Chocolate and spice. You know the combination. You’ve also heard the term ‘Mexican Chocolate’ assigned to everything that remotely fits this profile. I will not do that to this recipe!
Chocolate has a fascinating history. I like to remember that the European chocolate we think of, the kind with sugar and milk, is very different from the original – a cacao beverage that was bitter and not sweet at all. The recipe below is far from bitter, but it is very rich and made with dark chocolate.
I created this spicy chocolate pots de creme for Marx Foods’ Fire on Ice Chile Recipe Contest. Marx Foods carries a huge variety of artisan and hard-to-find food products including mushrooms, cheese, pasta, meat, seafood and pantry items. The Fire on Ice contest challenges bloggers to make a cold recipes featuring their dried chilies. Of every option out there I, of course, wanted to use chocolate.
Renee from Eat.Live.Blog shared the contest with me a few weeks ago and, upon receiving my little box of dried chilies, I was very excited to start experimenting!
The following recipe is a no-bake pots de creme (meaning pot of custard or creme) inspired by this recipe in Sacramento Magazine from Jan 2010. Perfect for these heatwaves we’ve all been enjoying in Boston. It’s easy if you prep everything ahead of time and the recipe is very forgiving, as you strain the mixture after heating the milk.
For my first trial I used habaneros and the result was a painfully spicy chocolate pots de creme (the habaneros hid any taste of chocolate). As in need-a-few-glasses-of-water hot. In the second I tried ancho chilies and, you guessed it, much more mild, but with a nice heat that built as I ate the dessert. The final result is a good mid-level heat to go with this decadently thick version of pots de creme. As with all milk infusions, feel free to increase intensity based on your preferences.
Spicy Chocolate Pots De Creme
40 minutes to make, plus chilling in fridge overnight
Makes 8 small servings
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large ancho chilies (follow these instructions from Marx Foods to reconstitute dried chilies)
- 2 cups half and half (or heavy cream if you’d like)
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup (or 7 oz) of bittersweet chocolate
- whipped cream (optional)
Whisk eggs and 1/4 cup of sugar in small bowl.
In saucepan over medium heat, stir together and then heat half and half, remaining sugar, reconstituted chilies, and vanilla until it comes to a simmer. This will infuse the milk with chilies. Slowly add half of milk mixture to bowl with egg and sugar, stirring to combine.
Pour everything (including the chilies) back into the saucepan over low heat, whisking together until the combination is thick, but not boiling.
Put chocolate in large bowl. Strain custard mixture over chocolate, mashing up chilies as you strain, and stir until combined. Pour into small bowls and chill overnight.
Top with homemade whipped cream (whip heavy/whipping cream, powdered sugar, and dash of vanilla until thick) and enjoy this spicy chocolate treat!
Marx Foods provided the chilies to me, free of charge, for this recipe as part of their Fire on Ice competition. The recipe and opinions are my own.