|Dark Chocolate & Blood Orange Pots de Crème with Blood Orange Caramel Sauce|
|Ingredient Gang Wars: Bloods vs. Dark Chocolate|
Are you feeling romantic? Do you have some Plans of Love later today? I am staying home with my sweetie darling, hiding from the Love Fest and all of its heart-shaped pinkness. I sound cynical, but I'm not! We love to go out for date nights, but doing this on Valentine's Day is often more annoying than enjoyable.
|I'm squishing your head!|
My Valentine's Day-at-home will probably look like a nice, home-cooked dinner, followed by a completely rich, decadent, fancy, chocolate dessert. I absolutely love pots de crème — a French custard that falls somewhere between pudding and mousse — and chocolate ones, especially. Just a few mouthfuls are all you need to satisfy that chocolate craving.
I somehow ended up with a bag of blood oranges, and needed a reason to use them. Into the pots de crème they go! The custard itself only uses the zest of one orange, so you can leave that out if you prefer. The blood orange caramel, however, is probably the best caramel I have ever made! You MUST make it. It takes a lot of juice — I needed five oranges to get enough — but the results are amazing. I hooted like a monkey when I tasted it for the first time.
|Pass me that PO-duh-CREMM, merci|
Instead of a traditional ramekin, I used small canning jars. This amount of custard is perfect — it won't fill you up or weigh you down. You know, in case you will be doing anything, uh, athletic, afterward.
Click through for the recipe and instructions.
Dark Chocolate & Blood Orange Pots de Crème with Blood Orange Caramel Sauce
Based on this recipe from Bake or Break
and this recipe from Jenni Field's Pastry Chef Online
Makes 10- 125ml size canning jars and about 1 cup of blood orange caramel sauce
Ingredients: Pots de Crème
2 cups heavy cream or un-whipped whipping cream
2 - 100g size good quality dark chocolate bars, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
2 oz brandy
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Zest from one blood orange (optional)
Sweetened whipped cream for garnish
Method: Pots de Crème
- Preheat oven to 300° F. Place your jars or ramekins into a 9 x 13 baking pan. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat cream until it just starts to boil. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. Let stand for about 30 seconds, then whisk until chocolate is completely melted.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, egg yolks, brandy, and vanilla until pale in colour.
- Slowly pour in about 1/2 cup of chocolate mixture, whisking constantly. Then slowly add in the rest of the chocolate mixture, whisking constantly.
- Strain mixture, then add the blood orange zest and stir to combine.
- Divide mixture evenly among your jars or ramekins. Carefully fill baking pan with hot water so that the water covers about an inch of the jars or ramekins.
- Place baking pan in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until centre is almost set but still is a bit jiggly.
- When done, carefully remove jars from the water and cool for about an hour before chilling in refrigerator. Chill for 2-3 hours before serving to set.
Ingredients: Blood Orange Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream or un-whipped whipping cream
3/4 cup freshly-squeezed blood orange juice (I needed 5 oranges, you may need more or less)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons butter
Method: Blood Orange Caramel Sauce
- In a deep, heavy sauce pan (deeper than what you think you need) heat water and sugar over medium high heat, swirling pan occasionally (do not stir) until liquid and amber in colour.
- Remove from heat and add cream (mixture will bubble up alarmingly!) and blood orange juice and stir until bubbling stops.
- Return pan to the heat and turn it down to low, and add salt and butter. Allow caramel to come to a light simmer, and cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Strain caramel, add vanilla, and stir to combine. Caramel will be thin until chilled for a couple of hours.
- Stir cooled caramel before serving.