With winter well and truly upon us, there is nothing better than coming home and warming up with a bowl of home-made soup.
It is the perfect tonic for this dreich Scottish weather and so versatile that, regardless of your culinary preferences, you should be able to find at least one flavour that you think is worth walking home in the rain for.
However, for a select few, soup is a bit of a strange dish that falls between the culinary cracks. I know at least one person who used to complain about being served it for dinner because he was not sure if it was supposed to be a meal or a drink!
With this in mind, and given my partialness for soup at this time of year, I take to the internet to find out if it is possible to create a hot fruity version of this tasty dish that can be served as a dessert.
I soon find a fantastic recipe that combines three of my favourite sweet treats; dark chocolate, fruit and crème anglaise, and get to work to see if I can turn my winter dream of having a two course soup dinner into a reality!
First, I have to make a crème anglaise. If you would rather skip this stage, it is possible to substitute the creme anglaise for a tin of custard.
I begin by mixing sugar and milk together in a pan over a low heat before adding a small amount of the mixture to the eggs. I then add the eggs to the pan, cook the mixture until it thickens and allow it to cool in the fridge.
This is my first time making crème anglaise and, thankfully, it seems to have worked. Feeling rather pleased with myself, I now turn my attention to the main components of the soup, the chocolate sauce and the fruit.
After melting the chocolate, butter, milk and cream together in the microwave, I divide the mixture between six bowls and then top them off with a variety of fruits, including strawberries, blueberries and peaches, a hefty helping of crème anglaise and brown sugar, before placing the dishes under the grill to caramelise the sugar.
The finished soup looks and tastes fantastic, with all of the elements working together to create a sweet, warming and satisfying dish.
So there you have it, it is possible to turn dinner into dessert... who knew!
If you would like to try making hot fruit and dark chocolate soup follow the recipe below.
700g of fruit (you can use whatever fruits you like)
150g of dark chocolate
40ml of milk
40ml of cream
2 tablespoons of butter
45g of brown sugar
2 cups of milk
Half a tablespoon of vanilla
90g of granulated sugar
1 Heat the milk and granulated sugar in a pan over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves
2 Take the pan off of the heat and add a small amount of the mixture to the eggs
3 Add the eggs to the pan and cook the mixture on a medium heat, stirring constantly until it becomes thick enough to coat a metal spoon
4 Take the crème anglaise off of the heat and stir in the vanilla
5 Cool the crème anglaise at room temperature, stirring several times, and then transfer it to a bowl, cover it in cling film and put it in the fridge
6 Melt the dark chocolate, cream, milk and butter in the microwave, stirring regularly until it thickens
7 Divide the chocolate amongst six bowls
8 Divide the fruit amongst the bowls and top with the crème anglaise and brown sugar
9 Put the bowls under the grill for 5-8 minutes to allow the sugar to caramelise
If you have got a weird recipe that you would like me to try email me. Alternatively, if you have tried making this recipe, why not let me know how you got on by leaving a comment in the box below.