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Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings to my lovely readers and friends. Its been quite a year, and I hope that you have had a blessed Christmas with your own family and friends. Every day that I blog, I count my blessings to know you all, and you make such a difference to me. I thank you all for being in my life!

Chocolate Chestnut Pots de Creme

A quick post today. I've been a bit 'alasi' (lazy) over the Christmas period, and as is usual have been neglecting my blogging. I blame a combination of stress, followed by lassitude for this. Its not that I haven't been cooking, its just that I have been making food to take to potluck dinners, and this means that I am always making my signature dishes like the butter chicken, so there is no incentive to blog.

That said, I did break out a bit and made these delicious Jamie Oliver sprouts for the Christmas dinner we were attending with friends. They, along with maple glazed carrots and David Lebovitz's butterscotch pecan ice cream were my contribution to the evening. So I sit here, on Christmas day, and I am pleasantly stuffed full of Christmas dinner, roast turkey and the works, plus a totally divine sticky toffee pudding for dessert.

Chocolate Chestnut Pot2

Then of course, I felt that the least I could do was share this other divine dessert that I made last week for the Forever Nigella Christmas challenge. I love Nigella Lawson's christmas recipes, and this was certainly no exception.

This dessert is a very Nigella-esqe combination of rich chocolate, nutty chestnuts and child-unfriendly (yayy!!) booze. I picked the recipe from her website, but I had to make a fair few changes to it, which is why I have included the recipe in this post. I cut the recipe in half (didn't need that much richness floating around an already overstuffed house) and I also remeasured everything into cup measures. I didn't manage to find chestnut puree, but did find Italian chestnut creme, so used that instead. I also used a lighter 50% cocoa Lindt chocolate, because I didn't want the chestnut flavour to be overwhelmed by the darkness of the chocolate. I then used Frangelico, the Italian hazelnut liqueur instead of rum, and I was very impressed by the nuttier flavour that it imparted to the dessert. I also used a simple blender to make it, as I don't own a food processor [Santa didn't recieve my request in time this year, I think :-(]You are more than welcome to use the original recipe, which can be found here.

Kay and I LOVED this dessert. It was rich, but not overpoweringly so. Decadent, but with a light as air texture that was just melt in the mouth. The liqueur was not too strong, but very gently enhanced the chestnut flavour instead. This is a definite keeper of a recipe, and I love it a lot more than the usual chocolate mousses I make. And it so simple, even a child could put it together in minutes. Win win all round for me, I think.

Chocolate Chestnut Pots de Creme

Recipe:
(Printable Recipe)
Adapted from Nigella Lawson'e Website

100 g 50% dark chocolate (I use Lindt)
1/3 cup (around 75 ml) whipping cream (35%)
1/3 cup (around 75 ml) half and half cream (10%)
1 small egg
A generous ½ cup (125 ml) chestnut creme or chestnut puree *see notes
1 tablespoon Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) or rum (optional)

Method:

In a blender, coarsely chop the chocolate until it in tiny pieces. Turn off the blender.

Heat the cream and half and half in a saucepan until very hot and just beginning to steam (you can also do it in a microwave to save yourself a pot)

Slowly pour in the cream into the chopped chocolate, and let it melt the chocolate for about 30 - 45 seconds.

Turn on the blender, and process for about 30 - 45 seconds, until the chocolate cream mixture is smooth.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg. Very carefully, with the blender running on low speed, add the beaten egg to the chocolate-cream mixture. Beware the mixture will be hot, so don't add the egg all at once, or you'll get scrambled eggs. And keep the blender running on a low speed when you do this as well, to keep the egg moving.

Turn up the blender speed and whizz for about 45 second - 1 minute.

Add the chestnut creme and the Frangelico, and process for another 1 - 1½ minutes, until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Pour into little bowls or shot glasses and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set properly. As Nigella says, you can also freeze them in freezer safe bowls. Thaw well before serving. Can be served with additional whipped cream if you desire.
Notes:

I couldn't find chestnut puree here in Edmonton (I probably could have, but I didn't have time to go gallumping all over the city so close to Christmas) So I used chestnut creme that I found in the Italian Centre. I could probably also have used the chestnut spread that Bonne Maman makes, that I used in my Chocolate Chestnut Brownie Cake. If you're using chestnut creme or spread, be generous when scooping out the half cup, or you won't get as much chestnut flavour.

I also amped up the nut flavour by using Frangelico or hazelnut liqueur. Feel free to use rum or no alcohol, instead.

As I don't have a food processor, I used my blender which has various speed settings. If you want the food processor method, refer to the recipe on the website. Or you could just use an electric whisk.

5 comments :

  1. Looks delicious. Would love for you to share your pictures with us over at foodepix.com.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hope you had a good Christmas! This looks divine! It was on my shortlist of things to make this year but I went with a cake instead :)

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  3. you click really good pics! this looks beautiful!
    Happy New Year!
    -
    Kavi | Edible Entertainment

    ReplyDelete
  4. A belated reply but finally I am getting around to all the FN entries - thank you so much for taking part!

    I think these sound like the ones I made 12 months ago and they were indeed divine! I must buy another pot of sweetened chestnut to do them again.

    I have been a bit lack-a-daisical about blogging myself lately, I think it's good to take a break every now and again.

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete

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