I do believe this is one of the most beautiful things I ever made. Rich, bold, and unapologetic.
(from The Joy of Cooking)
Heat 1 inch water in a large skillet over low heat until bubbles form along the bottom; adjust the heat to maintain the water at this temperature. Combine in a large heatproof bowl:
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons coffee or water
1 teaspoon gf vanilla flavoring (if using water)
Set the bowl in the water bath and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the water and set aside.
Whisk together thoroughly in a heatproof bowl:
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons coffee
3 tablespoons sugar
Set the bowl in the water bath and, whisking constantly, heat the mixture until thick
and puffy, like marshmallow sauce. Remove from the water bath and whisk thoroughly into the melted chocolate. Let cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl, beat on medium speed until foamy:
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
Add and beat until soft peaks form:
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Gradually beat in:
1/4 cup sugar
Increase the speed to high and beat until the peaks are stiff. Using a large rubber spatula, stir one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining whites. In another bowl, beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form:
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
Gently but thoroughly fold the cream into the chocolate mixture. Turn into a 5- cup bowl or six 6- to 8- ounce individual cups. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve with:
If you wish, sprinkle with:
1 ounce semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, grated.