More difficult to pronounce than to make, Bistro Papillon’s Ludovic Geyer shares a classic recipe, in English: chocolate moelleux with prunes in Armagnac, vanilla crème Anglaise and candied grilled almonds.

Word to the wise: start prepping your prunes early.

Pruneaux à l’Armagnac

Ingredients:

500g dried prunes
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 lemon
1 vanilla pod
1 bottle of good Armagnac
fresh mint
candied almonds

Method

*Prunes should sit in the Armagnac for at least 2 weeks, so begin this part of the recipe before you want to make the full dessert.

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water and heat until boiling. Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to peel strips of skin from the lemon, adding them to the pot, along with the vanilla bean, sliced in half.

Bring the pot to a boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Place the prunes in a medium bowl and pour the boiling liquid over it, covering the prunes. Let the mixture steep for 12 hours.

When ready, remove the lemon peel and vanilla pod and spoon the prunes into a large mason jar. Pour the Armagnac into the remaining liquid (after prunes have been removed) in the bowl and mix well.

Pour the contents of the bowl through a sieve into the mason jar. Close the jar tightly and let stand for at least two weeks, but for no longer than 1 month.

Moelleux au chocolat

Ingredients:

320g dark chocolate (minimum 62% cacao)
300g butter
110g sugar
6 egg yolks
20 millilitres brandy
35g sifted flour

Method:

Melt the chocolate and butter together, and then whisk the brandy into the bowl. Whisk the sugar into the egg yolk until pale and thick, before adding the flour. One-third at a time, add the chocolate mixture into the other, stirring constantly.

Pour the mixture into individual, 20-centilitre stainless steel or pyrex-lined ramekins. Cook at 150°C for 30 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the mould.

Vanilla crème Anglaise

Ingredients:

50 ml milk
50 ml thickened cream
8 egg yolks
150g sugar
1 vanilla pod

Method:

Start by splitting the vanilla pod and scraping out seeds. Bring the milk and cream to a simmer in a pot with the empty vanilla pod and seeds. Whisk the sugar into the egg-yolk until pale and thick. Pour one-third of the hot milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly.

Then pour the egg-yolk mixture back into the pan and place over medium heat. Continue to gently stir constantly with a wooden spoon, using a figure-eight movement until the mixture begins to thicken. The cream will be ready when it reaches 80°C.

Pour crème Anglaise into a bowl and place it within a larger bowl full halfway with iced water to cool it. Once cooled, strain through a sieve into a serving pot of your choice.

To serve:
Place the chocolate moelleux on a serving plate, pouring vanilla crème Anglaise lightly over the top and garnish with prunes, a bit of the Armagnac liquid, fresh mint and candied almonds.

This piece was produced in partnership with the new CONNOISSEUR Empire Collection, which includes the ‘King Louis XIV’ ice cream with French vanilla, chocolate flakes and Armagnac.

View our entire Empire flavour exploration here.