Dark Chocolate and Orange Pots de Crème for Valentine’s Day

For New Year’s Eve this past year, I prepared a hearty soup supper and ended it with luscious little dark chocolate and orange pots de crème. After posting photos of the evening’s menu on Facebook, many of my FB friends commented enthusiastically about this simple dessert.  So, as Valentine neared this month, I thought why not make them again for Cupid’s Day!

 Pots de crème, French for little pots of cream, are one of the easiest confections for home cooks to prepare. They take only minutes to assemble, and then typically need less than half an hour of unattended time in the oven. After chilling, they can easily rest in the fridge overnight for serving the next day. Oh, and most of the  ingredients called for are easy to find in a single stop at your local supermarket. No fancy chocolate is required, just readily available semisweet (Ghiradelli is my favorite.) Orange liqueur can be purchased at your local spirits store.

Chocolate paired with orange is always a winning combination, and works particularly well in these little custards. The refreshing citrus taste balances the deep, rich notes of dark chocolate. Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!





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Dark Chocolate and Orange Pots de Creme

2 cups whipping or heavy cream
4 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp powdered instant espresso coffee
6 large egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
4 tsp grated orange zest
3 tbsp orange liqueur such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier

Orange Scented Whipping Cream and Garnishes
1 /2 cup whipping or heavy cream
2 tsp confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp orange liqueur such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
1 small square of semisweet chocolate for shaving
1 to 1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest

1.For pots de crème, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place six 1/2 cup ramekins, soufflés, or custard cups in a large, shallow baking pan.

2.Place cream, chopped chocolate, and espresso powder into a heavy, medium saucepan over low heat, and whisk constantly until the chocolate is dissolved and the cream is scalded. Remove and cool 5 minutes.

3.With an electric mixer, beat egg yolks on medium speed until well combined.  Gradually add sugar and salt continue to beat until mixture is slightly thickened and light in color, about 1 minute. Do not over beat.  On low speed, slowly pour in the reserved cream and chocolate mixture, then add the grated orange zest. Gradually pour in the orange liqueur, mixing just to incorporate.

4. Divide mixture evenly among the six ramekins. Pour enough hot water into the large baking pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until just set, about 25 minutes.

5. Remove ramekins to a rack, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled at least 2 hours. (The pots de creme can be made 1 day ahead.)

6. To serve, whip 1/2 cup whipping cream until soft peaks form. Then beat in confectioner’s sugar and orange liqueur. Beat a few seconds more until cream is just firm, but not stiff.

7.Top each pot de crème with a dollop of whipped cream. Using a sharp knife shave some chocolate from the chocolate square over the whipped cream, and then sprinkle with some orange zest. Serves 6.

Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2020



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