It’s kind of like a chocolate pudding for grownups: lighter, less sugary with a potent bittersweet-chocolate flavor. The espresso powder helps to intensify the chocolate while keeping the flavor on the “bitter” side of bittersweet.
You can make this dessert up to three days in advance which makes it perfect for a party dessert. I used some crunchy pearl sugar to create a heart in the center of the chocolate creme by cutting a small heart shape out of parchment paper and carefully laying over the chilled chocolate creme then filling in with the pearl sugar.
Pearl sugar is great to have on hand for decorating baked goods as it doesn’t melt like powdered sugar and adds a nice sweet crunchy texture which, in this case, pairs well with the smooth chocolate creme.
Here is how you can make your own:
You can find the entire recipe here.
In addition to ramekins or custard bowls, you will also need a roasting pan to use for a water bath. Set roasting pan and ramekins aside for later.
Fill a stock pot with water, heating until boiling, then turn off the heat and leave for later use. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
Put bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Bring cream, milk, espresso powder and a pinch of salt to a boil in a heavy sauce pan, stirring until the espresso powder is dissolved.
Pour mixture over chocolate and mix until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a separate bowl mix together the yolks, sugar and pinch of salt. Slowly add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and mix together.
Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring cup. Let strained mixture cool for 15 minutes.
Divide the cooled mixture between the ramekins or custard cups and place in the roasting pan. Add the hot water to the pan, coming about half-way up the sides of the ramekins.
Carefully place pan with water and ramekins into oven. Lightly cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the edges are set but the centers are still wobbly.
Transfer ramekins to a wire rack to cool. I used rubber gloves to grab the ramekins out of the water.
Let cool around 1 hour then transfer to the fridge to chill until cold, around 3 hours or up to 3 days.
Serve cold with lightly whipped cream and some shaved chocolate or decorate with pearl sugar.