As I've gotten older, argh!, certain foods that I once hated I've now grown to love. Are you like that too? Take avocados, for example. I simply couldn't stand them when I was younger, but nowadays I'd sell my right arm for some chunky guacamole. Ironic, isn't it?
Custard was another item on my frightful food list. Maybe it had to do with the silky texture. Flan or maybe crème brûlée for dessert? Twenty years ago the answer would have emphatically been "no way!" Luckily that was then and this is now.
Recently I was having a craving for something creamy and chocolate-y. I also wanted to use up the rest of the 1/2 gallon of heavy cream I bought at Costco to make the whipped cream cake. Then it came to me...chocolate pots de crème! And I had the perfect containers to serve them in - some really cute glass yogurt containers that my sister gave me.
Chocolate Pots de Crème (adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
10 oz chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips)
5 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons sugar
pinch of table salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup half & half
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Whipped heavy cream and chocolate shavings for garnish
Place chocolate in medium heatproof bowl; set fine-mesh strainer over bowl and set aside.
Whisk yolks, sugar, and salt in medium bowl until combined; whisk in heavy cream and half & half. Transfer mixture to medium saucepan. Cook mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon, until thickened and silky and custard registers 175 to 180 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 10-12 minutes.
Immediately pour custard through strainer over chocolate. Let mixture stand to melt chocolate, about 5 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth, then whisk in vanilla and coffee. Divide mixture evenly among eight 5-ounce ramekins. Gently tap ramekins against counter to remove air bubbles.
Cool pots de crème to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 72 hours. Before serving, let pots de crème stand at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.