Chocolate Pots de Créme

Chocolate Pots de Créme

Chocolate Pots de Créme

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Chocolate Pots de Creme in small white ramekins, garnished fresh raspberries and whipped cream.

 

Love is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate the ones we love. As a foodie, I find there’s no better way than to share and indulge in a luscious chocolate dessert. Chocolate Pots de Crème is a decadent and indulgent spoonful meant to be eaten slowly, savouring every bite. Preferably with a tender kiss in between.

These lovely baked chocolate custards are very simple to make but taste like you’ve spent hours labouring. Your Valentine is sure to be impressed!

Ingredients for Chocolate Pots de Creme arranged on a small white platter on a dark background.

Good quality chocolate, heavy cream and egg yolks make up the structure and the water bath baking ensures they bake gently, creating a smooth and creamy texture. They can be made in advance, leaving you plenty of time to spend with your sweetheart without the worry of fussing with food. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, I hope your day is filled with love…and chocolate!

Other Valentine’s Day treats to share!

Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies

Cinnamon Heart Cupcakes

Chocolate Pots de Creme in small white ramekins, garnished fresh raspberries.

Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Epicurious

Chocolate Pots de Créme
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    6 people 30 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    40 minutes 3+ hours
    Servings Prep Time
    6 people 30 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    40 minutes 3+ hours
    Chocolate Pots de Créme
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      6 people 30 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      40 minutes 3+ hours
      Servings Prep Time
      6 people 30 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      40 minutes 3+ hours
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
      2. Combine cream and milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Allow chocolate to sit for a few minutes and then stir until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
      3. In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in an approximate 1/4 cup of the chocolate mixture until combined, repeat with another 1/4 cup and then slowly whisk in the remaining hot mixture. Whisk in espresso powder and salt.
      4. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then skim off any foam on the surface.
      5. Pour evenly among six 3/4 cup ramekins. Arrange ramekins in a 9"x13" baking pan and add enough boiling water to come up the ramekins halfway. Cover entire pan with foil and bake on centre rack for approximately 40 minutes until the edges are set but centers still jiggle when shaken.
      6. Remove from oven and remove custards from pan. Allow to rest for 10-20 minutes and then chill until cold, about 3 hours.
      7. Serve with fresh raspberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream.
      Recipe Notes

      -If you do not use boiling water to start with the cooking time will be longer.

      -You can also use good quality semi-sweet chocolate, however bittersweet results in a richer custard.

      -Do not skip the straining as it ensures a smooth custard.

      -Can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered and chilled.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Cherry Salsa

      Cherry Salsa

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      Cherry Salsa tops three goat cheese crostini on a wooden serving board.

      Cherry Salsa is sweet, spicy and delicious on goat cheese crostini, baked Brie, chicken cutlets or grilled meats. Simplicity is good and this quick and easy recipe can be ready for guests without much fuss. The dried cherries offer a nice texture to the salsa and the freshly chopped jalapenos, lime and vinegar balance the cherry jam. It’s so good!

      Ingredients for Cherry Salsa arranged on and around a wooden cutting board with a bowl of dried cherries in the background.

      My favourite way to eat this lovely Cherry Salsa is dabbed on crisp crostini smeared with goat cheese. The tang and creaminess of the goat cheese make it a great pairing with the salsa and the combo makes for an easy company friendly appetizer. Another great way to use Cherry Salsa is as a baked brie topping. Simply spoon the salsa onto your hot baked brie and serve with crisp crackers, crostini or crudites. I originally found this Cherry Salsa paired up pecan-crusted chicken wings. I’ve prepared pecan-crusted chicken cutlets in the past and thought this would also be a wonderful way to use the salsa in a main course. I was not disappointed as the crunchy, nutty cutlets beg for the sweet, spiciness that the salsa offers. The recipe for pecan-crusted chicken cutlets will be coming to the blog soon, so be sure to check back.

