ridiculously priced single origin chocolate and it arrived right around Valentine's Day. Yes, Forbes called them the most expensive chocolates in the world retailing at over $800 a pound. Now that I have lived in Fairbanks for a while and have experienced the most expensive chocolate in the world I will make this comparison; there is about as much difference between $40 a pound chocolate and $800 a pound chocolate as there is between 35 below zero and 60 below zero. Really, there isn't that much difference. Good chocolate is good chocolate and cold is cold!
Every year since then I always make sure we have some chocolate for Valentine's Day, whether it is a simple chocolate cake, a nice bar of chocolate, or a simple dessert like this one. When I first looked at this recipe and saw it only made two servings I wondered if I should double it (or triple it). Wouldn't I want more than one serving? I was afraid that it would leave me wanting more. I found like good bar of chocolate, a little of this dessert goes a long way. In fact I recommend sharing one serving with your sweetie on Valentine's Day, or actually using smaller ramekins to make four individual servings. The recipe is so rich it actually reminds me of a chocolate Creme Brulee rather than chocolate Pots de Creme which is what the original recipe was called. It is dense, rich, and absolutely delicious. Perfect for a special treat for someone special on Valentine's Day, especially if that someone is you!
adapted from A Sweet Spoonful
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70%), chopped
1 tbsp. sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cognac (you can use another favorite liquor or almond extract)
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
Pinch of salt
whipped cream, for topping
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bring milk and cream to a low simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the chocolate and sugar. Stir until melted. Let stand to cool slightly while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
In a medium bowl, stir together egg yolk, vanilla, cognac, espresso powder and salt. Gradually stir the chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking to combine the two. Pour through a fine sieve into a glass measuring cup.
Place 2 (or 4 for smaller servings) oven proof. ramekins or custard cups in a shallow roasting pan, and divide chocolate mixture equally between them. Pour hot water into the pan so it reaches halfway up the sides of the cups.
Bake until almost set in the center, about 30 minutes (they will firm as they cool). Carefully remove cups from hot-water bath and let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. I actually found these to be quite nice served a little more towards room temperature, rather than cold straight from the refrigerator. Top with whip cream and serve.