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Chocolate-Chili Cornbread Cornpone with Custard

Chocolate-Chili Cornpone with Custard
& Hot Mexican Chocolate Sauce
Serves 6

This is the dessert we love on Valentines Day. XOXO. 

It’s a delicious, somewhat spicy chocolate bread pudding, and yes, it takes time and attention to make, just like the best relationships take time and attention. When I double the recipe, I do NOT double the chocolate sauce 
(one recipe makes plenty for a crowd).
Plan ahead to make the cornpone bread earlier in the day (or the day before). Ancho chili powder is mild to medium in heat, and has a dark smokey flavor. It is made from ground poblano peppers. If you want a little more heat in the dessert, add a little standard chili powder too. Adapted from a recipe by Bobby Flay.

Chocolate Cornpone (bread):
1 TBL unsalted butter, for pan
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ C all-purpose flour
½ C white cornmeal
¼ C sugar
3 tsp ancho chili powder, or 1 tsp regular
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ C buttermilk
Chocolate Custard:
½ C sugar
6 large egg yolks
4 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
2 C whole milk
1 C heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
Hot Mexican Chocolate Sauce:
1 ½ C heavy cream
2 cinnamon sticks
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 TBL sugar
2 TBL ground toasted almonds

Chocolate Cornbread:
1.     Preheat oven to 375º F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a disk of parchment paper.
2.     Place chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Or, heat in microwave in 20-second increments, stirring between each one.
3.     Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, chili powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs and buttermilk and then stir in the melted chocolate. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack.
4.     Once the bread is cool, break into 1-inch chunks and spread in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish (9x13 dish).
Chocolate Custard:
1.     Whisk together the sugar and yolks in a large bowl until pale. Whisk in the melted chocolate, milk, cream, and vanilla extract until combined.
2.     Using a fine sieve, strain the custard over the bread chunks. Wiggle the dish around or press on the bread chunks so that they well soaked.
3.     Place the pan in a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan halfway with hot water. Bake for 40 minutes (50-52 minutes for double recipe) or until the custard is set. Remove and let cool on a rack for 30 minutes before serving. This is best served warm. Spoon into bowls and drizzle with the Hot Mexican Chocolate Sauce, and garnish with raspberries, a few shavings of chocolate and a drizzle of cream.
Hot Mexican Chocolate Sauce:
       1.   Place cream and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan. When it comes to a boil, add chocolate, and stir. Add sugar and almonds. Stir, and set aside. 


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