Chocolate Pot de Creme

"Sometimes meals should begin with dessert," says Christopher Sanchez, chef of Black Eyed Susans Café in Harvey Cedars. "Why go through the evening torturing yourself knowing the chocolate pot de creme you made is waiting in the fridge? Thankfully, this recipe can be easily scaled up or down. Just remember to save room for dinner."

Chocolate pot de crème.
Photo by Michael Howarth.

Makes: Four 4-ounce portions

Ingredients:

Custard:
-1 cup heavy cream
-1/3 cup milk
-3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped fine
-3 egg yolks
-1 tablespoon sugar

Topping:
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1 teaspoon Sambuca liqueur

Preparation:

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the lower third of the oven.

2) In a small saucepan, combine milk and cream and bring to just under a simmer.  Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

3)In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar.  While slowly whisking, add 1/3 of the hot chocolate mixture to the yolks, whisking until combined.  Add remaining hot chocolate and whisk until all ingredients are combined.  Strain chocolate through a fine mesh sieve into a large liquid measurer for easy pouring.

4) Arrange your ramekins in a roasting or baking pan, allowing space in between.  Pour 1/2 cup of custard into each ramekin.  Fill pan with enough boiling water so as to come halfway up the sides of ramekins. Bake until custards are just set in the centers, about 35 minutes.  Smaller portioned pot de cremes will have lesser cooking times.

5) Remove from oven and baking pan.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before covering and transferring them to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

6)For the topping whisk the remaining heavy cream to soft peak stage. Fold in Sambuca.

7) Serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

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