Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme
Cool, creamy, rich and smooth. From Gourmet, February 2004.
6 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons instant-espresso powder
6 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
Special equipment: 8 (4- to 5-oz) ramekins or pot de creme cups OR 6 (6-oz) ramekins
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream, milk, espresso powder (to taste), and a pinch of salt just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until espresso powder is dissolved, then pour over chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in another bowl, then add warm chocolate mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-quart glass measure and cool completely, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Line bottom of a baking pan (large enough to hold ramekins) with a folded kitchen towel and arrange ramekins on towel. Poke several holes in a large sheet of foil with a skewer. Divide custard among ramekins, then pour enough near-boiling water into the baking pan to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake custards, pan covered tightly with foil, until custards are set around edges but still slightly wobbly in centers, 30 to 35 minutes if using 4- to 5-oz. ramekins, or 45 minutes if using 6-oz ramekins.
Transfer ramekins to a rack to cool completely, uncovered, about 1 hour. (Custards will set as they cool.) Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.
Serves 6-8, depending on ramekin size.