Chocolate Pots de Creme – Recipe Review

Chocolate Pots de Creme – Recipe Review

Cat and I cook well together because often my issue is lack of inspiration, and Cat’s issue is lack of desire to do the thing.

So when she finds something she’s interested in eating, it’s great because I’m usually interesting in making it!

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To go with our Pizza Balls the other day Cat suggested we try this recipe for Chocolate Pots de Creme from Food Network and I was psyched about how easy the recipe looked.

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They ended up being exactly as easy to make as they looked, and as delicious as I thought they would be. Incredibly rich and very chocolaty.

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The main issue I had with these was that though I followed the recipe to a ‘T’ (not something I usually do), and gave them greater refrigeration time then said necessary, they turned out to be not as thick as advertised.

I would suggest that when you make this recipe that you either give them at least 4 hours in the refrigerator before eating, and or mix about a teaspoon or two of cream of tartar in with the sugar.

Secondly, not an issue with the recipe, but a heads up that this would lend itself perfectly for flavor ad-ins! Mint extract, orange extract, vanilla, almond! So many possibilities!

Chocolate Pots de Creme
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 9 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar (add an extra tablespoon if using bitter chocolate)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Place the chocolate in a blender. Whisk the milk, 1 cup cream, egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spatula and almost boiling, 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Immediately pour the milk mixture over the chocolate in the blender. Cover and hold the lid with a thick kitchen towel; blend until combined and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Divide the chocolate mixture among ramekins or small cups and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
  3. Whip the remaining ½ cup cream and the confectioners' sugar with a mixer or in the blender until soft peaks form. Top the chilled pots de creme with whipped cream.

I will definitely be making these again with some of those flavor adjustments.

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4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

Bonus Recommendation: Portland Edition

We didn’t spend as much time in Portland as I would have liked, but what little time we had was pretty great. Got to see some wonderful friends, their wonderful poodles, and had a magical thing called a German pancake.

What’s a German pancake, you ask? From Wikipedia:

A Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake,[1] a Bismarck, or a Dutch puff, is a sweet popover that is normally served for breakfast.[2] It is derived from the German pfannkuchen. It is made with eggs, flour, sugar and milk, and usually seasoned with vanilla and cinnamon, although occasionally fruit or another flavoring is also added. It is baked in a cast iron or metal pan and falls soon after being removed from the oven. It is generally served with fresh squeezed lemon, butter, and powdered sugar, fruit toppings or syrup. A basic batter incorporates 1/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup liquid per egg.

The one I had was a BAM… that either stands for bad ass mo-fo OR bacon, apple, maple. So tasty. The delightful people from Sanborn’s made it for me.

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(The pancake in question. RIP.)

Besides providing a delicious, new form of pancake into my life, the wait staff was wonderful, the son of the owner chatted with Mark and I a bit (SO NICE!), and he even gave us advice on the best route for heading to Montana. Lovely place – highly recommend it.

Here are some other yummy photos from Yelp, if you aren’t already on the road heading toward Portland RIGHTNOW.

The eggs Benedict from Ian M.

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A mango German pancake from Bryan L.

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And finally, huevos rancheros with green and red sauce from Chels J.

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Now I’m hungry again.

For more on my Montana road trip, check out the posts HERE.

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What’s your favorite Portland breakfast joint?

Restaurant Review: Barbacco

Cat and I ventured into the city and risked trying a new restaurant instead of going to one of our oft used favorites and things actually turned out pretty darn good.

We arrived at the the San Francisco Ferry building and started yelping to see what was near and what sounded good. There were too many options so I searched specifically for steak and Barbacco showed up with 4 stars, and 2 dollar signs and was only about a 10 minute walk away – Perfect!

Since we didn’t have a reservation (on a Friday evening) we were seated at the bar which was fine with me as long as we were still able to get food.

They had an extensive wine list, which I took advantage of with a glass of a California white that they described as having notes of “butterscotch”, and their menu looked quite tasty.

We started with the cheese assortment with two different cheeses, crispy thin nutted crackers, with some sort of sauce and soaked raisin.

Barbacco - San Francisco, CA, United States. constipation station

Photo by Yelp user Stacy M.

