13 Feb2007

pots3

An elegant, relatively easy and make ahead dessert that always makes guests happy are these simple pots de crème. Essentially a chocolate custard, these are smooth, rich and very chocolatey. My sister gave me a 5 kilo block of chocolate last Christmas and I had to pots2come up with several ways to help use it all up (only half of it is gone by now, despite nearly 10 uses so far…)! I made them during the holidays but never got around to writing up a post and decided to save it for Valentine’s. The recipe is from this terrific cookbook, Bouchon, the more informal restaurant of Thomas Keller of The French Laundry fame. I have cooked more recipes from this book than his other beautiful cookbook, The French Laundry Cookbook. Served with some incredibly ripe and juicy red strawberries on a silver tray, dotted with fresh mint leaves and dusted with generous amounts of powdered sugar, this was a sweet way to finish off a huge holiday meal!

To make, combine 2.5 cups of heavy cream, 2/3 cup milk and 5 tablespoons of pots1sugar in a large saucepan and add the seeds of a nice plump vanilla bean and the pod itself. Simmer just enough to dissolve the sugar, turn off the heat and let this all hang out for an hour. Remove the vanilla pod and re-heat the cream mixture until warm. In another bowl, whisk 6 large egg yolks (I used 7 local ones) with ¼ cup sugar until well-mixed. Add some of the warmed milk while whisking the eggs vigorously and add the egg mixture back to the remaining milk and whisk constantly to blend it all together. This is an excellent vanilla custard mixture up to this point; but if you want the chocolate version, chop up about 4-5 ounces of good quality dark chocolate and add to the warm milk until fully dissolved. Strain mixture through a fine sieve and refrigerate for a day, covered. I skipped that last step of refrigeration overnight because I read the recipe too late and went directly on to the next step after the mixture cooled for 1-2 hours in the fridge. Next, place 8 small ramekins or pots de crème molds (these have covers) in a baking pan. Fill the ramekins or molds about 2/3 full with mixture (after stirring) and either cover with ceramic lids or with plastic wrap. Fill the baking pan with warm water about ½ way up the side of the ramekins. Place in oven, on top of a flat baking pan (two pans to insulate the bottoms of the custards) and bake at 300 degrees F for 40-45 minutes until done. Cool on a wire rack and then refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Serve cold. Utterly delicious and worth the effort, if you ask me!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Maria Clara says:

    Your plating and presentation is magnificent as usual has the MM touch. You totally capture the romance of the evening with this pot de cr̬me and strawberries on the side. A great way to end your romantic dinner. There are only few fruits that I like with my chocolate Рstrawberries is one them and the rest are raspberries and bananas.

    Feb 13, 2007 | 2:52 am

     
  2. sha says:

    just marked the page on bouchon too
    after i discovered i still have blocks of organic chocs my sis sent me from UK…

    will let u know how mine turned out

    Feb 13, 2007 | 7:04 am

     
  3. fried-neurons says:

    Yum. I love chocolate pots de creme.

    Have tried it a couple of times with different kinds of chocolate… once with Scharffen Berger and once with Valrhona. I liked the Scharffen Berger better…

    Feb 13, 2007 | 8:50 am

     
  4. rose says:

    MM! Thanks for sharing this with us! I have mounds of dark chocolate (semi-sweet) in my fridge and I don’t know what to do with it… now, you just gave me the perfect dessert to serve my family and friends. =)

    Thanks!

    Feb 13, 2007 | 12:01 pm

     
  5. asunta says:

    MM, instead of baking i heated the milk and poured it into the mixture of chocolates and eggs. the heat cooked the eggs so there wasnt any problem with salmonella. after which the mixture was poured into ramekins and chilled. served with whipped cream.

    Feb 14, 2007 | 10:04 pm

     
  6. alicia says:

    These are great little desserts to serve.. adult chocolate pudding! Seems like a reasonable way to fulfill a guilty pleasure! I like to serve these with berries or candied orange peel and sometimes lengua de gato!

    Feb 15, 2007 | 11:23 am

     
 

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