Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sugar Free Petit Pots de Chocolat



I was beaten by a recipe today. Something I was trying to convert to gluten free, dairy free, soy free, sugar free status. A daring baking attempt no less. Well - not to give any secrets away, because the daring bakers keep the recipe secret until the moment when we all post in unison, this recipe was just not going to work out.

I shed a single hot tear of frustration and threw my apron on the floor. For a moment I felt overwhelmed by my limitations and angry for the way fate had fallen against me, heavy as a sand bag dragging me down.

But these feelings don't last long with me. I don't want to eat those fluffy white bagels or that slice of meringue smothered angel cake. I really don't! I want to eat the food that sings loudly about life and love, of health and flavour. Food that reminds me how recently it was in the ground or ripening on a tree. Food that doesn't moan about the lack of gluten, creamy things that have never seen a cow and sweetness that comes not from a sugar cane, refined to a sort of purity in which nothing can live.

I went straight to the cupboard and got down my new babies; raw unsweetened cacao butter and raw unsweetened cacao liquor. When all else fails and you feel really frustrated at having baked all day with nothing to show for it, make some chocolate pots. These take about ten minutes tops to make and a few hours of chilling in the fridge later, you can be sinking your tiny spoon into something decadent, comforting and pleasingly grown-up all at the same time.

I used the raw stuff, but if you can only get really dark chocolate then use 85g of that in place of the cacao butter and liquor - at least 85% cocoa solids though. Add a little dribble of bourbon vanilla extract if you like.

Petit Pots de Chocolate

(makes 5 little espresso cups)

60g raw cacao liquor
15g raw cacao butter
125ml double cream (or coconut milk for dairy free)
50ml coconut milk
3 dessertspoons date syrup or 2 of raw honey
2 egg yolks (add the whites to an omelete)


Put the cream, coconut milk and date syrup/honey into a little saucepan and heat gently until just below boiling point (steaming and a few bubbles rising - too hot for your finger).

Chop the cacao butter and liquor as finely as possible, or grate coarsely. Of the heat, stir into the cream and stir gently until it is smooth.

Plop the egg yolks in and beat or whisk immediately. The mixture will thicken as the heat cooks the egg yolks. Add vanilla if using and pour into little espresso cups or egg cups. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight until set.