Chez Luce

Kitchen adventures on Wandsworth Common

Daring Bakers Challenge January 2011: Biscuit Joconde Imprime/Entremet January 31, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Saigon-Bites @ 9:30 pm


The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.


I decided to make my entremet from lime and passion fruit mousse layers, topped with fruit. The inspiration from the recipe was from the book ‘Indulge’ by Claire Clark. I got this as a Christmas present and would thoroughly recommend it for slightly more challenging dessert recipes!


My design of a striped biscuit joconde imprime sadly did not turn out too well, as I do not have a freezer large enough to accommodate a baking sheet and therefore could not chill the initial design sufficiently to stop the colours bleeding together during baking. The view from above, however, shows the distinct layers well.



Despite my disappointment with the decorated cake layer, the dssert tasted delicious and I will definitely try it again sometime!






Joconde Sponge

YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

¾ cup/ 180 ml/ 3oz/ 85g almond flour/meal – *You can also use hazelnut flour, just omit the butter
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/ 150 ml/ 2⅔ oz/ 75g confectioners’ (icing) sugar
¼ cup/ 60 ml/ 1 oz/ 25g cake flour *See note below
3 large eggs – about 5⅓ oz/ 150g
3 large egg whites – about 3 oz/ 90g
2½ teaspoons/ 12½ ml/ ⅓ oz/ 10g white granulated sugar or superfine (caster) sugar
2 tablespoons/ 30 ml/ 1oz / 30g unsalted butter, melted

In a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites and white granulated sugar to firm, glossy peeks. Reserve in a separate clean bowl to use later.
Sift almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, cake flour. (This can be done into your dirty egg white bowl)
On medium speed, add the eggs a little at a time. Mix well after each addition. Mix until smooth and light. (If using a stand mixer use blade attachment. If hand held a whisk attachment is fine, or by hand. )
Fold in one third reserved whipped egg whites to almond mixture to lighten the batter. Fold in remaining whipped egg whites. Do not over mix.
Fold in melted butter.
Reserve batter to be used later.

Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste

YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

14 tablespoons/ 210ml/ 7oz/ 200g unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups plus1½ tablespoons/ 385ml/ 7oz/ 200g Confectioners’ (icing) sugar
7 large egg whites – about 7 oz / 200g
1¾ cup/ 420ml/ 7¾ oz/ 220g cake flour
Food coloring gel, paste or liquid

COCOA Décor Paste Variation: Reduce cake flour to 6 oz / 170g. Add 2 oz/ 60 g cocoa powder. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together before adding to creamed mixture.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (use stand mixer with blade, hand held mixer, or by hand)
Gradually add egg whites. Beat continuously.
Fold in sifted flour.
int batter with coloring to desired color, if not making cocoa variation.

Preparing the Joconde- How to make the pattern:

Spread a thin even layer of décor paste approximately 1/4 inch (5 millimeter) thick onto silicone baking mat with a spatula, or flat knife. Place mat on an upside down baking sheet. The upside down sheet makes spreading easier with no lip from the pan.
Pattern the décor paste – Here is where you can be creative. Make horizontal /vertical lines (you can use a knife, spatula, cake/pastry comb). Squiggles with your fingers, zig zags, wood grains. Be creative whatever you have at home to make a design can be used. OR use a piping bag. Pipe letters, or polka dots, or a piped design. If you do not have a piping bag. Fill a ziplock bag and snip off corner for a homemade version of one.
Slide the baking sheet with paste into the freezer. Freeze hard. Approx 15 minutes.
Remove from freezer. Quickly pour the Joconde batter over the design. Spread evenly to completely cover the pattern of the Décor paste.
Bake at 475ºF /250ºC until the joconde bounces back when slightly pressed, approx. 15 minutes. You can bake it as is on the upside down pan. Yes, it is a very quick bake, so watch carefully.
Cool. Do not leave too long, or you will have difficulty removing it from mat.
Flip cooled cake on to a powdered sugared parchment paper. Remove silpat. Cake should be right side up, and pattern showing! (The powdered sugar helps the cake from sticking when cutting.)

