gluten free

Salted Chocolate Pots de Creme for Two

It’s just the two of us and sometimes making a recipe as it’s called for makes way too much for us to enjoy. I love chocolate and dessert but choosing between eating it everyday for a week or being forced to toss it out just doesn’t work for me. I know, I’m crazy to not want to enjoy dessert every evening, but my scale tells me I’m not wrong. To solve this dilemma, I’ve learned to half recipes to make enough for two for a couple of evenings. Over the New Year’s Eve holiday I found a recipe for salted chocolate pots de creme and took it from 8 servings to 4. It was quite easy and I highly recommend this approach when baking sweets for two.

At first I thought this would be a difficult recipe to make, but was pleasantly surprised at just how simple it really was. If you can whisk ingredients together you can make these with ease.

salted chocolate pots de creme

Salted Chocolate Pots de Creme

The recipe calls for :

  • 4 oz of good quality 75% cacao chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons of whole milk (or 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Maldon Salt flakes to garnish

Chop the chocolate and place in a heat proof medium bowl and cover with a mesh sieve. In a medium sauce pan whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until pale. Add in the heavy cream, milk, and salt. Stir constantly over medium heat until heated to 175 degrees or for about 8 -10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Pour through the sieve over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Pour evenly into 4 5 oz. ramekins, let cool and chill for 4 hours. Sprinkle with Maldon salt flakes before serving. ( you can find it on Amazon, and no, I don’t have an affiliate link)

If you’d like to make enough for 8 servings simply double the recipe.

These salted chocolate pots de creme were a big hit with both Kevin and myself. I love that I can make these again easily when we want a sweet treat without over indulging.

flourless chocolate cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

We first tried going gluten free a few years back, and then last summer we made an earnest attempt to stick to it. I’ll admit it didn’t last. We like our bread a bit too much. I also love to bake and it’s a bit difficult to make baked goods with out flour. Some all-purpose gluten free mixes are decent, but you can’t count on cake or cookies to turn out well.

I discovered this flourless chocolate cake recipe a while ago. I was skeptical at first and decided to try it anyway.  Oh my goodness!  It turned out so dense and chocolaty.  Forget the fork, it was dense enough to eat in your hand like a cookie.

I have served this decadent dessert at dinner parties and have sent it into work with Kevin for office holiday parties. It’s always a hit.  I would suggest baking two of them, just so everyone gets a piece. The first time I made this it went so fast, Kevin didn’t get a piece. I had to make a second one the next day just for him.

Since Mother’s Day is this weekend, I think this would be a fabulous sweet treat to add to a brunch.

To make this Flourless Chocolate Cake you will need:

 

4 oz bittersweet chocolate

1 stick unsalted butter

¾ cup sugar

3 large eggs

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

  • Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees and butter an 8-inch round baking pan.
  • Line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the paper.
  • Cut up the chocolate into small pieces. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water, stir until smooth.
  • Remove the top of double boiler from the heat, and whisk in the sugar.
  •  Add the eggs and whisk well.
  • Gently sift in the cocoa powder and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until a thin crust is formed on the top.
  • Cool the cake for five minutes on a rack before inverting onto a serving plate.
  • Dust the top with confectioner’s sugar using a small strainer or a sugar shaker before serving.

 

spicy cheddar crackers

Spicy Cheddar Crackers from Scratch

People are always amazed when I take the time to make anything from scratch, such as brownies, cakes or even crackers. The assumption is it takes too long or is just too cumbersome.  I’ll admit baking from a box seemed the norm for me when I first learned to bake. Then I realized that baking from scratch was easy and it actually tastes a lot better.  While there is nothing wrong with opting for the ease of a box cake,  brownie mix, or even mass produced crackers,  there is also no harm in testing your skills with a few scratch recipes.

Since then, I have learned to make many things from scratch. Now, cookies, cakes and brownies are easier and of course make more sense, but why not try crackers.  A while ago, I decided to give them a shot. I made Parmesan crisps then and decided to try spicy cheddar crackers this weekend.  And wow! They are amazing!

ingredients for spicy crackers

ingredients for spicy cheddar crackers

 

The recipe is super easy.  It only has six ingredients and requires just a few tools.

You will need:

1 ½ cups of grated cheddar

4 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces

¾ of a cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon either milk, cream or ½ & ½

In a food processor, combine first five ingredients and pulse until the mixture forms crumbles. Then add the liquid and pulse until a ball forms. In some cases a ball won’t form but the dough becomes wet enough to form a ball by molding it with clean hands.

On a floured cutting board with a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 1/8th inch thickness.  Then, using a small biscuit cutter, cut out as many small rounds as will fit. Lift the rounds carefully and place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

spicy cheddar crackers

I found the recipe on the blog Smitten Kitchen, and it was originally for cheese straws.  I altered it just a little, replacing the red pepper flakes with cayenne pepper and cut them into a cracker rather than into strips.  You can use any spice you’d like with these. I’ve used onion powder and garlic powder on occasion.  I’ve also changed up the cheese and used a Monterrey Jack or Colby.

This can also be made gluten free with a small tweak. Instead of rolling the dough out and using a small biscuit cutter, wrap the dough in plastic wrap form a log with it and chill overnight. You can then cut rounds and and bake for 12-15 minutes on 350.

I’ve baked these up many times and each time they don’t last long.  Kevin gives them a rave reviews every time, commenting that the cayenne gave it a little kick of intense flavor.

If you can make pie dough from scratch, then this is a piece of cake. Actually, it is easier then pie dough and only took me 30 minutes from start to finish.  If you want to impress your friends, whip up a batch of these for the next book club.