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Petit Pot au Chocolat

submitted by sarahjane on Jun-29-07
(this recipe is good for dessert)
servings: 4

I made this for Sarah and Steve when they came to visit and they gave it the old thumbs up.  It's dead easy - another plus.  You do need to make it well ahead of time, though, so don't be thinking of starting it just as your guests arrive.

Special equipment needed: a sieve and ramekins.

From Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson.

Mr. Hopkinson notes: "It is important that you allow a crust to form towards the end of the cooking - which may look as though you have overcooked them.  Do not worry, as this, when cold, forms a chocolate crust that covers a cream of extreme intensity and velvet texture."

175 ml/6 fl oz double cream
1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthways
75 ml/3 fl oz milk
125 g/4 1/2 oz dark unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
2 egg yolks
1 heaped tbsp icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 275 F/140C/Gas Mark 1.  Warm the cream with the vanilla pod; whisk to disperse the seeds, then cover and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the milk.  Beat together the egg yolks and sugar; add the chocolate milk and vanilla cream and blend together thoroughly.  Pass through a sieve and pour into ramekins.  Fill a square cake pan with 1-2 inches of water and place ramekins in pan [ed. note: this is known as a bain-marie].  Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until slightly puffed up and spongy.  Cool thoroughly in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving.

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