Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sexy Chocolate Pots de Crème

Chocolate pots de crème (pronounced poh-duh-KREM), is an incredibly rich dessert. As such it's a great choice for a Valentine's Day menu to treat your special someone. If you looked at it and though “pot of cream,” you're not far off. Don't serve a ton of this, though. It's so rich in flavor, it's best served in small portions.

It's not a complicated recipe but it does take some time and attention. Like any good romance, that extra time and attention will be worth it. Trust me.

If your planning on serving it as part of a meal for your sweetheart, you'll want to make it first. It has to sit in the refrigerator for several hours to fully set. The day before your special dinner, get started.

No matter how tempted you may be, don't “cheap out” when you buy the ingredients. Get the good stuff. Especially the chocolate. Make your own whipped cream, too. Whatever you do, don't buy the fake “non-dairy” garbage. It will ruin this dessert.


1 cup light cream
4 oz. really good German sweet chocolate
2 teaspoons sugar
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 /2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
whipped cream and strawberries to garnish.


Coarsely chop the chocolate and combine with the light cream and sugar in a small, heavy saucepan. Turn the burner to medium to bring the mixture up to temperature, slowly. Stir continuously with a small whisk until the mixture comes to a full boil and starts thicken. This should take about 10 to 12minutes or so.

Remove from the heat and pour about half of the mixture into the bowl with the beaten egg yolks. You Beat the mixture rapidly with the whisk until well blended and smooth. You really want to get in there quickly so the egg yolks don't cook too fast. Otherwise you'll end up with scrambled eggs and chocolate. (Yuck.)

Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining cream an chocolate. Reduce the heat to low and return the saucepan to the heat. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Don't stop stirring!

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into 4 or 6 ramekins or other small dessert cups. Let the mixture cool, slightly, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator over night.

You can garnish this dish anyway you want, but I prefer whipped cream and strawberries, for that real "Valentines Day" fee. The next day, the day of your special Valentine's Day dinner, make the whipped cream by combining 1 cup of whipping cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 /2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form.

Remove the chilled pots de crème from the refrigerator. Top with a generous tablespoon of whipped cream, and sliced strawberries.

If you want to get fancy, you can “fan” the strawberries. Leave the green stem in place and cut the strawberries lengthwise, but not all the way through. Leave a bit still stuck together on the stem side. Press down slightly on the stem side, and the strawberries will fan out, making a pretty, and tasty, garnish.

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