Last year we had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Bill’s family came from three different states and it was fun to have all of us together. Instead of a traditional sit down dinner we had an open house beginning with a brunch buffet offering a variety of egg casseroles, fruit, juice, savory palmiers and sweets. Early evening we served turkey breast and cranberry mayo as well as tenderloin with horseradish sauce on small buns. The recipe for the tenderloin was posted previously in October and is in the archives on this site. Our table also offered antipasto and quinoa salad, mini shrimp cocktails and a variety of cheeses and grapes. My favorite part of all that we served was the desserts. Although I have made tiramisu before, because it was Thanksgiving I chose to make pumpkin tiramisu which I had never tried making before. Something else I had never made before, was the pots de crème or “pots of (chocolate) cream”. They were the hit of the dessert buffet because they are so decadent and rich. Unlike some recipes that call for using eggs, this one does not and is very easy to make. This has become my new favorite dessert to serve, and to also take to dinners elsewhere. I must confess, besides being a foodie, I am also a chocoholic. Rarely a day goes by when I don’t savor a square of dark, dark chocolate…the darker the better. My mom always preferred milk chocolate but she loved these, so don’t be put off by the use of dark chocolate. The coffee liquor, cream and sugar take away any bitterness you might expect.
I wanted to serve just a taste (Don’t we all want to try just a little bit of everything?) so I purchased extra small punch cups and they were perfect. Also, I unexpectedly found packages of demitasse spoons at the dollar store which worked out well for serving the dessert. When I took the picture last Thanksgiving, I never thought I would be posting it on the internet. It’s not the best but it’s the only one I have. I think you can get the idea of what they looked like. This past year I have served the crème in ramekins (mine are about 1/3 cup) or it can also be put into martini glasses or pretty china cups to be served at a tea, bridal shower or ladies luncheon. Make these at least an hour before serving so they firm up in the refrigerator. Because they are in small “pots” I chose to use whipping cream from an aerosol can to top them, the nozzle makes it easier to control. Generally when a recipe calls for topping with whipped cream, I whip and sweeten from scratch, so this is an exception for me.
Next week I will be sharing my sister-in-law Patricia’s scone recipe. Her cranberry orange scones are so very good and the recipe makes either 8 large or 16 smaller scones. If you have guests staying with you over the holidays or just dropping in to visit, you may want to serve these “sweet biscuits”, which is how I have described them to someone who has never had the opportunity to enjoy one.
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 72%-86%
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee, espresso or decaff coffee granules
- 2 Tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur (1 oz)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (8 oz.) heavy cream
- Have 4 ramekins (1/2 cup) ready, or other small cups
- Set everything up prior to making these
- Put the chopped chocolate, sugar and coffee granules in a blender
- Put the liqueur and vanilla in a dish and set it next to the blender
- In a small saucepan heat the cream just to boiling
- When it's at the boiling point, pour it over the chocolate, put the lid on the blender
- Blend on med-hi until chocolate is melted and smooth
- Add the liquor & vanilla and blend about 5-10 seconds on low.
- Skim off any foam with a spoon and discard
- Pour the creme into the ramekins (or other small cups)
- Cover cups with plastic wrap (or lids if you have them) and refrigerate at least 1 hour
- Top with whipped cream just before serving
If you don't have coffee liqueur, you may be able to find miniature bottles at a liquor store since the recipe calls for just 1 oz.
Dark rum can be substituted for the coffee liqueur