Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Chocolate Pot de Crème

Chocolate Pot de Crème (“pot of cream”, en Français) is one of my all-time favorite desserts, chocoholic that I am. Rich – very rich – and ultra-creamy, I think of it as chocolate pudding on steroids. It 

makes an indulgent and festive dessert for a holiday meal, especially when served with a flavored whipped cream (a must to cut the richness of the custard). I like to top it with coconut, peppermint or 

cacao nib whipped cream. For the coconut cream, I just infuse hot cream with unsweetened coconut (about 2/3 cup for 1 ½ cups cream) for 20 minutes or so, then chill and whip with some sugar. For the peppermint cream, just add a bit of peppermint extract along with some sugar

before whipping. For the cacao nib cream, give it the same treatment as for the coconut cream, using ¼ cup nibs for 1 cup cream. For the pot de crème, do use a really good chocolate, such as Guittard or Valrhona – it makes all the difference!

Holiday Chocolate Pot de Crème

Makes 6 servings

1 2/3 cups (386 g) heavy cream
6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet chocolate (62%), finely chopped
5 large egg yolks
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar (preferably organic)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Arrange six 4- or 5-ounce ramekins in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or roasting pan.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a gentle boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla. Whisk about ½ cup of the chocolate mixture into the yolks, then whisk this mixture into the remaining chocolate mixture. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup with a pouring spout. Divide the base among the ramekins. Pour enough hot water into the baking pan so that it comes almost halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the custards are set around the edges and slightly jiggly in the center.
4. Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and cool completely.
5. Refrigerate the custards for at least 4 hours before serving with whipped cream.

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