Happy Monday, everyone! I’m still hacking away a mile a minute, but at least I don’t feel like death warmed over any more. Hopefully I’m on the downside of it all.
I hope all the dads out there has a great Father’s Day; poor Beloved spent his in transit for a business trip. Since he wasn’t home, I made his Father’s Day dinner on Saturday night instead – grilled steaks with Bearnaise sauce, sauteed greens and roasted sweet potatoes. I haven’t made a Beanaise sauce in many years and was worried it would break or curdle, but I needn’t have worried – it came out beautifully (you get the recipe later this week). I also decided that dessert was in order, since it was a special occasion, and made this one – I’d been pondering it for quite some time.
Pots de Creme are really just a sophisticated pudding, and when made with high-quality dark chocolate are a rich and decadent treat. Since they’re a custard, they are typically made with eggs, sugar and milk or cream but with this damn bronchitis, I’ve been avoiding even the small amounts of dairy I normally consume and used coconut milk and water. Refined sugar is out of the question, of course, and while the recipe calls for coconut sugar, you could also use evaporated cane juice. I used 85% dark chocolate, but if you choose to use a 72% dark, you can probably decrease the sugar to 1/3 of a cup.
And was this good? It got the reaction I was hoping for – Beloved gobbled his down and finished mine off, too. Not that it wasn’t good, because it is simply delicious, but it’s so rich, and my appetite has been so poor lately, I just couldn’t finish it.
Note: You can, of course, use cow’s dairy rather than coconut milk if you choose. I recommend 1 cup of whole milk with 1 cup of heavy cream. I also had melted the chocolate in a double boiler and added it to the mixture after I’d whisked the hot milk into the eggs, and it seized up a bit – I had to whisk it briskly to incorporate it, and the result was that the custard was just a tiny bit grainy. I’m recommending melting the chocolate in the coconut milk before adding it to the eggs in the hope that the custards will be silky and smooth when done.
- 2 large whole eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (13.5 ounce can)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
- 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (85% cocoa)
- Whisk together the coconut milk and water in a large saucepan; add the vanilla bean pod and seeds and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cover and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and coconut sugar in a large mixing bowl until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
- Break up the chocolate and add it to the coconut milk mixture; reheat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is almost, but not quite, at a boil. Slowly whisk in a small amount of the chocolate mixture to the eggs, to temper the mixture and avoid cooking the eggs. Keep adding the hot chocolate mixture until it is fully incorporated into the eggs and sugar.
- Carefully pour the custard into individual ramekins and place them in a baking dish or roasting pan large enough to hold them all without crowding the containers. Fill the pan with hot water until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins, taking care not to let water splash into the custards.
- Bake the custards for 30 to 40 minutes; when they are done, the centers will be soft but the edges should be firm. Remove the custards from the oven and allow them to cool in the water bath. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate before serving.
- Nutrition (per serving): 292 calories, 22.2g total fat, 122.5mg cholesterol, 37.6mg sodium, 271.8mg potassium, 18.8g carbohydrates, 1.8g fiber, 13.4g sugar, 5.4g protein.