For the first time in a while I sat outside on the weekend sun baking with my newly adopted rescue pooch, Kiki, and the sad thing is this is probably one of the first times in her short neglected life that she has chilled out in the sun free and relaxed. I shudder at the thought that if she was never rescued in the first place by the shelter, she would’ve been another tragic victim of backyard breeding. It makes me even more determined now to give her a life of TLC that she deserves (and to show her that not all humans are scary) and to fight harder for a cause dear to my heart.
On a more positive vibe, I’ve been happily pottering around in the kitchen again, much to Kiki’s curiosity, but that means that I now had to face a stockpile of unused stuff; frozen blobs of unlabelled pastries and cookie doughs, apples at the back of the fridge and a formidable wall of containers filled with frozen egg whites (I’m not a meringue/macaron fan so jeezus what am I gonna do with all of them?!). And then there are the frozen berries; packets and boxes of them.
First step in de-cluttering was an easy choice. Turn berries into a purée and syrup to use at my leisure; a spoonful here and there on ice cream, yoghurt, chocolate cake and in desserts. In this instance, I added just enough raspberry syrup to a chocolate pot de crème to make its presence felt without overpowering the chocolate and it was sublime. For the second batch, I folded through some extra raspberries as well and it just reminded me how much I loved this classic pairing. I think this definitely calls for a third batch asap.
- 220ml pure cream (whipping cream with 35% fat content)
- 100g good quality dark chocolate
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 Tbl of caster sugar
- 2 Tbl of raspberry syrup or 3 Tbl of raspberry purée (recipes below)
- Preheat oven to 160°C. In a heavy based saucepan, gently melt the cream and chocolate together then set aside to cool. Meanwhile put a full kettle of water on boil.
- In a bowl or large Pyrex jug, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and thickened. Strain chocolate mixture into the egg then gently fold through until mostly mixed. Add the raspberry syrup then gently fold until combined. If you love raspberries as much I do, you could fold through an extra handful of thawed or fresh raspberries.
- Pour mixture into 4 small ramekins or bowls then place in a deep baking tray and place in the oven (I used a 20cm square cake tin). Pour the boiled water from the kettle into the pan until it comes halfway up the ramekins (be careful not to splash water into the chocolate pots). Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the sides have just set but the centres are still a touch wobbly.
- Remove from oven and cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Before serving, allow pot de crèmes to sit for 5-10 minutes then serve with double cream, fresh raspberries or shaved chocolate.
- To make the raspberry purée / syrup, take your pick of the methods written below.
- Place 400g of frozen raspberries with 80g of caster sugar (adjust to taste) in a blender then pulverise. Pass through a fine sieve then refrigerate.
- Raspberry Syrup (perfect if you don’t have a blender)
- Place 400g of frozen raspberries in a bowl then sprinkle 80g of caster sugar over it, cover with cling wrap then leave in fridge for a day or two to macerate. What you’re left with is a bowl of raspberry liquid with chunks of fruit. Push through a fine sieve into a pot then bring to a boil then gently simmer until the raspberry liquid has reduced slightly into a light syrup. Allow to cool completely then store in a clean jar in the fridge. Raspberry syrup is perfect to use in baking, drinks, cocktails or as an ice cream topping.