Chocolate Cremeux? What? When you venture into the world of French pastries and desserts, one thing you will notice is that, the French have a lot of fancy names to their food that you might find intimidating to eat or to make. For example, "Chocolate Cremeux", What the hell is that? That's right. That was also my reaction when I had asked the Head Pastry Chef of Sepia Restaurant in Chicago while she stirred a pot of rich, chocolaty, sauce-like mixture.
"Cremeux" is simply just a French word that means "Creamy", and so in translation 'chocolate cremeux' is "just chocolate creamy". But what is it excatly? Well, the chocolate cremeux is not really a chocolate sauce nor is it a mousse but it's sort of in between both. I guess you can say it's almost like chocolate pudding that you buy in the western grocery stores but this is a lot better, obviously.
To make the chocolate cremeux it's very easy. What you need are your basic ingredients to make a simple creme anglaise, which in translation is 'English cream' sauce. Egg yolks, Sugar, Milk and flavoring, which vanilla is the most common.
When the milk comes to a medium simmer, turn off the heat and stream line in the egg yolk + sugar mixture while quickly whisking. This whisking step is important due to the fact that if you don't whisk the mixture fast enough, the heat from the milk and pot might end up cooking the yolks, and you will end up with some kind of scrambled eggs gone horribly wrong. This process of preventing the egg yolks from cooking is all about temperature control, and in the world of baking/pastries, it's refereed as "Tempering". You will often hear this term, 'tempering' in the use of making a lot of butter emulsified sauces, chocolate art making and many dessert making involving the use of egg yolks.
Then bloom your gelatin over cold water until it's soft and jelly like, add that into your warm chocolate mixture. Using a whisk, start from the center of the bowl and whisk to bind the gelatin, warm creme anglais and partially melted chocolate into an emulsification. Then slowly whisk your way out with bigger circular motion until the over all mixture is fully emulsified and you're done.