Start with a large piece of parchment paper laid on a very flat baking sheet. Then a large piece of cling wrap over the parchment paper. Place a spring form pan ring, with the base removed, over the cling wrap and pull the cling wrap tightly up on the outside of the mold. Line the inside of the ring with a curled piece of parchment paper overlapping top edge by ½ inch. CUT the parchment paper to the TOP OF THE MOLD. It will be easier to smooth the top of the cake.
A biscuit cutter/ cookie cutter- using cling wrap pulled tightly as the base and the cling covering the outside of the mold, placed on a parchment lined very flat baking sheet. Line the inside with a curled piece of parchment paper overlapping.
Cut PVC pipe from your local hardware store. Very cheap! These can be cut into any height you wish to make a mold. 2 to 3 inches is good. My store will cut them for me, ask an employee at your store. You can get several for matching individual desserts. Cling wrap and parchment line, as outlined above.
Glass Trifle bowl. You will not have a free standing dessert, but you will have a nice pattern to see your joconde for this layered dessert.

Trim the cake of any dark crispy edges. You should have a nice rectangle shape.
Decide how thick you want your “Joconde wrapper”. Traditionally, it is ½ the height of your mold. This is done so more layers of the plated dessert can be shown. However, you can make it the full height.
Once your height is measured, then you can cut the cake into equal strips, of height and length. (Use a very sharp paring knife and ruler.)
Make sure your strips are cut cleanly and ends are cut perfectly straight. Press the cake strips inside of the mold, decorative side facing out. Once wrapped inside the mold, overlap your ends slightly. You want your Joconde to fit very tightly pressed up to the sides of the mold. Then gently push and press the ends to meet together to make a seamless cake. The cake is very flexible so you can push it into place. You can use more than one piece to “wrap “your mold, if one cut piece is not long enough.
The mold is done, and ready to fill.

It is nice to have a completed dessert so you can unmold and see the Joconde working. Fill with anything you desire. Layers of different flavors and textures! However, it needs to be something cold that will not fall apart when unmolded.

Mousses, pastry creams, Bavarian creams, cheesecakes, puddings, curds, jams, cookie bases, more cake (bake off the remaining sponge and cut to layer inside), nuts, Dacquoise, fresh fruit, chocolates, gelee.


Daring Bakers Challenge November 2010 : Crostata November 28, 2010

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The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

I chose to make 2 different fillings for my mini crostata, caramelized white chocolate ganache and raspberry (above), and milk chocolate praline ganache with dark chocolate glaze (below).

started off by making the pasta frolla for the crostata. I made it in the processor to save time and chilled the pastry down before rolling. I found the pastry easy to work with, and during baking, the shells didn’t shrink at all which is my usual problem with pastry.

The fillings I chose were quite labour intensive, but I really wanted to try working with praline which is where my idea for the chocolate crostata filling came from. I poured caramel over hazelnuts to make the praline, then whizzed to a powder before mixing into a milk chocolate ganache. This filled the tart almost to the top, but there was just enough room for a glaze of shiny dark chocolate and a sprinkling of praline powder.

For the other crostata, I made caramelized white chocolate (which is something I have been meaning to do for ages and I will DEFINITELY do again – it was delicious!). I melted this into some cream to make a ganache, and set some raspberries in a (hopefully) pretty pattern. I glazed the raspberries with a little sieved strawberry jam to give them a glossy finish.

I really enjoyed this challenge as I really got to be creative with the fillings – Thanks Simona for giving us all so much creative licence!

Pasta Frolla

1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar (see Note 1) or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon (you could also use vanilla sugar as an option, see Note 2)
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

Chocolate Filling

Make a praline by pouring caramel over skinned, blanched hazelnuts. Whiz to a fine powder in a food processor.
Mix some praline powder into a milk chocolate ganache (made by pouring hot double cream over milk chocolate and whisking until smooth).
Fill the baked crostata shells with the praline ganache.
Make a glaze with dark chocolate, milk and cream and spread over the top. Finish with a sprinkle of praline powder.

