Posted by: gbdub | July 26, 2011

Thixotropic Theobroma – Mexican Chocolate Pots de Creme

So after all this spicy Mexican food, you could probably use something sweet to cap it off – what better than a rich dessert based on delicious and thematically appropriate Mexican chocolate? Typically used to make a frothy, spicy version of hot chocolate, Mexican chocolate is not your average cocoa confection. It’s grainy in texture, with large sugar crystals and coarse ground cocoa nibs, making it unsuited to eating unmelted. It’s flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, and almonds, lending it a deep, spicy flavor much more molé than Hershey’s kiss.

This particular Mexican chocolate treatment blends it into a custard with dark chocolate to produce a creamy, elegant dessert that’s deeply chocolatey without being too sweet. Make up a batch and enjoy the food of the gods…

Collect your ingredients. Simple is good – use the best chocolate you have around.

Mexican chocolate comes in these cute little tablets, so unwrap one…

… and chop it up finely.

Meanwhile, heat the milk and cream in a saucepan on medium-low heat until it just begins to bubble around the edges. I don’t have a picture of this, so enjoy another shot of the chocolate.

Separate your eggs. You’ll only need the yolks – save the whites for something healthy (i.e. not this).

Once the cream mixture begins to simmer, scoop out half a cup and slowly pour it into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. This “proofs” the yolks, warming them gently so they don’t turn into scrambled eggs.

Pour the eggs slowly into the hot milk (still on the medium-low burner), and whisk, heating gently until slightly thickened (enough to coat the back of a spoon). This is a custard, so don’t overcook it (it will eventually curdle, or at least get grainy, and that’s bad).

Once the custard has reached the proper consistency, immediately add the chocolate, remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir until the chocolate is fully melted.

Once melted, strain the custard through a fine sieve (this catches the inevitable bits of cooked egg that form, and is good practice any time you make a custard).

Divide the strained mixture into six six-ounce ramekins and refrigerate for six hours (or overnight).

Once the pots de crème are chilled, serve with a dollop of unsweetened whip cream and some additional chocolate chips or shavings for garnish.

Mexican Chocolate Pots de Crème

from Food and Wine

  1. 1 ½ cups whole milk
  2. ½ cup heavy cream
  3. 6 large egg yolks
  4. 6 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped
  5. 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or use chips)
  6. Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and cream and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks until combined, then slowly pour in ½  cup of the heated milk, whisking constantly. Pour the resulting  mixture back into the saucepan, and heat, still whisking constantly, until just thickened (a couple of minutes). The custard should be just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Once the custard has reached the proper consistency, add the chocolate and remove from the heat. Stir until the chocolate is fully melted and combined into the custard. Pour into a medium bowl through a fine sieve, then divide into six 6-ounce ramekins or small bowls. Refrigerate at least 6 hours until set. Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. May be refrigerated (covered with plastic wrap) for a few days.

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