I often supplement my cookbook buying habit by getting books from my local library. It’s also a good way to try out some recipes before outlaying a lot of hard earned money on a cook book that you only use once. I was lucky enough to discover that my local library had a copy of “The Paris Pastry Club” which had been on my ‘to buy’ list for a while. Written by Fanny Zanotti a Pastry Chef who has previously worked with Pierre Herme and Heston Blumenthal this book is full of delicious recipes that made it extremely hard to pick what to make first.
After much debate I settled on the ‘Spicy Chocolate Pots-de-Crème’, which turned out to be a fabulous introduction to this book. The recipe was simple to follow and produced a silky smooth chocolatey dessert.
Whether you like this dessert without adaptations will depend on your chilli tolerance levels. The recipe calls for one teaspoon of hot chilli powder, but I found this to be too strong. While I loved the spice flavour combination in this dessert I found the overwhelming chilli after burn in my throat spoilt this dessert for me. However, the chili lovers in our group loved the amount of chilli and gave this dessert a big thumbs up.
I’m looking forward to delving into this book further and trying some more of the delicious looking recipes.
Recipe adapted from “Paris Pastry Club” by Fanny Zanotti.
- 240gm pure cream
- 100gm full cream milk
- 3 star anise
- 2 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 teaspoon of hot chilli powder (NB: adjust to your preference)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 vanilla pod, scraped
- 4 egg yolks.
- 20gm caster sugar
- 100gm dark chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 150°C.
Pour the cream, milk, star anise, cardamom pods, chilli, cinnamon and vanilla pod and seeds into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Once boiled remove from heat, cover with lid and allow the spices to infuse for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl.
Boil a kettle of water.
Once the milk mixture has been infused pour into the egg and sugar mix using a sieve to strain out the larger spices.
Add the chocolate and mix until chocolate has melted.
Pour the mixture evenly into 4 ramekins.
Place the baking tray and pour the boiled water into the tray until it reaches halfway up the ramekin.
Bake for 25 minutes or until just set and slightly wobbly in the middle.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Place in fridge and chill for two hours or overnight.