Thursday, December 5, 2013

ATK Pots de Creme for 2

(Notes are the same as they are in the full recipe.  Quantities differ, plus maybe a few details for prep.)  From Cooking for Two - 2011

NOTES

1. Cook's Illustrated prefers using 60 percent cocoa bittersweet chocolate (recommended brands:  Ghirardelli, Callebaut, Valrhona, and El Rey), but says 70 percent bittersweet chocolate can also be used.  (We leave out the espresso and we think it's just wonderful.)

2. If using a 70 percent bittersweet chocolate (Lindt, El Rey, and Valrhona), reduce the amount of chocolate--use your best guess.

3. In the past, Jeanne has made the cream-custard mixture in a double boiler--and with broken-up chunks of chocolate, not chopped-fine--and it's turned out just as yummy.  (Maybe the double-boiler reduces the chance of scalding the custard mixture...?)

4. After they've reached room temp, cover finished ramekins tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.  Make whipped cream just before serving.

5. This recipe requires instant-read thermometer; calls for 5-oz ramekins; fine mesh strainer.

6. The recipe says to let the pots de creme cool to room temp and then refrigerate for at least 4 hrs, so make it early in the day or the day before if you want it for dessert at a special occasion.

7. This recipe has a rather low persnickety rating and an extremely high satisfaction rating!

8. Serves 2 (or 3, if using small ramekins).


INGREDIENTS

Custard
2-1/2 oz. of 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate (or fewer oz. of 70% cocoa)
2 large egg yolks
4 tsp sugar
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
(No half-n-half)
1 tsp vanilla

Whipped cream
1/4 cup COLD heavy cream
2 tsp powdered sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla

Garnish
Cocoa powder for dusting
Chocolate shavings for sprinkling


PREPARATION

For
the pots de creme 

1. Chop chocolate fine (broken-up pieces work okay too.  See Note 3 above). Place chocolate in heatproof bowl; set fine-mesh strainer over the bowl and set aside.

2. In medium bowl, whisk yolks, sugar, and salt until combined.

3. Whisk in heavy cream. 

4. Transfer mixture to small saucepan. Cook mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly *with wooden spoon* and scraping bottom of pot with it, until thickened and silky and custard registers 175 to 180 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 3-6 minutes. Do not let custard overcook or simmer.

5. Immediately pour prepared custard through strainer over chocolate and let stand about 5 min to melt chocolate. 

6. Whisk gently until smooth, then whisk in vanilla (and espresso, if using). 

7. Divide mixture evenly among the ramekins. 

8. Gently tap ramekins against counter to remove air bubbles.

9. Cool pots de crème first to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 72 hours. 

10. About 20-30 min before serving, let pots de crème stand at room temperature.


Whipped cream

1. Whisk cream, sugar, and vanilla on low speed until soft peaks form.

2. Dollop each pot de creme with about 2 Tbl whipped cream.  Garnish with cocoa or chocolate shavings, if using any.

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