I'm not quite ready to start posting Spring dessert recipes yet as the strawberries I bought last week from Florida looked beautiful but had no taste whatsoever. I ended up making fresh strawberry jam for it would have broken my heart to just throw them away.
Winter has been long and tough all over the country and I wonder what the Spring crop will bring. Usually here in Georgia by this time we would be enjoying days in the high 60's low 70's but we have been lucky to get up to 50 degrees on some days. For the time being, I guess we will have to sacrifice ourselves and stick to chocolate.
If you enjoy chocolate pots de creme you will adore these. The espresso only enhances the flavor of the chocolate. Adapt the amount of espresso depending on how much coffee flavor you want to come through. I add Bustelo, the brand I use to make Cuban coffee.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
6 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons instant-espresso powder*
6 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
Special equipment: 8 (4- to 5-oz) ramekins or pot de crème cups
Garnish: bittersweet chocolate curls
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 300°F.
Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream, milk, espresso powder (to taste), and a pinch of salt just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until espresso powder is dissolved, then pour over chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in another bowl, then add warm chocolate mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-quart glass measure and cool completely, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Line bottom of a baking pan (large enough to hold ramekins) with a folded kitchen towel and arrange ramekins on towel. Poke several holes in a large sheet of foil with a skewer. Divide custard among ramekins, then bake custards in a hot water bath , pan covered tightly with foil, until custards are set around edges but still slightly wobbly in centers, 30 to 35 minutes
Transfer ramekins to a rack to cool completely, uncovered, about 1 hour. (Custards will set as they cool.) Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.
Pots de crème can chill up to 2 days.
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine