Are you ready for the easiest dessert I have ever made? (And I mean ever.)
As I’ve mentioned before, January’s gourmet club theme was Pioneer Woman. I was on appetizer duty (I made Bacon Onion Cheddar Biscuits and used the topping from her Olive Cheese Bread as a spread) and the hostess handled the entrées (Comfort Meatballs and Fancy Macaroni), so my friend Paige took care of dessert. Paige travels often for work and had been out of town the week prior to our meeting, so she really hadn’t had time to think about what to make, much less actually make something. She found PW’s recipe for Pots de Creme Saturday morning; in a matter of minutes, she had dessert in the refrigerator.
When I made this recipe, I was in a pinch myself; I knew I was serving dinner to at least my husband and one friend (no pressure!), but there was a possibility of one or two additional guests. I’m all about first impressions so I wanted to have a nice dessert ready, but I didn’t want to put myself out too much since everything was pretty up in the air. Amazingly, I had everything I needed to make the Pots de Creme waiting in the refrigerator and the pantry, so I decided to give it a go.
Into my trusty blender went 12 ounces (1 bag) of semisweet chocolate chips, 4 room-temperature large eggs, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and a pinch of table salt. I put the lid on the blender, fired it up, removed the plastic stopper from the lid, and – while it was running – gradually poured in 8 ounces of very hot, strong coffee. (Either brew some extra in the morning and microwave it, pick some up at the coffee shop, or use instant crystals.) The mixture rose up in the blender as the coffee was added, but adding it in a slow stream prevented any disasters. Once all the coffee was added, I continued blending for a few more seconds until everything was well combined.
I poured the chocolate mixture into six small ramekins and placed them in the refrigerator to set up. (This takes three or four hours, so admittedly, you can’t make them at the last minute. With five minutes of prep, though, does it honestly get any easier?) To serve, I topped the Pots de Creme with whipped cream and a strawberry fan.
I would expect something this tasty to either (a) take hours to prepare, or (b) have loads of heavy cream in it, but you and I both know neither of these is true. Much like most of what I’ve made of PW’s recipes, this isn’t the absolute best chocolate dessert I’ve ever had, but I do think it’s a crowd pleaser. Plus, it really does look elegant and it was ridiculously easy to prepare. Winner!
TIPS: To get your eggs to room temperature, either let them sit on the counter for 30 minutes or submerge them in warm (not hot) water for about 2 minutes. I use the 2-minute method all the time.
Also, this is definitely one of those recipes where you can vary the flavor significantly by changing up the ingredients. Try using a different kind of chocolate chip (dark, maybe?), liqueur in place of the vanilla, or different coffee blends.
Recipe link: Pots de Creme