recipe

Credit: EARL CARTER

Chocolate pots with whisky cream

To me, a chocolate pot de crème is the best part of a chocolate tart without all the hassle of pastry-making – resting, rolling, blind baking, blah, blah, blah. If, however, you did want to go to the effort of making a tart – and I don’t judge – the chocolate custard in this recipe would work a treat for the filling.

This is quite a delicate recipe on a number of levels. In the restaurant we would bake these only a few hours before we serve them and leave them at room temperature in their barely set state. When they’re eaten, the texture is quite silken. If they hit the fridge, they set to a thick ganache and the whole impact is lost.

This is also a great example of a recipe that can really highlight the quality of chocolate. Too often, chocolate gets piled up with other flavours. Here you really taste the nuance – the different notes in the chocolate. Because it’s cooked at a lower temperature, these flavours are not damaged.

Other flavours can be added, if you need. You might infuse some vanilla, cardamom or orange into the cream and let it rest before the baking. But if quality chocolate is involved, leave it well alone.

The type of sugar used can also influence the flavour. I’ve experimented all the way from a muscovado to a standard raw sugar. The muscovado brings a treacle-like quality to the chocolate, which rounds off nicely with the whisky cream. The raw sugar is more subtle, which is fine.

The only thing to mention about the whisky cream is that you can be generous with the whisky but not so generous as to not have a finger or two left to drink after dinner.

 

Chocolate pots with whisky cream

Serves 4

For the chocolate pots

– 250g 65 per cent chocolate

– 100ml milk

– 150ml thickened cream

– 2 eggs beaten lightly

 

For the whisky cream

– 125ml thickened cream

– 1 tbsp golden syrup

– 30ml (1 shot) of good-quality whisky

 

Preheat your oven to 160°C.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

Meanwhile, bring the milk and cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream and milk over the beaten eggs, whisking all the while. Now strain the egg mixture through a fine sieve over the melted chocolate, folding with a spatula to combine thoroughly.

Pour the mixture evenly into four heat-resistant whisky glasses. Place the glasses in a baking tray roughly 10 centimetres deep. Boil the kettle and pour the hot water into the baking tray until it reaches halfway up the chocolate mixture in the glasses.

Bake the chocolate for 10-12 minutes. It should be just set and have a wobble in the centre.

Turn the oven off and leave the chocolate pots to cool with the oven door open for 15 minutes. Remove the glasses from the warm water and leave to cool to room temperature. Leave the baked chocolate at room temperature until you wish to serve. Do not place the chocolate pots in the fridge. If you need to refrigerate, ensure the chocolate pots are removed from the fridge three hours before serving.

Before serving, whisk the second measurement of cream to a soft peak. Fold in the golden syrup and whisky.

To serve, place a generous spoonful of the whisky cream into the glasses on top of the chocolate.

 

Drink pairing:

Equipo Navazos P. X. Gran Solera, Jerez, Spain ($50, 375ml) – Liam O’Brien, head sommelier, Cutler & Co.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Oct 14, 2017 as "Pot calling". Subscribe here.

Andrew McConnell
is the executive chef and co-owner of Cutler & Co and Cumulus Inc. He is The Saturday Paper’s food editor.

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