Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chocolate Pots de Creme - Tasty Tuesday!

Today is the first day back to school for the wee ones.  So the first thing I did after the bus picked them up (21 minutes late)?  I made chocolate pots de creme.  No, this isn't because I'm going to spoil myself - although the egg white omelet with smoked salmon and goat cheese that I'm going to make myself for lunch shortly might make you think otherwise - but because a friend has a birthday tomorrow.

And she's never had pots de creme before.

Well, ok, really this came about because when I was at her house on Sunday, she loaded me down with organic milk and cream from her neighbor that was about to go bad, and she wasn't going to use it.  Her only request was that if I made whipped cream or something yummy with it, that I allow her a taste.  Since her birthday is tomorrow, I promised to make her something yummy.  After throwing out a few suggestions, I mentioned the pots de creme, and she got a blank look on her face.

After explaining that it's a delicious yummy French custard, she was sold.  She didn't even let me finish my explanation.  So tomorrow, she's coming over, and we're going to eat our pots de creme.  That's why I put them in my extra large ramekins (what, you don't have three sizes of ramekins at home?) and only made a half recipe, which gave me four pots de creme.  So I can pretend like I'm spoiling my husband by surprising him with some tonight, too.   I'll just have to wait until the wee ones are in bed, as I know Mister Man - and he'd want his own, but I'm not sharing!

Easy custard cooked in ramekins

Chocolate Pots de Creme

4 c heavy cream
7 egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
1 T vanilla bean paste (my new favorite thing ever, but use a 1:1 replacement of vanilla extract if you don't have any... yet)
1 t espresso or java extract
1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the cream into a heavy pot and scald it - heat it over medium until it starts to steam and a light skin forms atop.  You don't want to burn it, so watch this.  While you're doing that, chop your chocolate and add it to another heavy pot and heat it on low until it melts.

Cream is not boiling, just little bubbles and steam

At the same time, whisk the egg yolks in another bowl.  Add the sugar, espresso, and vanilla and whisk until light and fluffy.  Note that it will be brown and not your usually light yellow.

When the chocolate is melted and cream scalded, pour the cream slowly into the chocolate.  Add a little cream and stir until it's incorporated and continue to add the cream until it's all in the chocolate.  This is one time where you don't want to scrape the bottom of the pan.  If there is any burned cream, that's where it will be.  Yuck.

Now you'll do the same to the eggs to temper them.  Using a measuring cup, add a little of the chocolate cream mixture to the eggs while whisking to ensure the eggs don't scramble.  Add a half cup or so in total, which will bring the eggs up to temperature.  At this point, you flip.  While whisking, pour the eggs into the chocolate cream and keep whisking until they're fully incorporated.

Pour hot liquid slowly into eggs while whisking

Place your ramekins into a baking dish.  Using that same measuring cup (yay, no extra mess), scoop out the pots de creme mixture evenly into the ramekins.

Use a measuring cup to get liquids into the ramekins

Place the baking dish into the oven, and using a liquid measuring cup, pour water around the ramekins - careful not to get any in - until the water is about two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins.

The pots de creme need a water bath about two-thirds up the ramekins

Bake the pots de creme at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes (or a little longer if you make them extra big like I did).  When they are set on top but still jiggly in the middle, they are done.  Let them cool, then place in the fridge until you're ready to enjoy them.  All I'm missing is a little vanilla bean whipped cream and some chocolate shavings.

Enjoy this and more with Blessed With Grace and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.


Unknown August 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM  

I just made this a couple of weeks ago! Oh so delicious. Enjoy!

Liz@thisfullhouse August 21, 2012 at 2:17 PM  

Yum... I love it when stuff is just a little jiggly in the middle ;)

Tara R. August 21, 2012 at 3:37 PM  

These look decadent. I may make some and hide them from the menfolk.

Unknown August 21, 2012 at 4:27 PM  

OH HELLO!! these look great :)

Michelle August 22, 2012 at 8:14 PM  

Polish Mama - It is so delicious. And trust me, I did enjoy it. So did my friend :)

Liz - Me, too. Jiggly in the middle is a sign of excellence, isn't it?

Tara - They are SO decadent. I usually make them smaller because they're so rich, but it was her birthday, so....

Laura - Ummm YES. Beyond awesome.

Melisa Wells August 24, 2012 at 7:11 AM  

I have also never enjoyed this before, and my birthday is Nov 6. Just sayin. :)

Michelle August 24, 2012 at 9:42 AM  

Melisa - I have it on my calendar to make you some on November 5. So what's the plan to celebrate your birthday? :)

Unknown August 24, 2012 at 9:49 AM  

My Birthday is October 8th and it's a biggie...

melissa August 24, 2012 at 11:24 AM  

mouth. watering.

Michelle August 28, 2012 at 10:32 AM  

Rita - So I need to add that to my calendar, too? You come see me, and I'll have some made for you!

Melissa - Ohhh but it is. My friend broke her diet for these, and she's hating me now. Except really not ;)

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