Holiday spiced chocolate 'Pots de Crème'

by Scotty Irani
Food Columnist

Oh, my little culinary Christmas elves, you may keep your pies and Figgy Pudding this holiday season, but I’m taking my spiced chocolate Pots de Crème and running like…well like a fat kid that was handed my chocolate Pots de Crème.

Happy Holidays! Now if you’re looking for a great and different dessert idea for your holiday gatherings, or a quiet winter’s night at home with the dogs and Netflix (this really happens in my world) then try my pots de crème.

We’re using the “custard method” of cooking like Crème Brûlée, so they need to bake in a hot water bath. The water distributes the heat slowly and evenly…very important in egg based dishes. If you make it too hot too fast you will end up with chocolate scrambled eggs. Believe me.

Wishing every single one of you a happy, joyous, holiday season filled with family (biological or chosen), friends, love, and of course…great food. Love you guys - and Happy 2017!

Pots de Crème

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups whole milk

8 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

4 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Small (or to taste) pinch Cayenne pepper or ground chipotle pepper (for a light smoke flavor)

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

12 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

Sweetened whipped cream garnished with chopped pistachio and/or cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream with the milk and bring to a slow boil over moderate heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in both chocolates until melted. Next whisk in the cinnamon, salt, cayenne and cardamom.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until light whipped butter color. Gradually whisk in (temper) the hot chocolate milk mixture until smooth and fully combined. Ladle the chocolate custard into twelve, 5-ounce ramekins.

3. Set the ramekins in a large roasting pan or two deep baking pans and transfer to the middle of the oven. Fill the roasting pan with boiling water and bring it a little over halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40-ish minutes, until the puddings are set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Using tongs, transfer the ramekins to a baking sheet and refrigerate until chilled, at least four hours. Top the puddings with whipped cream and finely chopped pistachio/cinnamon before serving.

Copyright 2016 The Gayly - 12/18/2016 @ 11:20 a.m.