I stubbled onto this recipe idea whilst I was researching sake infusions. Sake, like vodka, is really wonderful to infuse flavours with and since (1) Djamo loves both dark chocolate and earl grey tea; and (2) the blog is showcasing a couple of chocolate recipes at the moment, I thought I would continue the current trend.
I have a confession. This little number happens to be no-bake and is blender-free (tbh I’m not entirely sure, but I think this dessert could just as well be called a rich and thick chocolate mousse, but hey) . Instead, it is completely cooked over a gentle heat on the stove, stirring continuously until thickened. Then it is poured into glasses or cups and left to set in the refrigerator. The making of the pot de crème, in itself, is fairly straightforward, but the preparation beforehand for this particular variation requires a small amount of patience, but is well worth the efforts. It feels beautifully sophisticated to serve to people, but then again, Earl Grey tea has always felt rather luxurious to drink.
In fact, if you would be interested in making your very own blend of Earl Grey tea, you could take the tea leaves, lavender and dried bergamot rinds from this recipe, infuse some hot water with the blend, and get a lovely fragrant brew, which, honestly, smells and tastes a lot better than any store-bought versions I have used in the past (especially since many use artificial bergamot flavour or flavour enhancers – I haven’t really figured that one out yet). Definitely worth a taste test!
Speaking of the bergamot rind, there is something that needs to be noted. The bergamot honey. Some of you may wonder why I have chosen to make a dessert flavoured with a produce out of season (considering its fresh peak time is about February time). The simple answer is this: the bergamot in this recipe is not fresh, therefore I want to forewarn you in advance that you will definitely need to buy or make dried bergamot rind in order to make this honey. Fresh bergamot cannot be used here. If you do a quick search, you will find ample information concerned with the development of undesirable bacteria in the honey when using fresh citrus (which none of us want), but dried rinds are absolutely fine to use. If you cannot find dried bergamot rind, simply substitute with dried lemon rinds instead.
Dark Chocolate & Earl Grey Sake Pot de Crème with Bergamot Honey
Cooking time: 20 minutes, plus overnight
Makes: approximately 600ml
One of my neighbours has an allotment on the other side of town and thoughtfully gave me some of his frozen blueberries from last year (I am seriously seeing benefits of storing and preserving produce), however, any fruit can be used, fresh or frozen.
115g 65% dark chocolate, broken
350ml heavy cream plus 100ml (for serving)
140ml whole milk
6 egg yolks
4-5tbsp bergamot honey (recipe to follow)
4tbsp vanilla sugar
1tsp vanilla bean extract
1/4tsp sea salt
8tbsp earl grey sake (recipe to follow)
3tbsp toasted hazelnuts (for decoration)
50g frozen blueberries (for decoration)
4 sprigs of lavender (for decoration) (optional)
Place the dark chocolate, 300ml heavy cream and whole milk into a large saucepan over a medium/low heat, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has completely melted (do not allow to come to a boil).
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, honey, salt, vanilla and earl grey sake together in a bowl. When the chocolate is melted, take off the heat and, whilst continuously whisking, pour 100ml a small amount at a time into the egg mixture.
Next, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the chocolate. Turn the heat back onto a medium/low flame and continue to stir through until the chocolate begins to thicken (approximately 5-10 minutes). Take off the heat and pour into prepared glasses and allow to cool to room temperature before covering with clingfilm and placing in the refrigerator overnight.
When ready to serve, whip 100ml of heavy cream until soft peaks form and toast the hazelnuts. Place a tablespoon of the whipped cream on top of the chocolate and scatter with hazelnuts and blueberries, and if desired, a single lavender sprig. Serve immediately.
Earl Grey Sake
Cooking time: 5 minutes plus 1 week infusion
4tbsp black tea leaves
3 bergamot rind, dried
1-2tbsp lavender, dried
Place all the ingredients into a jar or glass bottle and seal. Place in a cool, dark place. Check every other day to see if desired taste is reached. When the desired taste is reached, simply discard all the solids and place in a clean new bottle and seal.
Cooking time: 5 minutes, plus 3 weeks + infusion
Only dried bergamot rinds can be used in this recipe, however, if you are unable to find them, simply substitute for a different citrus (dried).
5 dried bergamot rind
100ml light and delicate honey (e.g. acacia)
Place the dried bergamot rind into a jar and cover in honey. Seal and place in a cool, dry place to infuse.
Hope you enjoyed the picture of Josephine looking like a hedgehog at the moment with all her new season feathers coming through. I think it’s really cute. 🙂
Thank you for reading.