David is hosting this month’s Sugar High Friday and the theme is CHOCOLATE!!! Thanks to him, I finally got to try a recipe that I tagged as a “must try” a couple of weeks ago from the book “The Sweet Life – Desserts from Chanterelle” by Kate Zuckerman. This dessert combines two of my most favorite ingredients: Chocolate and caramel.
When it comes to chocolate desserts, I try to use the highest quality of chocolate I can find. When my pantry runs out of chocolate I bring from overseas trips, the highest quality of chocolate available to me within the borders of Turkey is Lindt 70%. And the funny thing is, over the years I have observed that people favor the desserts I prepare with Nestle’s bittersweet chocolate much more than the ones prepared with Lindt, which has a higher percentage of cocoa solids.
This time around, I used the chocolate my friends brought from Belgium: Cote d’Or Culinaire (54%). My original order was Valrhona, but thanks to the New Year, all the shops in Paris were closed the morning after and my friends picked this one up from their second stop in Europe.
Back to the dessert… Chocolate Pot by Jamie Oliver is one of those recipes I frequently turn to when I have very little time left to prepare for a dinner party. It is a simple and delicious dessert, and so rich that even a spoonful is enough for any chocoholic.
Zuckerman’s version is much more sophisticated. This is the best combination of chocolate and caramel I have tasted so far. By the way, her book is amazing. Almost every recipe is accompanied by wonderful photographs, which is always appreciated because I like to visualize before baking. She also explains quite a number of techniques in depth. The guidelines for ice cream and sorbet was very educational for me. Definitely one of my best buys in 2006.
Once again, I thank David for choosing such a beloved ingredient as the theme for SHF. Because this also means that I will get to read/discover/salivate over numerous other chocolate desserts on Friday!
Chocolate Caramel Pot de Creme
recipe from the book ” The Sweet Life – Desserts from Chanterelle” by Kate Zuckerman
For eight 4-ounce pots of cream
- 1 cup sugar
- Pinch of cream tartar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup plus 3 tbsp whole milk
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (66 to 70 percent cocoa solids)
- 7 egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 325F (170C).
- Make the caramel cream: In a heavy-bottomed medium-sized saucepan combine the sugar, cream of tartar and 1/4 cup water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. After 1 minute of rapid boiling uncover the pan. Cook until the sugar caramelizes and turns a light golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat (the sugar will continue to cook). When the caramel is a deep golden brown, stand back and carefully add the cream. The caramel will erupt with bubbles and steam. Place the pan back on the stove over medium heat and whisk until the caramel is completely dissolved and smooth. Add the milk and continue cooking for one minute. Set the caramel cream aside.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the bowl of a bain-marie, stirring occasionaly with a rubber spatula. Once the chocolate is melted, remove from heat. In a metal bowl, vigorously whisk the egg yolks and salt until they lighten in color a bit, 1 minute. Slowly, 1 cup at a time, add the caramel cream to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Then slowly whisk the caramel and egg mixture, one ladle at a time, into the bowl with the melted chocolate. After each addition of the caramel and egg mixture, the chocolate should appear shiny and hold the lines of a whisk. After adding about half of the caramel cream, the chocolate custard will become thinner, like hot chocolate. You can bake the chocolate and caramel custard immediately or chill it over an ice bath and refrigerate it for up to 2 days.
- Place the ramekins in a baking dish, fill with custard 4/5 of the way up the inside of the mold, add water to the baking dish to reach 2/3 of the way up the outside of the ramekins. Cover the baking dish with a cookie tray or aluminum foil (punch a few air holes to prevent steaming and overcooking).
- Gently place in the oven and bake until the custards are set and have a uniform jiggle, 40 to 45 minutes (if custards are chilled, bake for 60-70 minutes instead). Allow to cool uncovered. Remove from water bath, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
- The custards should be served in the ramekins slighlty chilled. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving. The custards will keep, refrigerated, for 5 days.
Cenk; What a terrific looking custard. And two of my favorite flavors together in one little pot. Great post! And looking forward to adding it to the (massive) round-up coming soon…
The custard looks great. Chocolate and caramel…Who can say “no” to this? Yummm…And you are absolutely right about seeing the pictures of the dish before you start cooking. It makes a huge difference…
Cenk, you are a bad, bad man – this stunning photo is tempting me to skip my diet asap… 😀
Caramel and chocolate are a match made in heaven. A delicious combination.
I also liked the comment on the book, I felt like buying it once but wasn’t 100% sure.
I realy liked this post. There is no better way to treat a dear friend than with chocolate – at least from my experience. I have a recipe that has been tempting me for ages in the Pierre Herme book. Maybe this sugar high event is a good excuse.
Hi Cenk, I had my eye on this recipe from the “Sweet Life”, I am more encouraged now to try this.
As always, Cenk, your desserts inspire me to get back into the kitchen and do something. I recently purchased Kate Zuckerman’s book – mostly because I couldn’t get over the idea of making a quince sorbet, which I will make later this year during the quince season – and am glad that you have had a fabulous success in turning out one of her recipes. Like you, I also like Lindt chocolate.
Excellent combination, now if you could just deliver some to my door…
When David first announced this event, I got so excited and thought about what would be something, looked good, tasted good and would not looked like me like a elementary school kid infront of all you guys….I realized that I had a recipe in my “Recipes to try ” folder waiting for me almost 6 months … A brownie with some Toblerone chocolate. I knew that I can substitute Toblerone with a Turkish brand ( Ulker Balmond ) and the bitter chocolate that was going to be melted ( of almost 400 gr) was also available on the same brand. So I start to work on that …The result was a di-sas-ter. I think perhaps another time 🙁 Till that day, I will enjoy yours and the other contributors recipes.What was I thinking anyway?)
I’ve been on a pot de creme/pudding binge in the last few weeks, but have kept to chocolate. Thanks for opening up a whole new taste option for me. I can’t wait to try this!
Cenk, what a lovely combination of flavors! i promised myself not to buy new dessert books until i exhausted my long list of must-try recipes. But i feel that my last bit of resistance has vanished with this recipe; i really want to buy this book! My other temptation is The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern by Cludia Fleming. Do you by any chance have that book, too? If so, which one would you recommend?
Thanks in advance,
Zinnur – I don’t have Claudia Fleming’s book (yet), but heard and read many wonderful things about it. Why not buy them both? 🙂
Zuckerman’s book is a must have… As I said, definitely one of my best buys last year. You certainly won’t regret it.
Great recipe and cote d’or is a good belgian chocolate. There are better chocolates but less easy to find.
You should test with a more than 70% cacao chocolate, dark chocolate is so good. i do also prepare this mousse with some massala chai mix (remove the tea. You can also test with some cubebe peper which is fantastic into chocolate
My Sweet & Saucy
Wow! I just found your blog through the Washington Post and I am in love! You food and photos are amazing! Can’t wait for more post!
Cenk! I’m halfway through making this recipe and can’t find any mention of how many egg yolks or salt to add! HELP!
the Baker – I am so sorry. The last two ingredients somehow ended up inside a weird html code. I just fixed it and updated the recipe.