Thursday, February 11, 2010

Making Something Special: Chocolate Pots de Creme

I’m not sure about you, but I am not really one for a bouquet of red roses and a prix fixe dinner with a glass of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. I’d much rather go out to dinner with my husband any night but Valentine’s Day. So, I try to come up with a meal that’s simple to prepare-- but also special-- for that night we always stay in. Here’s a fabulous dessert for Valentine's Day, or any time you want to woo and impress your guests.

Chocolate Pots de Crème
This recipe, modified slightly from In Style magazine's February 2007 issue, will make 4 generous ramekins. Double the recipe if you’re having a dinner party. Even if there are only two of you, make it as is…because this Monday’s a holiday and it’s just as good on day 2.

1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup coffee liqueur (or Cointreau or your favorite liquer)
3 egg yolks
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
Whipped cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 325. If you don’t have a double boiler, simply rig one by filling a saucepan with some water and then putting a metal bowl, that fits snugly at the rim, inside of the saucepan. (That’s what you’ll melt the chocolate in, so it melts but does not burn.) In the “double boiler”, over medium heat, whisk the heavy cream, chocolate and liqueur until the chocolate has melted. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until combined. Slowly whisk the chocolate into the eggs. Then divide the mixture evenly among 4 ramekins, and place the ramekins in a roasting pan. Now you’ll be making a water bath. Carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan (around the ramekins—not onto them!!). Water should reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake custards until just set around the edges, about 25 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the water and put them in the fridge for about 3 hours or until completely chilled. Serve with whip cream…and a glass of champagne.

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