16 November 2008

Pots de Crème à l'Orange

Some periods of the year are nothing but holidays or birthdays one after the other and sometimes you have to make your own occasions. This week, with D. and a friend of ours who's been feeling a bit down, we decided it was high time to make a special occasion for no reason, cook a good dinner and drink to our own health and good times.

I had been keeping this recipe that my youngest sister (aka future master baker) sent me for a special occasion, and I decided it was high time to pull it out, especially since Christmas is right around the corner (or at least that's what shop decorations would have you believe) and some of you might already be menu-planning. I find it's good to have tested your recipe beforehand because it takes some of the stress out of the actual holiday. So I'm doing my homework, see!

Without further ado, I give you littlest sister and her notes on this recipe:

So... basically, I'm in love with this recipe. It's like chocolate mousse, but using yolks instead of whites makes it smoother and richer. The orange adds a certain lightness and the Grand Marnier makes the flavor complex and layered. It's really good. And much easier than you'd think. I was so worried I'd do it wrong, and it turned out perfectly on my first try.

The recipe says to just break the chocolate into pieces, but I actually chopped it pretty finely. It speeds things up.

Dad says he used to have pots de crème in posh restaurants in New Orleans [where he grew up], so... people will probably be really impressed if you make this for them. ;)

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup half-and-half
12 oz. (340g) semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces

6 egg yolks

3 Tbsp. orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1/4 tsp. freshly-grated orange peel

fresh whipped cream

orange slices

In the double boiler, heat the cream, half-and-half and chocolate until the chocolate melts. Stir with a whisk until all of the ingredients are well-blended and remove from the heat.
In a blender [or not] whirl the egg yolks, liqueur and orange peel. With the machine running, slowly pour in the hot chocolate mixture. Return the mixture to the double boiler and continue to cook until it thickens to a lightly set pudding. Divide among dessert cups and chill for 2 hours. Serve garnished with whipped cream and orange slices.

So were they impressed? Oh yes they were! Thanks sis! The recipe calls for orange peel and orange slices. I used clementines because they're very available at this time of year. Unable to find half-and-half in France, I just put an extra 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup reduced-fat milk. I also used a hand-held electric beater, which I do not recommend, unless your kitchen needs redecorating with chocolate polka-dots. Bon appétit!

Oh, and while you're enjoying your chocolate, remember to submit your entries for the Energy Food Challenge this week!


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Delicious, comforting and highly pleasing!



Apples and Butter said...

So it runs in the family! That looks delicious and you're right that it would be perfect for the upcoming holidays.

Alex Rushmer said...

Oh wow that sounds amazing

Anonymous said...

My mom used to make a very similar pot de crème (sans orange) for special occasions. I bet the clementines were great with it!

Hopie said...

Rosa - Indeed, thank you!

Apples and Butter - Yes, although planning ahead doesn't run in the family. That was just a freak accident ;-)

Alex - Thanks. It was definitely yummy!

Camille - Yea, it's a good recipe for special occasions: chocolate-y, not to hard to make and can be made in advance. The clementines added a nice flavor.

Cicero Sings said...

That looks soooooo good. But tell me, what did you do with all those whites ... besides meringues?

Ivy said...

I love the combination of chocolate with orange. It sounds delicious and quite easy to make. I have ookmarked it.

Sam said...

These would be great for entertaining, I might do this at Christmas they looks delicious.

Hopie said...

Cicero - Hmm, good question. Egg white omelets? :-) Mostly likely meringues though...

Ivy - Thanks! Let me know how you like it.

Sam - Definitely good for entertaining, especially because they're in individual servings that you can decorate all pretty :-)

David said...

Pot de creme is an undeservedly little known dessert. It is chocolate pudding with a Ph.D. Mousse au chocolat, while good, is a mere dalliance -- pot de creme is a passionate romance. But the pots de creme I knew in those fancy restaurants of New Orleans were nothing compared to this orange-laced version, which elevates the richly creamy dark chocolate experience to a spiritual plane. Mmmmmmm!

Kristen said...

You and your sister must love talking food! I'm jealous :) Wish I had another foodie in the family.
These look fantastic and so elegant and rich. Yum!

We Are Never Full said...

this looks incredibly thick and decadent. i think i need to go for a run just looking at that picture.

Hopie said...

Dad - Wow, I will pass your love letter on to my pots de crème ;-) They certainly were delicious, especially with the orange!

Kristen - It is nice to have someone to share recipes with. Especially sinfully rich ones!

We are never full - Hehe, nope, looking's free. I promise you won't gain a pound.

Joie de vivre said...

Oh my yumminess. How wonderful to toast to yourselves and lives...a wonderful joie de vivre moment.