Caramelized white chocolate and raspberry filling

Make caramelized white chocolate according to David Lebovitz’s recipe
Pour over hot double cream to make a ganache.
Arrange raspberries on top and glaze with sieved jam.


Daring Bakers Challenge October 2010 (part 2): Churro Madness! October 27, 2010

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Recipe: Churros



So I decided to make a second attempt at this month’s DB challenge. I have had cravings for crispy, sugary churros dunked in hot chocolate sauce since having them for breakfast at this year’s Glastonbury Festival (what?! of course churros are a legitimate breakfast food!).


I wasn’t sure if it was a dish I could recreate at home, but the recipe for these sticks of cholesterol-building goodness was actually really easy, just flour, salt, butter and water. Thinking about it, this is dangerously easy because pretty much everyone keeps these ingredients on hand at all times!


It turned out I also already had the perfect piping equipment to make the distinctive churro shape, it seemed the star (nozzles) had aligned in my favour and there was no way I was getting out of making them now…


A bit of mixing, resting, piping, frying and dusting later and ta-dah! DELICIOUS churros.



Of course I had to make a chocolate sauce to go with, and as luck would have it Mr Ramsay helpfully provided a recipe alongside the churro instructions. The sauce (which was really a warm ganache) was spiced with orange, vanilla, chilli and cinnamon and was really beautiful (not to mention rich, eek!)



I much preferred my second attempt at the DB challenge to the regular doughnuts, perhaps it was the memories of muddy fields, searing sunshine and loud music that came flooding back, but I suspect it was the simplicity of this amazing recipe. I think everyone should try making their own churros, but be careful, you might get hooked too!



Adapted from Gordon Ramsay @ Channel 4

250g plain flour
Pinch of salt
50g unsalted butter
200ml water

For the hot chocolate:

150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) plus extra for grating
300ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, split
2” stick cinnamon
¼ red chilli, unchopped
1 orange, 3-4 pieces of peel only

For the sugar and cinnamon:

Approx 50g caster sugar for dusting
Approx 3 tsp ground cinnamon

300ml vegetable oil for deep frying
Sturdy piping bag with a star nozzle

Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the water and bring to the boil. Straight away pour this into the flour and mix using an electric whisk to make a smooth paste. The finished paste should slowly drop from the whisk; if the mixture is too dry, add up to 3 tablespoons of warm water to loosen the mixture slightly. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
To make the spiced chocolate break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl; heat the double cream in a saucepan with the vanilla pod, cinnamon stick, orange peel and chilli and bring to the boil. Strain the peel and spices from the cream onto the broken pieces of chocolate. Stir until the heat from the hot cream has melted the chocolate completely.
Mix caster sugar and some ground cinnamon on a plate to roll the churros through once cooked.
Spoon the churros paste into a sturdy piping bag fitted with star nozzle and chill until ready to use. Heat vegetable oil in a deep fat fryer or heavy bottomed pan to 180°C. Deep fry the churros a few at a time: pipe out 3-4 inch lengths directly into the hot oil and deep fry for approximately 4 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
Remove the crispy churros with a slotted spoon and drain any excess oil. Place the drained churros directly onto the plate of sugar and cinnamon and coat generously while they are still warm.


Daring Bakers Challenge October 2010 (part 1): Let’s Go Nuts for Doughnuts!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Saigon-Bites @ 12:01 am

Recipe: Apple Custard Doughnuts



The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.


Ohmygosh doughnuts are amazing! Everything we aren’t supposed to eat, deep fried and covered in sugar… mmmmmm… Needless to say I was pretty pleased with this month’s challenge. So pleased, in fact, that I decided to try it twice! See here for my other attempt.


I decided to follow the yeast doughnut recipe from Alton Brown, but I added some cinnamon to the dough (which already included nutmeg). I found the dough to be really sticky, perhaps I added too much liquid, so it was really difficult to work with. After rising, however, I rolled it out with plenty of flour and the doughnut shapes came out okay.


After a second rest, my doughnuts were ready to fry.



