Dark chocolate plus coffee give classic dessert extra dimensions

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Here's a dessert that's on a different planet from your usual chocolate pudding. Six simple ingredients whisked together and a few minutes' work go into this version of a classic chilled chocolate dessert -- pots de creme.

That translates literally, of course, as pots of cream. Although these rich little custard dishes come in basic vanilla, a favorite variation is chocolate, as in the following version with the extra burst of coffee flavor indicated by the "mocha" in its name.

It's getting common to see their varying cocoa percentages marked on chocolate bars, and now for baking bars, too: note that the bar called for here is a 100 percent cocoa unsweetened bar. You'll need six pots de creme cups or ramekins.

Mocha Pots de Creme

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, split

6 egg yolks

1 1/2 (6 ounces) 100 percent cocoa unsweetened baking bar

1/2 cup very strong prepared espresso coffee

Six 5- to 6-ounce pot de creme cups or ramekins

Whipped cream and raspberry preserve, optional garnish

Bring the cream and sugar to a boil with the vanilla in a saucepan. Whisk yolks in a bowl. Whisk about 1/3 of the boiling cream into the yolks. Return remaining cream to a boil and whisk in yolk mixture. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, another 15 or 20 seconds, until slightly thickened. Strain cream into a bowl and add chocolate. Whisk smooth, whisk in coffee, and pour into molds. Refrigerate until cold. Decorate with garnish of whipped cream and raspberry preserve, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

(Recipe for AP from Ghirardelli Chocolate Co.)

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