(Pot de Creme au Chocolat)
with Chocolate Covered Mandarin Oranges,
Orange Zest, Fleur de Sel & Pink and Black Pepper

I absolutely crave a nice Pot au Chocolat every once in a while. It's like a gourmet pudding on chocolate crack!  It's so rich, thick, creamy and decadent that you can actually feel your halo floating away from you as you indulge in the sinfulness of each spoonful.
Pot au Chocolate is not hard to make but I have an even easier recipe for whipping one up that, frankly, I use most of the time!  It requires only a few tools and ingredients and just a few minutes to make - though you will need a few hours (at least 4) for it to properly set up.
I often take my basic Pot de Creme au Chocolat recipe and doll it up depending on my mood of the moment. Sometimes I add a little espresso, salted caramel, sometimes a bit of booze, maybe a few candied nuts - whatever happens to strike my taste fancy of the moment.
Last night I wanted orange infused chocolate so here is what I came up with:
Recipe for The Diva of Tiny Foods
1/2 Tsp. Orange Zest
6 Oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips or Pieces
3/4 Cup of Half & Half
One Egg
1/8 Tsp. Fleur de Sel
Pinch of Pink Peppercorns, Ground
Pinch of Black Peppercorns, Ground
1 Tbsp. Sugar*

6 Mandarin Orange Slices, Drained and Dried
1/3 Cup of Dark Chocolate Chips or Pieces
Whipped Cream
Dusting of Black Pepper & Fleur de Sel
Measuring Cups & Spoons
Small Microwavable Glass
Small Microwaveable Cup
2 Custard Cups
1. Put the 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips, the egg, the orange zest, the 1/8 Tsp. of Fleur de Sel and the two pinches of the peppers into your blender. If you want it sweet you may also add the sugar here. I do not use the sugar as I prefer the slight bitterness of the semi-sweet chocolate.
2. Heat your half & half in the microwave to scalding. This is about 2 - 3 minutes depending on the power of your microwave. You do not want the cream to boil but you want it steaming.
3. Turn your blender on to grind and slowly (through the hole, do not remove the lid) pour in the hot milk. Once the milk is all in, bring the blender up to puree.
4. Mix until the chips are completely melted in and the mixture is smooth, mine takes about 2 minutes or less.
5. Pour into your custard cups and place in the refrigerator to set up for a minimum of 4 hours.
6. Prepare your chocolate covered mandarin slices by melting the 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips/pieces in a small cup then dipping in half the mandarin slice. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate until serving time.
7. At serving time top your Peppered Orange Pot au Chocolat off with some nice whipped cream, place your chocolate covered mandarin slices on top then dust the whole dish with a bit more of the peppers and the salt and serve!

This recipe makes 2 really full custard cups of yummy chocolate sinfulness, with a little extra left over.  (I poured the extra into a shot glass and had a little "sneak" taste after an hour.) You can also fill 4 espresso cups with this recipe which is a perfect serving for after a meal as it's very rich!

This is a really easy and impressive dessert to serve your guests and it takes you only a few minutes to create!  Try it out and let me know about some of your versions!

"God gave the angels wings, and he gave humans chocolate." ~ Author Unknown


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