Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chocolate Pots de Creme


I have a four New Years Resolutions.
1. Exercise 5 times per week.
2. Learn about wine.
3. Divest myself of useless possessions.
4. Improve my baking/pastry skills.

1. I will be shocked if I accomplish this. I'll settle for four times a week. Anything less and I'll consider it a failure.
2. This has been easy so far.
Case of wine from Kermit Lynch.

Educational resources.

In addition, I've also created a MS Word document which will serve as the base document for my wine tasting notes. You can click here to take a look. I'm also looking to start an informal wine tasting group...maybe 3 or 4 like-minded individuals who want to get together to drink and educate ourselves. So, uhh, if you're in the Bay Area and reading this, lemme know.
3. This has also been going well. I went through my bookcase and just started grabbing books that I'd never really used. Put up a post on Craigslist and people have been coming over to root through these books. I hope to do something similar with my clothes/shoes...however, i will probably just give those to Goodwill...seems less embarrassing than having people come over, sort through my used clothes and see how unfashionable I am.
4. I am going to try to bake or make dessert once a week. This should help me overcome my fear of pastry. In addition, most ladies love chocolate, right? I figure these posts will help my single, male readers. Umm, and myself. Yah, no reason to lie.


So here we go. Chocolate pots de creme. This recipe is pulled straight out of Tartine. I am making a half-recipe.

Obligatory picture of the ingredients, easy...only five....:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Closeup of the chocolate:
Chocovic is the company...it's based in Spain. Their chocolate bars are based on single-origin cocoa beans, that is, all the beans were grown in one region of the world. Ocumare is from Venezuela. This chocolate is a PHENOMENAL deal. $2/bar at Trader Joe's. Give it a try.

Chop the chocolate and set aside. This represents one 2.82 oz. (80 gram) bar of bittersweet chocolate:
Set up a cooking contraption...you want a baking dish which is deep enough for the sides of 6 oz ramekins to be 3/4 submerged. Fill the baking dish half-way up with boiling water (displacement should bring the water level up to the desired 3/4 level) and place in the oven. Make sure to remove the ramekins before you place the dish in the oven. Here's what I used:
Set-up a double boiler. This is easy. Just fill a pot with some water, a few inches worth, and place a mixing bowl on top. Pot with water:
Mixing bowl in the pot. The point is to heat up the water in the pot and use gentle steam heat to melt the chocolate.
Add the chopped chocolate . Let it melt...stir a few times if you need to. Set aside the melted chocolate.
Heat up 11 oz of heavy whipping cream (a little under a cup and a half), a pinch of salt and 1.5 tablespoons of sugar. Bring it to just under the boil.
Incorporate the hot cream with the melted chocolate. Mix well and set aside:
Take four eggs and separate the egg yolks from the whites. Place in a bowl and mix well. Bit by bit, add the hot milk/chocolate mixture into the eggs. Mix it well. At this point, I strained the mixture to make sure there weren't any weird chunks or anything in there.

Ladle the strained chocolate/cream/egg mixture into your ramekins. Fill them 80% full. Take the ramekins and place them into the water filled baking dish which should already be in the oven.
Cook. Recipe says to cook for 20-25 minutes. For me, it was about 22 minutes. The recipe says that you're looking for the edges to look firm and set but the middle to still be a bit jiggly. The pots de creme will continue to cook while out of the oven and will set as they cool. If you cook them until they're firm, they'll be overcooked.

At this point, pull the ramekins out of the oven/water and set aside to cool:
Serve at room temperature or chill in the fridge. Chilling the pots de creme gives you a dramatically different texture from room temperature pots de creme. I'm not sure which I prefer...they're both good, just different.

If you like, serve with softly whipped cream.
These things are really delicious. However, they're also REALLY rich. Very decadent. Good chocolate flavor. Very creamy. Great texture. Would make again.

Time- Took me a stress filled 40 minutes...20 minutes of actual work, 20 for cooking This recipe is actually really easy, I just needed to do a better job of visualizing the recipe. I should have taken more time when I did the recipe read-through.

Food cost---you might have noticed that I started with four ramekins but ended up yielding only three...not sure what happened.
Chocolate- $2 bucks
Cream- $2 bucks
Eggs- $0.75
Incidentals- $0.03
Total- $4.78/ $1.60 per ramekin. Totally worth it.

Gentlemen, start practicing for Valentine's Day.

1 comment:

Taku said...

Hey, what's up Mike!! It's Taku from the philosopy class. Damn, your blog is just like a cooking book. We've gotta hang out man!! Make Katsudon for me. I'll pay for it!! Ok, I'll see you next Wednesday.