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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kahluá Dark Chocolate Pot de Créme
Today I made a chocolate treat for me. I might be enticed to share it, and I might not. : }

This last week my husband said that he absolutely loved butterscotch pudding. Okay, I like butterscotch as well, so I made 8 ramekins worth. They were "curing" in the fridge in the garage. "Were" of course being the key word. 
I used the basic recipe for a butterscotch pie, only I didn't want to make any crust, so I just made the pudding, with just a hint of an upgrade in thickeners. It came out perfect. I automatically earmarked in my head 4 of the 8 little ramekins for the family across the way from us.

I went out to run errands while the "curing" time was elapsing. Or so I thought. I almost texted Greg while I was in the parking lot at Sprouts, to tell him to NOT eat any as they needed whipped cream and I needed photos. But, I thought to myself that I would be home soon and not to worry about it. Right. 

One can always tell when the gas prices are rising, by the hideous lines at the Costco gas line up. I was in line for at least 30 minutes, which I decided wasn't really that bad. 
I texted my adorable husband that I was in line and still had two errands after that. No problem, he replied. And then his next text took an alarming twist. 
He said next, "It was totally (yes dude(s), we live in Southern California) awesome and you are the greatest, I love you." 
I hesitantly replied "What was?" 
His, "Think about it and it'll come to you, I guarantee it." (accompanied with a smiley face wearing shades.)
Me, (Let me guess. You ate the pudding?" 
Him, "DUH!" 
So I didn't get home for at least another hour and a half, hoping above all hopes that there were a couple left. When I went into the house, I said hello and went immediately to the fridge in the kitchen where I found the entire pan, or what was left. I immediately took out four, called Michelle to check if they were home, they were, and ran them across the street! She was so happy, telling me that this was a favorite flavor of her little family. We talked for a few minutes and I went back home.

Now. If I made 8 ramekins, (I despise math-word problems!) and took four to Michelle, that should have left 4 for home. Right? Yah! Apparently my math and Gregory's math don't add up to the same answer, or logic for that matter. If he and Chris each ate one, there should be two left. Follow me? But, No. I asked why there was only one left, that there should be two. Becauseeeeeeee...my husband said, he ate two.
The problem here is that he's just a big kid. I explained what my outline had been for the distribution of said ramekins. One for Chris. One for Greg. And one for me. Leaving one left, and we share it. 
"What?!" he said. I asked where the missing one was, (yes, I know where it went, but we love acting these little scenarios out. Makes things more interesting. And fun.)
His last reply was that they were so awesome that he just had to eat another one, and in fact, he'd had a terrible time just eating two. Truly, ladies and gentlemen, it was a tussle he almost lost, but knew I would entirely blow a gasket! Well, at least that stopped him! He was then banned from the kitchen (yeah, right!) I took the last one and hid it! This is what desperation turns me into - a secret food hoarder!
After dinner, we sat down to watch some show and were both falling asleep so we went to bed. I took the last desperate ramekin and set it on my bedside table, I didn't even whip any cream. And I only took one spoon. "Revenge" came on and I silently and very slowly ate the last one. And I was mean and didn't even OFFER him a bite. He pretended that he didn't know I was eating it. Ha! Really, I would have shared if he asked, but I think he thought I might clunk it over his head, so he didn't ask.
And so then at the end of that scenario - I still didn't get any blasted photos!

So. Today I made a chocolate treat for me. I might be enticed to share it, and I might not. : }

Kahluá Dark Chocolate Pot de Cremé                                   Servings: You should get 8!
These are very, very rich and decadent! They're really best eaten after it sits out of refrigeration for at least 20-30 minutes, the flavors just bloom and come alive.
This recipe is specifically for dark chocolate not milk chocolate, as sugar and other variants would definitely need to be adjusted.

10 ounces of the best dark chocolate you can afford (I use Callebaut from Belgium) chopped finely
5 large egg yolks, room temperature
5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt,                If using table salt use only half as much!
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup half and half
2 Tablespoons Kahluá
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Garnish:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
cocoa to sprinkle over the whipped cream
chocolate shavings to sprinkle over the whipped cream

Special equipment needed - kitchen scale, candy thermometer, and a fine mesh sieve.

Pot de cremé:
1. Measure and finely chop the chocolate and add to a medium sized bowl; place the fine mesh sieve over the bowl, and set them aside. 

2. In a medium saucepan whisk the egg yolks, sugar and salt together. Whisk in the cream and half and half. Clip the thermometer onto the side of the pan, be sure that it is suspended on the side and that it does not touch the bottom of the pan. 
You are wanting the temperature of the custard, not the pan! Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and gently scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Cook mixture until thick and silky, registering on the thermometer between 175-180°F, about 8-12 minutes. 
3. Immediately pour the custard into the sieve placed over the bowl with chopped chocolate. Let the custard pour through, leaving bits of scrambled eggs, and discard them. (Every great chef has to do this same step!) DO NOT STIR, but let the custard gently warm and melt the chocolate for about 5 minutes. This tempers the chocolate which will ensure a beautiful shiny finish. 

After 5 minutes, gently stir the chocolate and custard mixture together with a silicone or plastic spatula.
4. Combine the Kahluá and the vanilla extract, then whisk them into the the chocolate custard. Divide the mixture between 8 ramekins, gently tapping them onto the counter to break up any bubbles. 
Let the chocolate pot de cremés cool to room temperature. Then place them into a shallow, flat baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours.
5. When ready to serve, allow pot de cremés to stand at room temperature 20-30 minutes,
they will have fuller flavor as they "bloom." Wait to garnish with whipped cream, leaving it chilled until time to distribute the desserts.

Whipped Cream and Garnishes:
6. Whip the cream with an electric mixer on medium-low, with a whisk attachment until foamy, then increase the speed to high and gradually add in the sugar. Add vanilla if using and whip until stiff peaks form. Place 2-3 teaspoon size dollops on top of each pot. 
7. Sprinkle with unsweetened cocoa, or chocolate shavings if you wish.


Who knows? Maybe I'll get to make the butterscotch one again, 
photograph them and then hide them till I'm ready to post for you!