Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who's de What?

Here's one thing in our fridge that we'll have no problem eating up:

Chocolate Blood Orange Pots de Creme (adapted from a Cook's Illustrated recipe) that I made for my beautiful Mommy's birthday this weekend. These seem so fancy (especially when you put them in cute mismatched tea cups like this) but they really are simple and very versatile. I used chocolate and blood orange for flavorings, but you could easily use vanilla and lavender or any number of other combinations.

Here what you need:
8 oz of bittersweet chocolate (I used 75% but Cook's Illustrated recommends 1o oz of 60% - ah well)
5 egg yolks
5 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups half and half (didn't have this so used an additional 1/2 cup cream and 1/4 cup 1% milk)
1 vanilla bean
Zest from one orange, peeled into strips with a peeler not a zester
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
More heavy cream for whipping

Here's what I did:
Finely chop chocolate and set aside in a large bowl.

Whisk together egg yolks and sugar until combined, then whisk in heavy cream and half and half. Pour into saucepan and add vanilla bean split and scraped of its seeds (I added the pod too) and zest from the orange. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat while mixture thickens, about 8-12 minutes or until it reaches 175 degrees. It shouldn't ever come to a boil or even a simmer.

Pour the mixture, through a strainer, over the chocolate and let sit for about five minutes until the chocolate melts. Add the espresso powder dissolved in water (great to bring out the chocolate flavor) and whisk until combined. If you don't have a vanilla bean, now would be a good time to add vanilla extract instead. Fill tea cups (or ramekins) with chocolate mixture. We got 8 tea cups full out of this. Let sit until the chocolate comes to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and eat. Chocolate and orange is one of my favorite combinations and these were full of orange flavor without being overpowering. You will both enjoy and impress with these lovelies.

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