Friday, September 14, 2012

Chocolate Espresso Pot de Creme

Pot de creme.  It is just fun to say.  For those non-francophones, you pronounce it po-duh-krem.  But you have to say that last part like you are making fun of the French.  Which you are.  Don't worry.  Every one does.  Say it out loud a few times.  Pot de creme.  Pot de creme.  Pot de creme.  Sounds all wordly and stuff.  This dessert is amazingly simple and you are apt to impress the in-laws with this one.

It contains precious few ingredients and is ready for the fridge in a flash.

Now a few words of advice.  I didn't want an overly sweet dessert so I doubled this recipe and only used 1/3 cup of sugar. This really allowed the bittersweet nature of the chocolate to shine. But I get that a lot of people don't enjoy bitter desserts as much as I do, so feel free to add a little more sugar to taste.

What you'll need:

4 oz. dark chocolate (bittersweet)
1/3  to 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
espresso powder or instant coffee crystals
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Use good chocolate.  I used Giardelli's 70% cacao.  Whoops, make that 60%.


Use your kitchen knife to shave the chocolate thin.  Put heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and heat over low to medium heat until just below the boiling point.  I actually used a double-boiler system.  Do not walk away from this pan.  If you don't stir the cream constantly, it will begin to form curds in the bottom and that is definitely what you don't want in this smooth, rich dessert.  Once you get it to temperature, remove from heat and pour over the shaved chocolate.  Wait one minute.  Sing Yankee Doodle.  Practice your yodeling.  Lick the chocolate shavings off the cutting board like I did.  After one minute, whisk the chocolate and cream until you get the smoothest, richest liquid imaginable.  Pour into small cups or mugs.  I used cordial glasses, but you could also use espresso cups.  If you get air bubbles in your dessert cups, raise the cup up a few centimeters and drop it back gently to the counter.  The air bubbles will be forced to the top and pop leaving you with a perfectly smooth, dessert that looks (and tastes!) spectacular.

Makes four 2-3 ounce servings.  Refrigerate 3-5 hours.  (Mine took about 2 hours to chill.)

The consistency when finished is like a soft fudge.  If you only have a slightly thickened pudding texture, put it back in the fridge for another few hours.  You can top this with whipped cream, but it is excellent as is.  I warn you.  This is 90 kinds of delicious.  It is pure chocolate decadence.

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