Cat ordered the marinated stone fruit salad with arugula and whipped ricotta and the soup of the day which was a Tuscan tomato bisque.

stone fruit and soup

Photo by Cat

Because I was clearly in the mood for some meat I ordered the Tagliata – roasted, sliced flat iron steak with red wine gorgonzola dolce latte butter over arugula . The steak was cooked perfectly and the butter compound was so yummy.

Barbacco - San Francisco, CA, United States. Flat iron steak. very tender and tasty

Photo by Yelp user Kaori T.

 

And for my side I had the fried brussels sprouts with capers and an anchovy red wine vinaigrette.

Barbacco - San Francisco, CA, United States. Brussels sprouts with garlic and duck fat!

photo by Yelp user Ailyne H.

Although we were already incredibly full, as soon as we glanced at the dessert menu we knew we had to get a couple of things. This is where Barbacco really shined. The dinner was really tasty, but the dessert was so amazing.

Cat had a brown butter angel food cake with blackberries, peaches, whipped cream, and little meringues. I tried a bight and it was so light and so wonderful.

cake

Photo by Cat

I was drawn to the chocolate nemesis cake which had fudge, toffee crumble, and vanilla crema. And I cannot explain fully just how chocolaty and rich and satisfying and delicious this cake was.

Barbacco - San Francisco, CA, United States

Photo by Yelp user Massiel R.

I may or may not come back for dinner, but I will definitely want to get dessert again.

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Montana Summer Part 3

Part one here: http://qwertycafe.com/montana-summer/  Part two here: http://qwertycafe.com/montana-summer-part-2/

I’m still feeling kind of full from all that rich road trip food, but I don’t regret a single bite of it. Here’s the last of my set of personal favorite restaurants from around Big Sky Country:

3. Missoula

I’ve admittedly not eaten at many places in Missoula, but golly are there a lot of options. From what I’ve tried so far, this next one is my fav.

The Silk Road, 515 South Higgins Street, Missoula, MT

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(Image from Yelp User Ms. V.)

I’m usually nervous about restaurants that claim to serve more than one style of food, but The Silk Road delivers. It’s fun and feels a bit festive, while maintaining a cozy/comfy atmosphere.

No relation, I presume. 😉

4. Great Falls

Bert & Ernie’s, 300 1st Avenue South, Great Falls, MT 

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One of the highlights here is the Smokehouse burger. So good!

5. West Glacier

Babb Bar Baron Supper Club, Highway 89, Babb, MT

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(Image by Yelp user Ricky W.)

Hmm – online reviewers seems a bit mixed on this place, but it’s where I had the best steak of my life. (Seriously, YUM!) That’s really the thing to come here for – the sides and other dishes are fine, but it’s the meat that really shines. Er… glistens? Anyway, the outside looks a bit hokey and the interior is classic Montana lodge-y with a sprinkling of extra character from some beautiful Native American art.  It’s worth stopping by if  you want a filling meal while you’re visiting Glacier National Park.

Honorable Mention:

My #1 favorite place to eat in Montana is I-Hos, a Korean place (of all things!). Unfortunately, it has been closed for awhile now. There were rumors that it may reopen, so I’m hoping that by putting my good thoughts out into the ether, it might spur them to get back to business. If you find yourself in Bozeman and I-Hos is open, get the bi bim bap. Amazing!

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Hope you enjoyed my little food roundup! Did I miss something? Tell us about it in the comment section!

Montana Summer Part 2

Cat is road-tripping. In the meantime, here’s a prescheduled post for your reading enjoyment. Original post here: http://qwertycafe.com/montana-summer/ 

If you know anything at all about Montana, you probably associate the state with big skies, stunning vistas, and an infinite number of excellent outdoor activities. Food, besides steak, rarely makes the list.

Luckily, I did a lot of eating on my trip and have plenty of recommendations (I also did a wee bit of eating out back when I lived there). The next time you visit this goooorgeous state, check out the following restaurants for a culinary treat:

1. Helena, MT

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Image by Flicker user, tracyelizabeths

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Helena highlights include:

On Broadway, 106 East Broadway Street, Helena, MT

Image by Yelp user, Ashley P.
Image by Yelp user, Ashley P.

