The quality of the chocolate you use for this is critical to the flavour of the finished soup. We use Valrhonas 66% cocoa solids.
Preheat the oven to 100°C/gas ¼.
In a gently warmed bain-marie (or a bowl set over – but not touching – gently simmering water), heat the chocolate and butter until just melted. Add the egg yolks and combine lightly.
In separate bowls, lightly whip the cream to ribbon stage and beat the egg whites until standing in soft peaks, being careful not to over-beat. Fold these into the chocolate mixture and immediately transfer to 4–6 individual ovenproof serving bowls.
Bake for 9 minutes.
Allow to stand for a minute or so after removing from the oven. Then sprinkle with icing sugar, scatter with the chopped almonds and top with a spoonful of crème fraîche.
© 2008 Anthony Demetre. All rights reserved.