I texted my husband as I was sipping and sipping and savoring every last drop of the lavender hot chocolate. It was too hot to gulp, or I’m sure I would have tried. He texted back that he wanted some. I tried to think of a way to sneak some home, but gave up when I knew that it wouldn’t make it. Not the logistics. I knew I’d leave the hotel with a cup brimming to the top with lavender hot chocolate and arrive home with an empty cup. There was no way I could leave it alone on the drive home. (I am so weak!) Naturally I want to explore every possible combo of lavender and chocolate–cookies, cake, mousse, ice cream, pie. There’s plenty of time for that, my friends. And for today, there are lavender chocolate pots de creme.
I heated the milk and cream. I steeped lavender buds in the milk and cream. I separated eggs and whisked the yolks with sugar. I scraped a fat, juicy vanilla bean. I added chocolate to the hot lavender-infused milk and cream. I whisked everything together. And then I strained the chocolatey nectar into the measuring cup and ever-so-carefully poured some custard into each ramekin. Then I licked the spatula. And then the bowl. And after licking the bowl, I texted my husband and used a few descriptive (read: naughty) words to describe how good the custard tasted. (We both have phones now, so we’ve joined the rest of the world in texting each other as often as possible.)
The waiting was torture! First the gentle water bath for an agonizing 50 minutes. Then cooling and waiting for them to chill. And then pictures! (I know how my kids feel when they can’t bear to wait another second for their dinner because “one more picture!”)
And then the first spoonful…for the picture. For you. So you could see that it was palatable and yes, even incredible. Delicious! Marvelous! Splendid! (I need to get the thesaurus for some more illustrative words to use.) Ambrosial! Heavenly! Oh….what about titillating? (That almost sounds as naughty as the other word I used when I was texting my husband. *Blush*) Three more–Divine! Delectable! Luscious!
This dessert will knock the socks off of your Valentine. (And maybe more than their socks…)
Know what else looks really good? Becky’s Chocolate Raspberry Cups. We’ve teamed up again this month. Head on over and check it out. Another treat perfectly suited for your Valentine.
Last year I made Buttered Pecan Pots de Creme, and they were equally delicious. And looking back at what I said about them, it seems I have a hard time waiting for my dessert to finish chilling. And I am very dramatic about food. But when it’s this good, can you blame me? :)
- 1 Tbsp. culinary grade lavender
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1½ cups milk (whole or 2 %)
- 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 8 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- Whipped cream
- bittersweet chocolate shavings
- In a pan heat cream and milk until very hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and add the lavender. Let steep for 30 minutes or as long as two hours.
- After the lavender has steeped, add the vanilla bean scrapings and gently heat again until very hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit, stirring every so often, and whisk until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a roasting pan with a dish towel, place 8-10 ramekins on top of the towel, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour a little of the hot chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar and whisk well. Add the rest in a slow, steady stream while whisking. (Don't whisk too vigorously, you don't want too many air bubbles.) When all the hot chocolate mixture has been added, strain into a large glass measuring cup with a spout and fill the ramekins. (I did this in two batches and ended up using 9 ramekins total. I left about ¼" of headspace.)
- Place roasting pan in oven and carefully pour hot water (from the tap or tea kettle) around the ramekins until the water comes up about 1". Close the oven and bake undisturbed for about 40-45 minutes. Give one of the ramekins a little shake. It should wobble a bit in the center, but not be too jiggly. Remove roasting pan from oven, being very careful not to slosh any water into the custards.
- Let custards cool in the water bath for about 10 minutes. Remove and let finish cooling. Chill until very cold.
- To serve: Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a few chocolate shavings.
If the lavender scares you, just trust me and try it. Or you can replace it with fresh mint or orange zest, or leave it out completely and you'll still have one fine, chocolate dessert that will impress anyone you serve it to.