Their housemade pasta is delicious, the servers are incredibly friendly, and they have a dessert menu that is extremely hard to resist. (I had their gorgonzola angel hair pasta and key lime pie – YUM!) Bonus: the place also has a lovely, intimate atmosphere that is great for date nights.

Mackenzie River Pizza Co., 111o Roadrunner Drive, Helena, MT 

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You’ll want to try their pesto lodge poles. As for pizza, I enjoy the thai pie (remember when I made one of my own?), but it’s hard to go wrong with their other offerings.

Big Dipper Ice Cream, 58 N Last Chance Gulch, Helena, MT

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Image by Yelp user, John D.

Not only is the ice cream delicious, the business owners are excellent human beings and support great causes. I recommend the Mexican Chocolate shake. :)

2. Bozeman, MT

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Image by Flickr user, University of Exeter

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Plonk, 29 E Main Street, Bozeman, MT

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Image by Yelp user, Amber E.

This place is great for getting your fancy on. The atmosphere is noisy, but full of character, and the wine and cheese selection is fantastic.

Cateye Cafe, 23 N Tracy Avenue, Bozeman, MT

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Image by Yelp user Sarah K.

Ready for breakfast after a late night at Plonk? This is a great option. The Gravy Love (biscuits, gravy, country potatoes, and your choice of bacon or sausage) is my jam.

The Garage, 451 E Main Street, Bozeman, MT

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Full disclosure: I totally used to work here. That’s how I fell head-over-heels for their Blue Moose Clam Chowder and other soups. Seriously, go there for soup. YUM.

Next week, I’ll feature my favorite places to eat in Missoula, Great Falls, and West Glacier. TBC!

Am I missing any of your favorite spots? What’s good? :)

Restaurant Review: Pho1 Noodle House

Our go-to local Vietnamese restaurant, Pho1 Noodle House, recently changed locations, updated their menus, redecorated, the whole she-bang.

photo by Yelp user Kira I.

What was before a delicious place to eat, and maybe only order take-out from, has now become a really wonderful dining experience. We’ve gone twice in the last week.

Egg-rolls with peanut dipping sauce – photo by Yelp user Regina W.

The noodle bowls, the pho, the eggrolls, the bubble teas, are all just so delectable. The decor is clean and airy, the service is fast and friendly and the prices are all reasonable.

#89 noodle bowl – photo by Yelp user Astrid Z.

If you’re in the upper east bay, Pho1 is a great restaurant to hit.

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Review: Lifeline

I recently downloaded this Android and IOS game called Lifeline for $2.99.

iPhone Screenshot 1

I’m not usually in the practice of paying for games or apps for my phone, but for the last couple of months I’ve been participating in the Google Opinion Rewards app which is free to download, but pays you in Google Play credit for take occasional brief surveys.

I had gained about $5 worth of credit and decided to browse the games section of the Play store to see what might interest me and while pocket Minecraft would have been my first choice, I didn’t have quite enough to match the $6.99 cost. So, when I scrolled down and saw a tiny little astronaut I was already hooked.

You’re connected to Taylor, a inexperienced astronaut who has crash landed on an unknown moon and whose entire crew is dead. You must help him figure out how to survive and help him make decisions through discussions where you are given two options for how to respond. Your text choices could lead him to salvation or to his death.

 

The game is entirely text based but keeps you fully engaged and invested. With ambient music that is occasionally accompanied by heavy breathing, I could feel my blood pressure rising in certain situations when things became more tense or urgent.

The game does have a fast mode once you’ve already completed it, but initially there are times where Taylor is busy or unavailable and you must wait for him to contact you again. This draws the game out and gives a deeper sense of immersion in the story. When Taylor contacts you again, they come through as notifications on your phone as a text or email might. However, the game does not punish you if you’re unable to play or respond for any length of time.

I completed the game in about a week with intermittent ability to play, and without dying. I do wish the game where a bit longer, or maybe more episodic, but for what there was of it I thought it was really good. I enjoyed the writing, and the humor conveyed reminded me of The Martian, one of my new favorite reads, which is appropriate considering the similarities in situations.

If you’re looking for a new mobile game, and don’t mind paying a little bit for what is virtually an interactive novella, then I definitely recommend this one.

5 Stars (5 / 5)