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Recipes and Stories

19 April 2014: Easter VI—Chocolate

Dean’s Blender Pots De Crème are drop-dead easy and never fail to impress.

For many families, Easter dessert must be a fluffy coconut cake topped with seven minute frosting, lots of flaked coconut, and often jelly bean “Easter eggs.” Or it might be trimmed into shapes that are arranged on a platter and decorated to look like an Easter bunny. If that’s your tradition, then have at it. It’s way more work than I want to tackle: I usually have far too much going on to bake and decorate a fancy cake. And, anyway, in my household, it is not Easter dinner if the dessert does not involve chocolate.

And years ago, my dear friend, the late Dean Owens, shared the perfect chocolate dessert that has been my Easter tradition ever since: rich little chocolate pots de crème. Not only are they delicious and easy to make (they’re just whirled together in a blender), the only cooking involved is heating the cream to the boiling point. The boiling hot cream does the “cooking:” the only work is scraping down the sides of the blender jar and pouring the rich, silky custard into dainty cups. Set them in the refrigerator to chill and it’s done.

Dean’s Blender Pots De Crème
Serves 6
6 ounces (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped bits
Salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 scant cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Bourbon Vanilla, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons bourbon, or 1 tablespoon bourbon, cognac, or white crème de menthe, or 3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
1 cup cream, whipped to soft peaks without sugar
Mint sprigs and or candied violet or rose petals

1. Put the chocolate in a blender and blend at a moderately high speed until it is ground fine. Add a small pinch of salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the egg. Blend for 20 seconds at the same speed, or until it is almost smooth.

2. Bring the cream to the boiling point. Turn on the blender and slowly add the cream through the small lid opening. Turn off the machine, scrape down the sides, and pulse until smooth. Add the flavoring and pulse to blend it.

3. Divide the custard evenly among 6 pots-de-crème demitasse or cups. Cover and chill until firm, about 2 hours. They may be served plain or garnished with unsweetened whipped cream, mint, and/or candied violets or rose petals . . . or if you want to be precious, jelly bean “Easter eggs” for nostalgia’s sake.

From Essentials of Southern Cooking, copyright © 2013 by Damon Lee Fowler. All rights reserved.

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