June 05, 2013

Chocolate Pots De Crème (With Olive Oil and Sea Salt)

On the way back home from our trip to Strasbourg last week, we had to spend a night in Paris because of the odd flight schedule.  Yeah, we HAD to.  What a terrible life. 

So anyway, on this one night we decided to go to dinner at a restaurant called Frenchie.  Frenchie was on our list last time we went to Paris for our honeymoon, but because everyone in Paris takes a month off in August (and goes to Nice), it was not to be. 

At the last minute we decided instead to go the the Frenchie wine bar, which is right across from the restaurant proper, but is more casual.  This place was crowded!  While waiting for a table, we jostled for elbow room at the bar and attempted to convince the bartender that we were French.  He humoured us. 

Without a doubt I would go back there, but what I will remember most vividly was the dessert we had.  Pot de chocolat (avec huile d’olive et sel de mer).  It was almost an afterthought as we were fairly full.  It was destiny.  A little bit of a shock with the first bite as olive oil coated my tongue, but it quickly gave way to rich chocolate.  Kind of like a pudding, but lighter.  Kind of like a mousse, but heavier.  The hint of salt was magical.  I knew I had to recreate this at home.

The trick to these is not to overcook them.  The longer they cook, they thicker they get.  You want them just set at the edges, so you still get that rich, pudding/mousse-like centre.  Also, get a good olive oil to go on top.  I have two olive oils at home: one that I use for everyday cooking and one that I use for drizzling.  Here I used the drizzle oil.  If you don’t have a good olive oil and you’re determined not to get one for this one recipe then I would skip it altogether. 

But please, do not skip the salt.  If the salt weirds you out, close your eyes.  Fermez les yeux.  

Everyone needs a little chocolate therapy. 

Chocolate Pots De Crème (avec huile d’olive et sel de mer)
Adapted from Tartelette

6 egg yolks
1/4 cup (60ml) honey
1/2 cup (125ml) whole milk
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
6 oz (180gr) bittersweet chocolate (or a mix of bittersweet and milk)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Good olive oil and sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F.

Chop up your chocolate into small pieces.

Pour the milk and cream into a medium saucepan and heat just to a simmer.

While the milk is heating, beat egg yolks and honey in a large bowl for 2-3 minutes, until lightened in colour. 

When the milk/cream is simmering, remove from heat and add the chocolate.  Whisk or stir until fully dissolved.  If the chocolate doesn’t want to fully dissolve, place it back on low heat and keep stirring until it does. 

Slowly pour the warm, melted chocolate into the eggs, whisking the entire time so that the eggs don’t cook.  Stir in the olive oil. 

Place 4-6 oven-safe ramekins into a roasting pan.  Split the chocolate mixture evenly among the ramekins.  Pour some hot water into the roasting pan until halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Be careful not to spill the water into the ramekins (I used a watering can to do this). 

Carefully, place the roasting pan into the center of the preheated oven.  Bake for 25-35 minutes.  This time really depends on your oven so I would suggest checking on these often.  They should look just set with a slight jiggle in the centre when given a shake.  An instant read thermometer should measure about 150-155F in the centre of the chocolate.  If you overbake, they will still taste good, but will be thicker. 

Let cool to room temp without removing from the water bath.  Refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight before serving.  Right before serving, drizzle with good olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. 

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