5 or < | Chocolate Pots de Creme

by Jeanne

          No5

I’m hopeful that Spring will appear soon.  The weather here, not to be a bore, is more than out of the ordinary.  Snow in San Francisco? It’s warmer back in Boston. The presence of Haas avocados and green spring onions  at the market yesterday are quiet hints that it’s around the corner.  Meanwhile, bowls of pho, lamb tagines and rustic pasta dishes will continue to be featured at dinner tables throughout the neighborhoods of San Francisco.

In a quest to build out the recipe repertoire for dishes with 5 ingredients or less I prepared the following for dinner at S&K’s on Sunday night.  Pot de creme is a cooked custard. It’s also the name of the special lidded container that the dessert is cooked and served in.  However you can also use an ovenproof coffee cup or ramekin. It’s very easy to prepare as it can be done days before serving making for an impressive dessert at your next dinner party. Don’t skimp on ingredients–whole milk, high-quality chocolate make a difference. Simple, easy and elegant comfort.

Chocolate Pot de Creme

Based on a recipe from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers

4 servings

3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons sugar

4 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Melt the chocolate with 1/2 cup of the cream in a small pan or bowl poised over simmer water, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat.

Warm the remaining 1/4 cup cream, the milk, and sugar in a small saucepan, stirring just to dissolve the sugar.

In a medium bowl, whisk the yolk, then slowly stir in the warm milk mixture. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the melted chocolate and stir to combine. 

Pour the mixture into four 4-5 ounce ramekins or custard cups and place them at least an inch apart in a baking pan.  Add hot water to come to barely 1/2 inch beneath the lip of the filled cups.  Bake until the custard is just set at the edges but sill quite soft in the center, about 45 minutes.  To check, lift a pot and tilt it, the center should bulge. The eggs will cintue to cook after you pull the custards from the oven and the chocolate will harden as it cols. If the custard is already firm when you first check it, then remove the oven and set the cups in a shallow bath of salted ice water to stop the cooking.  Cool, cover, and refrigerate.  Keeps for several days. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

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