After cooling (as much as Miss Impatient here could stand), it was time to fill. For the filling, which I piped in (with MUCH difficulty), I decided to make an apple filling (kind of like the stuff in Mr Kipling apple pies) and add to it some rich vanilla custard – store bought, please don’t tell!! The apple filling was made with dessert apples, calvados, sugar, more cinamon and a cornflour-water mix. It tasted awesome, and had a great texture, but there is literally no way to make it look good in a photo! Here goes:



After filling I rolled the doughnuts in caster sugar and they were done. My next challenge was to hold off scoffing them all while we took a few photos…



Thank you Lori for this awesome challenge!


Yeast Doughnuts

Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size

Milk 1.5 cup / 360 ml
Vegetable Shortening 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 gm / 2.5 oz (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 22.5 ml / 14 gm / ½ oz
Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs, Large, beaten 2
White Granulated Sugar ¼ cup / 60 ml / 55 gm / 2 oz
Table Salt 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 gm / 1/3 oz
Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp. / 5 ml / 6 gm / ¼ oz
All Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup / 1,120 ml / 650 gm / 23 oz + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)

Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).
Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.


Apple Filling

1 dessert apple, finely diced
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
small knob of butter
1 tbsp calvados
1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 3 tbsp water

Fry the apples gently with the butter, sugar and cinnamon until soft. Add the calvados and boil off the alcohol. Mix in the cornflour mix and stir until thick. Add more water as needed to reach the desired consistency.


Autumn Soup – Jerusalem Artichoke and Roasted Garlic October 6, 2010

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I made this soup quite some time ago, but then left it a few weeks before posting… then another few weeks… and before I knew it, Jerusalem Artichokes were out of season. But their time has come again, I spied some on a market stall lat week so I think that warrants finally posting the recipe!



I found this recipe on the excellent website The British Larder. The photography on the site is so beautiful that it made me want to make pretty much everything on there (which would prove difficult in the absence of extensive sous-vide equpiment!). However, I came across this Artichoke and Garlic soup which was actually really easy to make.


The deeply caremelised and savoury artichokes and onions, combined with the smoky sweetness of the roasted garlic, made for amazing depth of flavour for something so beige! I urge you to try it, you will not be disappointed…



Jerusalem Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Soup
Adapted from The British Larder

For the Garlic

1 bulb of garlic
1tbs light brown sugar
1tbs water
Maldon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Cut the garlic bulb in half, place the salt and sugar in a small bowl and then dip the cut side of the garlic in the sugar salt mixture.

Place the remaining salt and sugar mix in two heaps on a lined baking tray and divide the water between the two heaps, place the garlic cut side down onto the tray, cover with foil and roast for 25 minutes, if the sugar caramel looks like burning add a drop of water and continue the cooking until the garlic is tender.

Let the roasted garlic cool.


For the Soup

500g Jerusalem Artichokes, peeled and sliced
1/2 of roasted garlic bulb, soft pulp only
1 banana shallot, sliced
1tbs unsalted butter
50ml Brandy, Madeira or white wine
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1L vegetable stock
Cream, thyme and olive oil, to serve.

Pop the soft cooled roasted garlic cloves out of the skins, discard the skins. Prepare the Jerusalem artichokes by peeling and slicing them, slice the peeled banana shallot.

Heat a large saucepan with the butter, once the butter starts to foam add the sliced banana shallot, garlic pulp and the sliced Jerusalem artichokes with a little bit of seasoning. Saute until golden brown, the darker the artichokes and onions the deeper and more intense the flavour will be. Season the soup a little at a time to prevent over seasoning.

Once the artichokes and onions are golden to dark brown deglaze the pan with the brandy, cook until the caramelised parts dissolve and the brandy is reduced to a syrup, coating the chokes.

Add the vegetable stock and bring the soup to a gentle simmer with a lid covering the pan. Gently simmer the soup for 25 – 30 minutes.

Blend the soup until very smooth, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. I used my thermomix and blended the soup for two minutes at speed 10, the powerful machine made my soup velvety and creamy, the finer the soup is blended the better the flavour, any blender will be equally as good.

Serve piping hot garnished with thyme leaves bashed together with olive oil and salt, and a swirl of cream.