      Looking for more company friendly appetizers?

      Tomato Confit

      Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce

      Miso Shrimp

      Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted from Food.com

      Cherry Salsa tops three goat cheese crostini on a wooden serving board.
      Cherry Salsa
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        1 cup 20 minutes
        Passive Time
        30+ minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        1 cup 20 minutes
        Passive Time
        30+ minutes
        Cherry Salsa tops three goat cheese crostini on a wooden serving board.
        Cherry Salsa
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          1 cup 20 minutes
          Passive Time
          30+ minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          1 cup 20 minutes
          Passive Time
          30+ minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: cup
          Instructions
          1. Chop dried cherries and combine with cherry jam in a mini food processor or blender. Pulse several times until cherries are about the size of a pea or smaller. Add remaining ingredients and pulse 2-3 times to combine.
          2. Scoop into a serving dish, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to meld flavours. Use as a topping for crostini, baked brie, breaded chicken cutlets or grilled meats.
          Recipe Notes

          -I find there is a need to first chop the cherries before adding to the food processor because everything becomes too processed in the time it takes the dried cherries to break down.  By chopping the cherries first, the mixture retains most of its texture yet everything is combined.

          -If a food processor is not available, simply chop everything by hand and combine.

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          Affiliate Disclosure

          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Beef Taco Crostada

          Beef Taco Crostada

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          Beef Taco Crostada is tasty and fun with flaky pastry, taco seasoned beef and endless topping options.  It’s like a taco pie without the pie plate.  For convenience, you could use purchased pie dough but I’m partial to finding the time to make my own, especially this one, because of the added maize (corn flour).  Since corn flour is gluten-free the pastry is very tender because there is less gluten than if you used all regular flour.  Corn flour also has a nice fine texture which aids in a lighter, flakier crust as well.

          Ground beef cooked with taco seasoning, onions, peppers and black beans in a cream coloured cast iron skillet ready for Beef Taco Crostada.

          The ground beef is cooked with onions and green pepper and then seasoned with a taco seasoning blend for flavour and spiciness. Black beans add texture, fibre and Mexican flair. Cheddar cheese brings everything together.  The fun comes adding a variety of toppings to suit your taste.  I happen to like shredded lettuce, green onions, avocado, cilantro and sour cream.  Other options may include salsa, jalapenos, guacamole, tomato, red onion and black olives. Go crazy with the toppings and enjoy it, it’s a fun family meal.

          A wedge of Beef Taco Crostada topped with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and sour cream.

          Beef Taco Crostada
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 40-45 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            35 minutes 1 hour
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 40-45 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            35 minutes 1 hour
            Beef Taco Crostada
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 40-45 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              35 minutes 1 hour
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 40-45 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              35 minutes 1 hour
              Ingredients
              Pastry
              Taco Meat
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              Pastry
              1. Combine flours and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter chunks until pea-size or smaller. Drizzle with 4-5 tbsp of cold water and the vinegar tossing with a fork until dough becomes scraggly. Add another tbsp of cold water if necessary. Turn mixture out onto a clean work surface and knead until dough comes together. Form into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
              Taco Meat
              1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and green pepper and sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and continue to cook until beef is no longer pink and has started to brown, breaking up beef chunks as it cooks. Remove from heat and dab out any excess fat with a paper towel.
              2. Return to medium heat and add spices and water, stirring to combine. Allow mixture to come to a simmer and cook uncovered until most of the moisture has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
              3. Remove from heat and stir in beans and half of the cheese.
              4. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a large baking tray with parchment.
              5. Roll dough into a 14" circle that will be about 1/8" thick. Fold dough in half and move to your prepared baking tray.
              6. Spread beef mixture in the centre of the dough leaving a 1 1/2"-2" boarder of dough. Fold the dough boarder up and over the beef mixture, crimping the dough slightly as you go.
              7. Whisk egg with a tbsp of water and brush onto exposed pastry edge. Bake for about 35 minutes until pastry is golden.
              8. Remove from oven and top centre with remaining cheese. Cut into wedges and serve with desired toppings.
              Recipe Notes

              -The pastry can be made up to a day in advance and kept chilled until ready to use.

