Friday, September 5, 2014
It is still hot here in Portland. This summer has been ridiculous and it looks like it's sticking around for a bit longer. Sigh. So while I'm waiting for cooler weather, here's a favorite treat!
I love baking, but in the summer it’s just too hot sometimes. That’s when I rely on no-cook recipes, like this one, to get my dessert fix. These pots de crème are so dreamy, creamy, heavenly. And easy.
It’s also ridiculously versatile. I’ve given the basic recipe here, but there are a million ways to vary the flavor. A summery hint of coconut couldn’t go amiss. Orange, raspberry, or even hazelnut extract or liqueur. A splash of peppermint extract would make it perfect for Christmastime. I could go on, but I’ll let you come up with some ideas of your own.
Just don’t tell anyone how simple they were. A magician never reveals his tricks. :D
For best results, be sure that the eggs are at room temperature. If you need to bring refrigerated eggs up to temperature quickly, place them in a bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let sit for 5 minutes or so. Also, be sure that your liquid is HOT. Don’t let it cool much before adding it as directed.
Super Simple Pots de Créme
12 oz. bittersweet to dark chocolate, chopped (chocolate chips work great!)
4 eggs, at room temperature***
2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 c. HOT liquid -- water, milk, cream, coconut milk (that's what I used for the ones pictured here) If you're a coffee drinker, hot coffee works, too.
1 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Place chocolate, eggs, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of your blender or food processor.
Pulse together several times to break up the chocolate bits and incorporate the eggs a bit.
Then turn on the blender / food processor.
Remove the small section from the center of the lid, allowing you to stream in the hot liquid. Stream it in slowly and steadily.
The heat will melt the chocolate and the mixture will become smooth, as well as rise and expand some. Keep running the blender until the mixture is smooth (if it's not already).
Divide mixture among serving dishes. I like to do 4 ramekins, but it is extremely rich and could make a satisfying dessert in a shot glass or other small vessel.
Chill in refrigerator until cooled through and set.
While it's chilling, whip the cream together with powdered sugar and vanilla to stiff peaks.
***A word about raw eggs: This recipe has them. The hot liquid used will gently cook the eggs to some extent, but certainly not completely. This does not bother me. I'm a committed raw brownie batter/cookie dough snitcher and it's never made me sick. Some locations have pasteurized eggs available for purchase. If you take issue with eating raw eggs, I recommend that you see if you can find some -- or look for a classic version of this recipe, which will likely include a double boiler, among other complications. To me, the simplicity and amazing result more than outweigh the risk.