Serves 4/6


I <3 Anchovies October 1, 2010

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Today I want to share with you a gorgeous, oniony, sweet-salty creation called Pissaladière. It is a french version of pizza, using soft caremelised onions as the sauce, and topped with anchovies and (usually) olives.


A couple of years ago, I would have turned my nose up at the thought of olives and anchovies, but it just goes to show how tastes can change (or perhaps palates can be educated?) because now I cant get enough of either of them!


I like to serve this as a weeknight supper or saturday lunch, although it takes a couple of hours in total including proving the bread dough and caremelising the onions, there is actually very little work that goes into the dish for such amazing results.


To serve, I made a quick salad of lettuce, grated beetroot, sliced radishes and mixed sprouted seeds; dresed with a mustard vinaigrette.


If you think you don’t like anchovies, or don’t like the idea of putting little fish fillets on a pizza, I urge you to try this recipe – it may well change your mind, too 🙂



Adapted from BBC Good Food

200g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp easy blend dried yeast
150ml warm water
5 tbsp olive oil , plus extra for drizzling
1kg onions , thinly sliced
a few sprigs of thyme
2 tomatoes , skinned and chopped
1 can anchovy fillets, drained, fat ones halved lengthways
a handful of black olives (optional)

Tip the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl. Pour in the water, spoon in the oil and mix to a soft dough. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave it to rise for 45 minutes to 1¼ hours or until the dough springs back when pressed. Don’t worry too much is it takes more or less time.
While the dough is rising, heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan or sauté pan, throw in the onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes until softened but not browned, stirring from time to time.
Sprinkle in the thyme and some salt and pepper, then tip in the tomatoes and stir well. Cover and cook gently for 45 minutes until the onions are meltingly soft, stirring occasionally and removing the lid for the last 10 minutes to reduce any liquid. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7/fan 200C. Lightly oil a shallow 23x33cm baking tin or tray. Knead the dough again briefly, then roll it out and press it into the tin. Don’t leave it to rise again.
Spread the onion mixture over the dough, then arrange the anchovies on top, making a criss-cross pattern. Stud each window between the anchovies with an olive (if using), then bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Serve warm, cold or reheated, cut into squares.


Matcha Madeleines and a Big Chocolate Hit September 29, 2010

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I went to Japan Centre recently. Near Piccadilly Circus? Go see it for yourself. I nearly stayed in there forever, soo much japanese stuff… and the fresh sushi and cooked to order tempura at the takeaway counter looked amazing! I was all but hypnotised by the machine freshly grinding matcha (green-tea) powder, but I eventually managed to drag myself away with a small sachet to play with.


After looking up a lot of recipes for matcha this and green tea that, I decided on making a classic madeleine with the addition of a tbsp of matcha powder to replace some flour. I pretty much winged it but I was totally pleased with the results!



…And what else to serve the madeleines with but rich chocolate pots, all smooth and dense, garnished with some juicy raspberries… heaven…




Madeleines made as previously described in this post, with the replacement of 1tbsp of flour with matcha powder


Chocolate Pots de Crème

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup whole milk
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 egg yolks
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp pure Vanilla extract

Prepare 4 small or 3 medium size ramekins by placing in a shallow baking pan or the bottom of a broiler pan. Set the oven temperature at 170 degrees.

In a small saucepan boil cream,and milk for a minute. In another bowl place chopped chocolate and pour hot cream mixture over. Let the hot mixture sit for 2 minutes and then stir to melt and blend the chocolate.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until well blended. Add vanilla.

Slowly pour warm chocolate cream into egg mixture, whisking until mixture is smooth. Pour mixture through a mesh sieve to cull out any lumps. Next pour or spoon into the ramekins.

Pour hot water into the bottom of the shallow baking pan so it comes about ½ inch up sides of ramkins. Cover the pan with a large sheet of aluminum foil and poke small holes in the foil to allow air holes. Place in oven and bake about 30-35 minutes.

Pots de crème are done when the outside is set and the inside still slightly jiggles. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Chill in refrigerator another 5 hours before serving. Pots de crème will keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days so you can make it ahead for a party if you wish. In fact, the flavor combination of chocolate and coffee will mellow into a smooth blend if kept refrigerated over a day.