive oil-fried croutons. Add a scoop of the olive oil gelato, and garnish the top with more croutons and a drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil. Repeat with remaining tartufos.

Note: This recipe requires 8 (3-inch diameter by 2-inch high) metal rings; the rings are available at most cooking and baking supply stores, as well as online. Pullman bread loaves are available at many bakeries and bread stores.


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