Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mascarpone Pot au Creme

This version won the exclamation "you've out done yourself".  It was really quite tasty if I say so myself.  The addition of mascarpone to the mix really changed the texture, thicker and richer than the made from  milk and cream only version.  Of course I gilded the lily with fresh whipped sweetened cream, caramel sauce and some mini chocolate chips for added texture and flavor.  I was quite pleased.

How this came about was a simple brain storm and text message convo with my cousin Jill.  I asked what we could bring to a wine and cheese evening they were planning.  She said dessert and I asked, "chocolatey, fruity, or ooey gooey.  She suggested "chocolatey or gooey".  I thought for a second and decided to do both.

This does need to be cooked in a water bath or "bain marie" as they say en francais.  Simple procedure.  Place the filled ramekins in large roasting pan and fill the pan with hot tap water until the water goes up halfway the sides of the ramekins.  The only caution is you do need to pour slowly so you don't accidentally get some water into the batter and ruin it.

I'm a fan of the Cointreau.  That orangey liqueur plays well with chocolate and adds a wonderful layer of flavor in the background that just makes the chocolate more intense.  I always have on hand as its simply a key ingredient to a kick ass margarita.  If you don't have it,  any other orange flavored liqueurs would work.

Mascarpone Pot au Creme

  • 4 oz bitter chocolate - 60% plus cocoa 
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 8 oz mascarpone, room temperature
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 T Cointreau
  • 2/3 c chilled whipping cream
  • 3 T confectioners sugar.
  • 1/4 t vanilla
  • mini chocolate chips
  • 6 T Salted Caramel Sauce

Preheat oven to 325F

Coarse chop the bitter chocolate and put into a microwave safe bowl.  Pour heavy cream over the chocolate.  Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.  Check temp, if warm to touch stir chocolate until smooth.  If not warm, microwave additional  15 seconds and test again.  Let smooth chocolate mixture cool to room temperature.

In stand mixer place sugar, 1 t vanilla extract, Cointreau and room temperature mascarpone.  Whip until smooth and fluffy, about 5-6 minutes.  Whisk in eggs one at a time until well incorporated.  Reduce speed and slowly whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture.

Divide batter between 6 ramekins (about 2/3 c each).  Place filled ramekins in a roasting pan.  Fill with hot tap water until it is about half way up the sides of the ramekins.  Pour slowly so you don't splash water into the batter filled ramekins.  Cover roaster with foil.  Bake in the preheated oven 40-45 minutes until set.

Remove from oven and take ramekins out of the water bath.  Cool  on wire racks until room temperature.  Cover cooled ramekins with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or over night.

When ready to serve whip chilled cream with confectioners sugar and vanilla.   Divide among the ramekins.  Spoon drizzle 1 T salted caramel sauce over each dollop of whipped cream.  Sprinkle scant Tablespoon mini chocolate chips over the salted caramel sauce. 
The pot au creme will be soft out of the oven but set firm on chilling.
Chilled pot au creme all garnished and ready to serve.

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