Chocolate... The Love Drug
- Jun 22, 2020
- David Wilhelm
Chocolate has been called ‘The Love Drug’ with claims that it puts women in the mood for love. Probably the most influential love compound in chocolate is PEA (phenethylamine). This chemical, which occurs in chocolate in small quantities, stimulates the nervous system and triggers the release of pleasurable opium-like compounds known as endorphins.
So, as a mindful Chef wanting to make sure my Guests are properly fed and special needs met, at every restaurant of mine I always made sure I offered one ‘go-to’ dark chocolate dessert on the menu. Whether it was the wildly popular Hot Belgian Chocolate Souffle at French 75, the ‘Old School’ Hot Fudge Sundae with Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern or the Flourless Chocolate-Raspberry Cake at Pave, they were always one of the most popular items driven by Guests who just had to have their regular dark chocolate fix.
At Tavern House we have a pretty small kitchen, so, I was struggling to come up with a chocolate dessert that was quick to prepare, didn’t take up much space, but still delivered a deep, dark chocolate endorphin buzz. After doing some R&D, I came up with one of the simplest chocolate desserts ever that delivers on the ‘Love Drug’ promise: A Pot de Crème. It’s made, literally, in just a few minutes but does need to chill overnight prior to serving.
A Pot de Crème is custard that is normally baked as opposed to a mousse which is not, rather it is lightened with whipped egg whites. A Pot de Crème is also much denser and richer.
Rather than having to bake my version, the ‘cooking’ all happens in the blender when very hot coffee is added into the chocolate, sugar and egg mixture while blending at high speed. Having grown up loving chocolate malts I couldn’t resist added some malt powder to my version, then finishing it off with some whipped cream flavored with Grand Marnier and sprinkled with a few cacao nibs to add a little crunchy texture contrast.
Try this little gem at your next dinner party. Made ahead in individual cups, it is sure to get raves from your chocoholic friends and lovers....
Chocolate Pot de Crème
Makes 4 orders
- 4 each Whole eggs (room temp!!)
- 2 cups High quality dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup Malt powder
- 1.5 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 pinch Kosher salt
- 1 cup Strong coffee, VERY HOT – heat in microwave until almost boiling
In the following order place ingredients into the blender. First eggs, chocolate, malt powder, vanilla, and salt. Pour in ½ cup hot coffee and carefully turn blender on. Run for 10 seconds and then with machine running on high speed, slowly pour remaining hot coffee in until it is completely incorporated. Set blender aside for 5 minutes or until bubbles dissolve.
Pour into individual serving containers, place on sheet pan and put in refrigerator. Cover after 30 minutes and chill for 6 hours or overnight prior to serving.