Leave it to proud grandmothers to pass down recipes through generations; leave it to chefs to pass them down through menus. Eric and Bruce Bromberg take the latter approach with Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya’s (187 Orchard Street, 212-466-0404) Chocolate Bruno, a dense chocolate mousse they first encountered when training with chef Bruno Hess from Le Recamier in Paris.
Upon tasting the dessert, the brothers knew they would be bringing an iteration back Stateside — but like any well-traveled recipe, its new geographic coordinates called for some fine tuning. “The recipe we learned in France was not adapting very well with American eggs and butter,” Eric explains. “After much trial and error (and hundreds of eggs) we arrived at something entirely different. Chocolate Bruno was born!” For their version, the brothers stir graham crackers into melted white chocolate before dividing the mixture into individual ramekins and refrigerating for two hours. In the meantime, they slowly fold a frothy egg white and sugar mixture into a combination of melted semi-sweet chocolate, espresso, butter, and egg yolks before spooning this mousse into the ramekins and chilling overnight.
The traditional version has been available at Blue Ribbon since its inception in 1992, and at Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya, the team enhances the dish with green tea ice cream and a final dusting of matcha powder. While the brothers feel that a chocolate dessert is any restaurant’s requisite, they agree that the secret to the recipe’s decade-plus success lies in the details. “You have to ensure you’re starting with good, solid ingredients,” explains Eric. “The chocolate and white chocolate need to be made with cocoa butter. If you don’t see real cocoa butter listed as an ingredient, it’s not real chocolate.”