Sunday, August 22, 2010

First quarter exams are overrr

I'm happy to report that I survived my first quarter exams, which consisted of a written and of course, a practical portion.

For the practical, we were given three days to produce the following: chocolate caramels, pâte de fruit, marshmallows, crème brûlée with chocolate cream and hazelnut biscotti, pastilles, soufflés, crêpes, and an ice cream vacherin — not so bad, eh? One partner and I were required to make these items individually, while sharing only ONE induction cooktop and ONE KitchenAid mixer.

Although it was challenging, my partner and I still managed to complete everything. I think I did pretty well overall, despite my slightly overcooked crème brûlée and super soft caramels.

It was definitely a grueling eighteen hours, but I swear my whisking arm has never looked better.

Chocolate Espresso Pots de Crème
Adapted from Gourmet, February 2004

  • 6 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped 
  • 1-1/3 cups heavy cream 
  • 2/3 cup whole milk 
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons instant-espresso powder 
  • 6 large egg yolks 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 300°F.

Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream, milk, espresso powder (to taste), and a pinch of salt just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until espresso powder is dissolved, then pour over chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in another bowl, then add warm chocolate mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-quart glass measure and cool completely, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Line bottom of a baking pan (large enough to hold ramekins) with a folded kitchen towel and arrange ramekins on towel. Poke several holes in a large sheet of foil with a skewer. Divide custard among ramekins, then bake custards in a hot water bath, pan covered tightly with foil, until custards are set around edges but still slightly wobbly in centers, 30 to 35 minutes.

Transfer ramekins to a rack to cool completely, uncovered, about 1 hour. (Custards will set as they cool.) Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours. Makes 8 servings.


  1. Wow! That is seriously gruelling, I'm surprised your whisking arm hasn't fallen off! But the pots de creme look amazing, so I am sure you did very well.

  2. Oh my goodness, these look delicious. You can bet I'll be making them soon!

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  4. What size ramekins did you use?

  5. You are giving me some serious chocolate cravings!This is delicious!I saw your blog from the foodie blog roll and I like what you have here.if you won't mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  6. Aila: I used 4 oz. ramekins; the recipe made about 8 total.

  7. this looks so yummy! Glad to hear there are other fellow foodie bloggers who are also students! lol ;)