This. Make it. Now.

June 10, 2013

NOTE: Technology is defeating me tonight. This photo, while borrowed from Google Images, is very similar, down to the size and style of ramekin, to the one I was going to take and post tonight. However, the camera Is Not Cooperating. But I do not wish you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em to have to wait until I figure out what its issue may be to experience the delectable goodness that is this recipe. So, with thanks to Google Images, here you have it.

Similar to above illustration.

Similar to above illustration.

This photo SO does not do this delectable dessert justice.

Partially, that would be because this is Day 2 after this sweetie was made, his siblings having been consumed with great gusto yesterday. Additionally, it would be because his siblings were eaten topped with sweetened whipped cream, and while I love all y’all, I wasn’t going to whip cream just so you could have a photo of this baby in the near-intended state. Just imagine him with a dollop of whipped cream atop his shiny surface.

Back to him later. I had some friends over for dinner yesterday, and I wanted to do a nice, but easy, make-it-in-advance, dessert. I looked at two or three things, but kept coming back to chocolate and eventually, to the Pioneer Woman’s chocolate pots de creme.

I looked at several pots de creme recipes, and there are two basic kinds. One is much like a  pudding that you mix up and bake in a bain-marie. (That’s a pan with water in it, surrounding the dish/dishes in which you have your pudding, but I wanted to sound all impressive and use the French term.) The other one, you make in the blender, pour in dishes, and chill in the refrigerator.

I like easy.  So I opted for the second. My recipe, based loosely on the PW’s:

  • 1 12-oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiardelli. Had I remembered to go to the Culinary District the day before, I’d have gotten some good Callebaut chocolate, but I did not, and Ghiardelli was the best Kroger had.
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 Bailey’s Irish Cream or other liqueur of your choice
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1 cup heavy cream

If you have a fairly powerful blender, do this in the blender. Otherwise, I’d go for the FoPro. First, chop up the chocolate chips until they’re a coarse powder. Crack the eggs into the blender and add the Bailey’s. Blend everything until it’s pretty smooth.

Meanwhile, heat the cream and coffee in a saucepan until it’s scalding but not boiling. With the blender running and the plug removed from the lid, pour the hot coffee/cream mixture into the blender and blend until completely combined and smooth.

Pour into individual ramekins, cover individually with foil or plastic wrap, and cool. The hot liquid “cooks” the eggs to the point the custards firm up, and you don’t have to be concerned about raw eggs, if you were inclined to be so.

You could also use it in a tart shell, or a baking dish; be aware, though, that it won’t firm up enough to really hold its shape as a cut piece of pie. It would lovely, though, in little individual tart shells. I planned to put it in shells made from coconut macaroon dough baked in a ramekin, and discovered after getting BACK from the grocery that I had no coconut.

This made four small dessert (4 oz, I guess) ramekins, and two big (8-oz) ramekins. No reason you couldn’t cut it in half for four. But why? You KNOW you want that leftover pots de creme for a luxurious treat the next day.

I whipped a half-cup of cream with 2 tbsp sugar for a topping. Would have been enough topping for all of them, even if they’d all been the four-ouncers. If I’d had some fresh strawberries or raspberries, those would have been exceptional. Would also be good to put fresh raspberries or strawberries in the ramekins and pour the chocolate over them.

I also, FWIW, saw recipes suggesting to do this with a can of coconut milk, heated to scalding, and foregoing the coffee. I suspect almond milk would serve the same purpose.

Dinner leading up to this wasn’t half bad, either. I’d sous vided some pork chops, then seared them off and topped them with a sauce made of peaches and ancho chile powder. Cooked some green peas I’d picked up at the Farmers Market and tossed them with butter and tarragon. (I was, btw, disappointed with them; they had been picked and shelled way too long, and were dry. Won’t buy them from that vendor again.). And I’d bought some heirloom squash that looked like zucchini, but were fatter and yellow. I cut them in half, scooped out the flesh, mixed it with some parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, put it back in the shells, topped it with a mixture of parm and bacon bits, and broiled it.

Tonight is Indian food at Park Island, followed by piano performances via the Hot Springs Music Festival. A good time in the Spa City. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em come on down and enjoy!

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