Book tours can sometimes be exhausting, but thanks to writing about food, I was able to have some terrific meals.
In San Francisco, while on the road promoting “Seriously Simple Holidays,” I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental, where I was lucky enough to dine at their fine restaurant, Silks.
I could go on about all of the delicious dishes I sampled, but what really got my attention was a most unusual dessert: a shot glass of ice-cold dark German beer (Kostritzer) placed beside a tiny espresso cup of hot chocolate topped — if you can believe it — with Snickers-laced whipped cream.
This dessert was presented on a small white rectangular platter and was amazing.
How could something this simple be this good? Chef Joel Huff describes his cooking style as fun and playful, complex, yet simple. I think this dessert is a perfect example of that philosophy.
His recipes are incredibly inventive. While many of the dishes on his menu are more complicated, this dessert hits a high note as a simple, innovative finale. The contrast of the frosty, slightly bitter beer and the frothy, bittersweet hot chocolate is wickedly rich. The small portions are just the right size and are immensely satisfying.
The next time you want to do something a little different, consider surprising your guests with this dessert. It is so easy to prepare that it works well for entertaining. You might mention to your guests that scientists suggest that both dark chocolate and dark beer are good for you.
While the Snickers-bar whipped cream is a luscious finish to the rich, creamy hot chocolate, you can skip that and just add a little sweetened cocoa to the whipped cream (see recipe below).
If you are a Snickers addict, however, Mr. Hull’s directions follow.
For the Snickers-bar topping, steep 1 pint of heavy cream with ½ Snickers bar on medium-high heat, then strain to remove all nuts. Chill thoroughly and then whip until soft peaks form. Garnish the hot chocolate with the Snickers cream. (You will have some left over.)
Continue reading at The WashPo with bonus recipe.
Article written by Diane Rossen Worthington is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Holidays.” To contact her, go to www.seriouslysimple.com.