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              Affiliate Disclosure

              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
              Tomato Bisque

              Tomato Bisque

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              Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.

              Today’s post is a blog update on my Tomato Bisque. Because the weather is frightful right now in central Alberta, it seemed like the perfect time to do a little tidy up on this gorgeous soup. This Tomato Bisque is creamy and luscious, even with only a small amount of cream. It’s thickened with rice, making it a great gluten-free option.

              The creaminess and tang are the perfect marriage with crunchy cheese toast or buttery croutons. I won’t hesitate to say that when you make this soup, you will have tremendous satisfaction from your efforts because it’s so much better than store-bought soup. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing you’re feeding your family wholesome goodness.

              Traditional French bisque is made using ground crustacean shells and thickened with rice. The term is used loosely today and can refer to anything pureed such as tomatoes or squash. Most varieties are finished with cream as is this one. Enjoy!

              Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.

              Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted from Chef John of Food Wishes

              Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.
              Tomato Bisque
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                4-6 people 20 minutes
                Cook Time
                30-50 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                4-6 people 20 minutes
                Cook Time
                30-50 minutes
                Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.
                Tomato Bisque
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  4-6 people 20 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  30-50 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  4-6 people 20 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  30-50 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Melt butter in a large heavy pot, add onions, celery and garlic and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes until the vegetables become translucent.
                  2. Add the tomatoes, stock, paprika, sugar and rice and cook until the rice is very soft, at least 30 minutes.
                  3. Blend with a handheld immersion blender until smooth. Stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
                  Recipe Notes

                  I used homemade chicken stock and used 1 1/2 tsp of salt. The amount of salt will depend on the stock/broth used, so season to taste.

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                  Affiliate Disclosure

                  I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                  Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls

                  Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls

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                  Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

                  Do you have a New Year’s resolution? With the new year approaching fast, I find myself thinking of my own New Year’s resolutions.   Like many of you, one of my resolutions is to eat differently.  I say different because I don’t necessarily want to eat less or lose a bunch of weight, I just want to eat less refined sugar and simple carbohydrates like white rice. I have found that by eating a little more protein and less simple carbohydrates I generally feel better and have less hunger throughout the day.  As with everything, moderation is key to my success and my goal of maintaining this small change does not mean I will pass on every cookie and slice of bread. It means certain foods will be eaten less often. This year is all about balance!

                  I hope the new year brings you success and happiness in all that you do. Cheers to 2020!

                  I find dishes like Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls perfect for my resolution because they’re high in protein, both the shrimp and quinoa, a good source of fibre and loaded with fresh flavour from parsley, garlic and lemon. It also has arugula which I absolutely love lightly wilted. It’s simple, delicious and a great way to help refine the way you eat.

                  Raw shrimp, arugula and lemon dressing in preparation for Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls.
                  Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

                  Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.
                  Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    2 people 15 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    25 minutes 5 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    2 people 15 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    25 minutes 5 minutes
                    Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.
                    Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      2 people 15 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      25 minutes 5 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      2 people 15 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      25 minutes 5 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Shrimp Bowls
                      Dressing
                      Servings: people
                      Instructions
                      1. Combine vegetable broth and quinoa in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook according to package directions until tender. Allow quinoa to rest for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
                      2. While quinoa is cooking make dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl.
                      3. Pat shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper.
                      4. Heat 1 tbsp of olive in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes until softened. Stir in shrimp and cook for 2 minutes per side.
                      5. Add warm quinoa, arugula and 1/2 of the dressing and toss to combine over low heat until arugula is slightly wilted, about 1 minute.
                      6. Scoop into serving dishes and drizzle each with remaining dressing and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

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                      Affiliate Disclosure

                      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com