3 cups milk
1/3 cup piloncillo or light brown sugar (packed)
2 cinnamon sticks, cracked
9 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 pound plus 2 ounces Mexican chocolate such as Ibarra or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (see Note)
Lightly sweetened whipped cream and ground cinnamon, for serving
The pots de crème can be covered with plastic or with the pot lids and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, brown sugar and cinnamon sticks and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat, then cover the saucepan and let the milk infuse for 20 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar and
vanilla until pale. Whisk in the melted chocolate until smooth and glossy, about 1 minute; the mixture will be quite thick. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the warm milk and discard. Gradually add the milk to the chocolate, whisking constantly, until smooth and creamy. Strain the custard through a fine sieve and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 300°. Place a kitchen towel in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Arrange ten 4-ounce ramekins or espresso cups in the roasting pan. Stir the chocolate custard until smooth, then divide it among the ramekins. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
4. Cover the roasting pan with foil and bake the custards for 35 to 40 minutes, or until just set around the edges but still slightly jiggly in the centers. Carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours. Garnish each pot de crème with a small dollop of whipped cream and a little sprinkle of cinnamon.
The best and fastest way to melt chocolate is in the microwave oven. Chop the chocolate and then melt it in a microwave-safe bowl on high power for about 3 minutes, stirring after each minute. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring frequently.
Posted: 9/17/2009 10:41:27 AM