St. Valentine’s Day Treat

Chocolate Pots de Crème
Cook’s Illustrated

This is a pots de crème recipe that delivers a decadent dessert with a satiny texture and an intense chocolate flavor!  Cooks Illustrated moved the dish out of the oven and took an unconventional approach: cooking the custard on the stove top in a saucepan. No fussy water bath in the oven!  Now everything is done on the stove top and it comes together in a mere 10-15 minutes.  Four hours in the fridge and you have a dessert that everyone will love.

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60%, if using 70% the chocolate needs to be reduced to 8 ounce)
5 lrg egg yolks
5 Tb sugar
1/4 ts salt
1 1/2 c heavy cream
3/4 c half and half
1 Tb vanilla extract
1/2 ts instant espresso powder mixed with 1 Tb water

Place chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl; set a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and set aside.

Whisk yolks, sugar and salt in a medium bowl until combined; whisk in heavy cream and half and half. Transfer mixture to medium saucepan. Cook mixture over medium low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pot with wooden spoon, until thickened and silt and the custard registers 175F – 180F on instant read thermometer. Do not let the custard overcook or simmer.

Immediately pour the custard through strainer over chocolate. Let mixture stand to melt the chocolate, about 5 minutes Whisk gently until smooth, then whisk in the vanilla and espresso.  Divide mixture evenly amount eight 5 ounce ramekins. Gently tap ramekins against counter to remove air bubbles.

Cool pots de creme to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 72 hours. Before serving let pots de creme stand at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes. Serve with homemade whipped cream.

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