Monday, February 8, 2010
Things are very progressive in Portland
So one of the great things about my trip to Portland (besides visiting my sister and mom) was seeing my Titi Esa! Titi Esa is my godmother, but because of various circumstances, I hadn't seen her since I was 14 years old. Her name is Teresa, but I couldn't say that as a child, so my mom had me call her "Titi Esa" (Titi means "aunt" in Spanish). We had all sorts of great trips in New York when I was younger, so it was great to see her again!
My mom had told her about my blog, so I think she'd been reading it a bit. She and her sister had the idea to have a "progressive" dinner party (which is not a liberal minded party, but one where you have each course at a different house!). It sounded like fun to me. Titi Esa and her sister live next door to each other and my mom and I were staying just a few minutes away. I picked dessert as my course, not wanting to have to bother trying to make anything vegetarian. My mom kept saying, "we could just get some fruit and cheese or something," to which I said "Mom! They read my blog! I have to cook something!" Plus, I love to cook. Well, you know.
I decided to make Chocolate Pots (one of the first fancy desserts I ever tried to make). The first time I made it, I didn't really know what I was doing and ended up with bits of scrambled egg in my dessert. But I've made it several times since then and now I know how to avoid that.
Also, I didn't have any of my cookbooks. Or my computer. Or the Internet. So, this was not the time to try something new.
These are a snap to make! All you need is time.
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, at room temperature, coarsely chopped (you can always use Ghiradelli bittersweet chips - I love those)
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons dark rum (or whatever liquor you have hanging about - Bailey's would be good. I tend to use whiskey because I love it)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a medium saucepan, heat the cream until bubbles appear around the edge. Keep watching - my mom looked away for a second and totally missed it.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute, then stir until smooth.
Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl.
Then whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot chocolate cream. This is called "tempering" the yolks. It makes it so that your eggs won't scramble in your dessert. It's very important. Don't skip this step! I'm sorry I don't have any useful pictures of it. I've only got two hands, you know.
Scrape this mixture into the saucepan and whisk constantly until smooth. Stir in the booze and butter.
Pour the custard into eight 1/2-cup ramekins or espresso cups and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours
The beer isn't ours. I swear.
I topped it with whipped cream (whip your own cream - please. It's so much better) and shaved bits of chocolate. I used a vegetable peeler. My mom thought I was nuts when I asked for it.
They were so good! I'm pretty sure everyone liked them. To end this post (but not my segment on Portland), here's a picture of my sister doing her "model" face.