“Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Forrest Gump.
And you know how true it is. You opened that magic box and saw colorful arrays of candies, truffles, bars and lozenges with golden and shiny wrappers around them staring at you, in all flavors which slowly broadens a smile on your face, you thought you found a treasure box and very securely tucked it under your pillow, and the very next day the news spread like a fire and within a moment, you saw few tiny hands snatching the box from you…your treasure was no more yours only, its gone forever, you yelled, you cried, you did everything you possibly can and felt that somebody has not taken just your box of chocolate, in fact your dreams have been smashed, shattered in thousands of pieces…
Chocolates are like dreams, dreams that holds you back in the luxury of your warm blanket at the crack of the dawn, when you wished to finish those blurry sequences of thoughts, dreams that makes you what you are today, dreams that never saw the light of dawn, dreams that are buried inside the chest of drawers and dreams that becomes your shadow.
For every reason and season, there is a box of chocolate to give you comfort, to bring a glimpse of smile in your tear drenched eyes, for those special moments when you feel overjoyed, for those sweet memories filled with mischief, giggles and happiness like warm sunshine on a cool winter mornings…for every moments in life there is a reason to celebrate it with chocolate.
This post is toast to all those sweet and happy memories, to fun-filled moments, to those timeless evenings in solitude and to those people with whom I have not shared my box of chocolates….and a toast to life.
Pots de creme is a loose french dessert custard dating to 17th century and these little creamy delicious pots of goodness are perfect for your cold winter mornings or you can relish them the whole day, they are just too sweet to resist.
Baked custards are very easy to prepare too, you just need a few handful of things which are easy to find out and am always on the look for such simple recipes which are delicious to the core. Egg yolks and cream do the magic here, some recipes involves up to 6 yolks, here I have used only two egg yolks and separating the yolk from egg whites is really funny. See the notes below to separate it by hand, without using the separator.
Coming to chocolate once again, every one has their own favorite flavor, mine is Lindt’s mint flavored dark and bitter chocolate, it’s simply irresistible, I have a thing for dark and bitter chocolates, but you can use any other flavor you wish to.
Tell me, what is your favorite chocolate flavor and how would you like to use in your favorite baked dishes?
If you want you can make it with pure dark chocolates without using the chocolate – hazelnut spread, in that case you have to use the whole 8 ounce / 113gm of baking bar.
So, first start it by separating the egg yolks, if eggs are chilled it is easy to separate the yolks. Beat two eggs with their whites in a mixing bowl, followed by a tablespoon of superfine sugar and beat well with a wire whisk. Combine the egg yolks in to it and warm the milk and cream till it becomes bubbly. Add slowly to the egg mixture and beat until combined. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate – hazelnut spread along with 3 ounce of baking bar till it becomes smooth and pouring consistency. Slowly beat it into the egg mixture and pour the mixture in ramekins.
In a deep roasting pan, or you can use your rectangular cake pan also but it should have at least 2 inch depth, place the ramekins or custard pots or you can bake it in small casserole dish too, cover the top with foil, this will prevent to form any skin on top of the custard and filled the half of the pan with boiling water and place it in the preheated oven for 30 -40 minutes. Time requires to bake a custard varies form oven to oven, so a fast oven can make the custard in 20-25 minutes, mine requires minimum 45 minutes. Insert a cake tester in the center and it should come almost clean, if not then let it sit in the oven for another 10 minutes or so.
- Eggs : 2 large
- Egg Yolks : 2
- Superfine sugar : 1 tbsp or as per taste
- Milk : 2 cup
- Heavy cream : ½ cup or you can increase its ratio to milk
- Dark and bitter chocolate / baking bar : 3 ounce
- Chocolate - hazelnut spread : 3 tbsp
- To decorate:
- whipped cream or berries or chocolate curls or Chocolate - hazelnut wafer rolls
- Beat together the eggs, egg yolks, superfine sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Heat the milk and cream until almost bubbly.
- Gradually pour the milk - cream into the eggs, beating as you do so.
- Melt the chocolate - hazelnut spread and baking bar in a double boiler, then beat the melted chocolate mixture into the eggs.
- Pour into small ramekins or 4 ounce size or in a ovenproof dish and cover the dish with a foil lid.
- Place them in a roasting pan or in any deep pan and fill the pan with boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 325 F for 35-40 minutes, until the custard is just set.
- Remove from the pan and cool, then chill until required.
- Serve decorated with grated chocolate or chocolate curls or topped with whipped cream or berries or with Chocolate - hazelnut wafer rolls.
b) A good quality baking bar is required to get a richer taste.
c) Cover the ramekins with a foil lid as this will prevent the skin forming at the top.
d) Fill the pan with boiling water till it reaches halfway up the sides of the pan or till the mark your custard is. It will protect your custard from burning.
e) Do not open the oven before first 20 minutes of baking, custard may collapse.
Verdict : It was perfect, side of the custard was firm and the center jiggle a bit with a high note of chocolatey flavor. A single bite was never enough.
Next time I am planning to make it with 6 egg yolks and full baking bar of dark and bitter chocolate to get a devilish rich color or perhaps may add little creme de menthe too.
Stay tuned until next
Enjoy !!! and have a wonderful weekend