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Sunday, February 14, 2010

hot chocolate

Success! After a failed attempt at Emeril's white chocolate pots de creme, I went in search of a new, better recipe written by someone who can complete a sentence coherently and whose catch phrase is an actual phrase, not a single syllable. (So I'm not an Emeril fan. His recipe didn't work.)

Anyway, I googled pots de creme and found a recipe that I liked. Then, I fiddled with it. What resulted was a delicious, rich, make-sink-to-the-bottom-of-the-pool-if-you-don't-wait-at-least-an-hour-or-two dessert.

Hot and sweet is a great combination. (That's why I married Kaytie!) Here, you get the sweet bitterness of dark chocolate, followed by the heat from the cayenne. Plus, you get to feel like Montezuma. If, however, you are a spice weenie, you can leave out the cayenne.

Aztec Pots de Creme
(makes 8)

1 1/3 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 large egg yolks
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 300.

Dump the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. I used chocolate chips, but if you have a large chunk, chop it into small chunks.

In another bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar, cayenne, and a pinch of salt.

Combine the cream, milk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Scald the mixture. (Heat over medium high heat until little bubbles form around the edge. Don't bring it all the way to a boil, though.)

Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate, and whisk until well-combined.

Start whisking the yolks, and continue to whisk as you slowly stream in the chocolate. (This is where a buddy might come in handy.)

Pour the mixture through a strainer to remove any chunks of egg that might have formed. (They shouldn't, if you whisk like mad and pour slowly.) Let this sit for 15 minutes.

Get a big baking pan that can hold eight 6-oz creme brulee ramekins and that has sides at least an inch or two high. A turkey-roasting pan worked for me. Line the bottom of the pan with a dish towel.

Divide the chocolate mixture evenly among the eight ramekins. Set them in the pan, on the dish towel. Move the big pan to the middle rack of your oven. Using hot tap water, fill the roasting pan with water so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the roasting pan with foil, and poke a couple holes in the foil.

Bake 30-35 minutes, until the edges are set and the centers wobble just a little when you jiggle each ramekin.

Remove the ramekins from the water bath, and cool them on a rack for an hour. Finish cooling them in the fridge for at least three more hours.

Serve with florentine cookies, and garnish with Kahlua whipped cream.

Kahlua Whipped Cream

2 Tbs Splenda (or powdered sugar would probably work)
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbs Kahlua

Put your bowl and beater in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Put the cream and Splenda in the bowl, and whip like mad. You can use a whisk, but an electric mixer is so much easier.

When you've gotten the consistency you desire, gently fold in the Kahlua.

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