This recipe is based on a traditional Pot de Creme which is traditionally made like a warm custard. in our case, we are using the twist where it is a warm chocolate dessert. Very rich indeed. A perfect indulgence on Valentines’ Day, and easy to make to boot.
The more simple the recipe, the more important quality of ingredients becomes. In this case where the chocolate is the star, we want to use premium chocolate. Callebaut is one I have used for years in everything from chocolate mousse to genache and truffles. It is one of those things you will use over and over, so you can buy a bigger chunk. It can be found on-line as well as at higher end supermarkets (I find it at Wegman’s and sometimes Trader Joe’s)
Vanilla Beans are another great ingredient to have. Behind Saffron, it is the second most expensive spice on the planet. I find mine in Mexico at a pretty good price when we visit, I will always come back with some. Always great to ask a friend to get you some if they are going! Costa Rica is a primary area for growing of the bean pods. How you use it? Well usually half of a bean pod is equivilent to roughly 1/2 Tbsp of Vanilla Extract. The next thing is to take a paring knife and cut lengthwise down the pod. Then scrape the inside into your mixutre and put the pod in as well. Like a Bay Leaf we remove it prior to serving. It also helps that the mixture is warm, this will help the flavors extract from the bean itself. (Look for more on this in a later post)
5 cups whole milk (this works best, try not to use less than whole)
8 ounces Grand Marnier (Or your favorite alcohol)
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (a good dark chocolate, Callebaut is my favorite)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 Vanilla Bean or 1/2 Tbsp Pure Vanilla extract
- Heat the milk in a medium pot over high heat until hot, but not boiling.
- Reduce the heat to very low and add the alcohol, chocolate, sugar, and vanilla beans(see below).
- Using a whisk, stir the mixture until the chocolate has melted. Continue to whisk the chocolate mixture until frothy every few minutes for about 8 minutes, until the chocolate has completely dissolved into the milk.
- Remove Vanilla Bean.
- Pour into mugs and serve immediately.