Chocolate Espresso Pots of Crème
Decadent little pots of chocolate yumSo simple and sooo delicious! These little pots will satisfy the yearnings of the most ardent chocoholic. Based on a February 2004 Gourmet recipe, I jazz them up a bit with an espresso crème fraîche topping and a plump raspberry. If you want to get really fancy, bake them in oven proof coffee cups to take the espresso theme a little further.
Don't forget the crème fraîche toppingThe crème fraîche topping really gives them pizazz, and it takes just a couple minutes to make. Better yet, learn how easy it is to make crème fraîche and you will never buy it again. You just need to plan a day in advance to allow the crème fraîche to thicken.
- Use a high quality chocolate. Poor quality chocolate will not get the results you want. I like Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate with 70% cacao.
- Medaflia D'Oro instant espresso coffee powder provides a great coffee flavor. If you really love coffee, you can add a bit more espresso.
- If you are not an espresso fan, feel free to use other flavorings: a couple tablespoons of Grand Marnier or Chambord, or a bit of cinnamon will do nicely. Or be a purist and just enjoy the chocolate.
- Don't worry about putting kitchen towels in the pan while the pots of crème cook. Just make sure the towels are fully submerged under the water. The towels provide insulation so the bottom of the custard does not cook too fast. This step is important so that you get a smooth even custard.
- You will need 12 half cup oven-proof ramekins.
- Don't over cook. If your oven is properly calibrated 30 minutes is perfect. The pots will still be very jiggly and almost liquidy when you remove the pots from the oven.
- You need at least two hours for the creme pots to setup in the fridge. You can make them 48 hours in advance.
Chocolate espresso pots of crème
Yield 12 servings
These little pots of expresso flavored chocolate will satisfy the yearnings of the most ardent chocoholic. I top them off with a little expresso creme fraiche and a plump raspberry.
- 1 9.7 ounce bar Scharffen Berger 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 t instant espresso powder, divided
- Two pinch of salt, divided
- 9 large egg yolks
- 3 T sugar plus 1 t
- 1 cup creme fraische
- 12 plump raspberries or 12 chocolate covered coffee beans
- Set an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Put cream, milk, 1.5 t espresso powder and one pinch of salt in a medium sized pot. Stir mixture over a medium flame until the mixture just begins to boil and all the espresso powder is dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Put chopped chocolate in a medium-sized bowl and pour cream combination over chocolate, stirring until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and uniform.
- In a second bowl, using a hand whisk combine the egg yolks, sugar, and second pinch of salt. Slowly whisk in the chocolate and cream mixture to the egg combination. It is important that you add the hot chocolate slowly so you don't cook the eggs.
- Pour chocolate custard into 12 ramekins. Line two baking pans with terry cloth towels. Place 6 ramekins in each baking pan. Fill the pan with hot water. Water level should be about 1/2 " to 3/4" from the top.
- Cover the pans tightly with tin foil. Using a wooden skewer, poke holes around the pots to allow the steam to vent. Carefully place pans in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Creme pots will still be jiggly when you take them out.
- Keep the pans covered and let them cool for one hour. Remove pots, cover with plastic and put in the fridge for a minimum of two hours before serving.
- Mix 1 cup creme fraiche with 1 t sugar and 1/2 t espresso powder. Put mixture in fridge while creme pots are cooling. Before serving place a spoonful of the creme fraiche mixture in the middle of each creme pot and top with a raspberry or chocolate covered coffee bean.