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Recipes and Stories

26 March 2016: Mastering the Make-Ahead Easter Dinner II

Dean's Chocolate Pots de Creme, rich, luscious, and so easy it's almost embarrassing. Almost.

26 March 2016: Mastering the Make-Ahead Easter Dinner II

Once I have the first course and dessert ready for a dinner or a cooking class, I feel as if I’m home free, so I always opt for a sweet that can be made well ahead. At Easter, that sweet has for the last twenty years has been these chocolate pots de crème, a specialty of my late friend Dean Owens, one of Savannah’s great wits and hosts.

Not only are they luscious, they can be made several days ahead, and are easy and quick: on Thursday I knocked out 20 of them for tomorrow’s dinner in little more than half an hour.

This is a very rich custard, almost like a chocolate truffle in a cup, so serve it in smaller portions. Even though I was recently given a lovely set of gold and white porcelain pots de crème cups, I opted to make them in demitasse cups. If you want to go for a little child-hood nostalgia, garnish each with a jelly bean “Easter egg.”

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, white crème de menthe, orange liqueur, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons bourbon
1 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks without sugar
Mint sprigs and/or candied violet or rose petals

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

2. Scald the cream until it is almost boiling. Take the center section out of the blender lid. Turn on the blender and slowly add the cream through the opening. Turn off the machine, scrape down the sides, and pulse until smooth. Add the flavoring and pulse to blend.

3. Divide the custard evenly among 6 small pots de crème or demitasse 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.

Recipe from The Savannah Cookbook, copyright © 2008 by Damon Lee Fowler, all rights reserved

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