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Chocolate Pots de Creme

I made this for the first time on Valentine's Day in February 2012. We loved it - rich and dark chocolate-y, creamy, yum! Make it in the morning so that it has time to chill and you can concentrate on making dinner!



1 cups half-and-half
3 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate (70%), finely chopped
cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon dark Dutch process cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon liqueur coffee, hazelnut, amaretto, etc.

cayenne (red) pepper or chili powder
whipped cream, raspberries, etc., for garnish (as desired)


Preheat oven to 300
. Bring half-and-half just to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate along with the sugar. Let it stand for about five minutes; stir to melt chocolate.

In a large bowl, stir together the egg yolks, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt and liqueur. With a whisk, mix in a small amount of the melted chocolate and cream mixture. Add the remainder of the chocolate gradually to the egg yolk mixture and stir to blend. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a glass measuring cup.

Place 4 ramekins or small ovenproof mugs in a shallow roasting pan; divide chocolate mixture among them. Pour hot water into the pan so that it reaches about half-way up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 30 minutes; carefully remove ramekins from the water bath and allow them to cool slightly. The custards will set up more as they cool.

Cover ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate just before serving, sprinkle each custard with a small amount of cayenne pepper and then top with whipped cream and raspberries or other garnish as desired.

*Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe