Courtesy Saura Madani, pastry chef, Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group, Denver
Somewhere between a mousse and a pudding, the unabashedly rich pot de crème should be in every dessert maker’s arsenal. Madani’s version, unlike many, doesn’t need to be cooked in the oven, making it both easy and foolproof.
- 9 ounces dark (semisweet or bittersweet) chocolate, fine chopped
- 6 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Unsweetened whipped cream and/or chocolate shavings, for serving (optional)
Place chocolate in large, heatproof bowl. In separate bowl, beat yolks and sugar together with electric mixer or whisk until pale, thick and fluffy.
Heat cream and salt in medium saucepan on medium-high heat. When it’s hot but not boiling, reduce heat. Ladle cream into yolk mixture while whisking constantly. Whisk in about 3 ladles’ worth, then pour mixture back into saucepan and continue whisking.
Still whisking, raise heat to medium and cook until mixture reaches 155˚F on candy thermometer or doubles in size, about 2–3 minutes. Immediately pour through strainer onto chocolate. Stir mixture until chocolate melts completely.
Divide among six ramekins. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Serve with whipped cream or chocolate shavings, if desired. Serves 6.
Try adding any of the following to cream mixture: 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder, peanut butter or Nutella; or 1 tablespoon orange zest or instant espresso powder.
“This fortified wine is a classic pairing with dark chocolate, with 90% Grenache Noir adding a little chocolate essence of its own,” says Cameron Guenther, director of operations for Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group. “The pot de crème brings forth a silky and elegant mouth feel with which the Banyuls is more than accommodating, delivering a long, lingering and refreshing finish.”
A less-known Port style, crusted Port offers much of the character of vintage Port at a more accessible price. Like vintage Port, it’s bottled unfiltered, so it continues to mature in the bottle. Unlike vintage Port, it’s a blend of multiple vintages and styled to be ready to drink after the required minimum three years of bottle aging. Its prunelike and nutty flavors add great dimension to chocolate desserts.