February 14, 2012

Chocolate Pots de Creme (dairy free and date sweetened)

My foray into non-Whole 30 foods didn't go quite as well as I previously reported.  A few days after my "cheating" I had a few break outs and gained back a little weight.  I felt even worse after tasting frosting (very little) I made for potluck cupcakes, obviously a dumb idea.  Feeling fuzzy-headed and sluggish were my main complaints. I detoxed by eating tons of raw vegetables for a few days and that has made me feel much better. I just need to figure out what starchy/sweet foods agree with me and which ones don't.  It's all a big crazy experiment anyway since I really don't have any confidence that anyone knows what we should eat.  Sometimes I think about all the people that seem to be thriving on fast food and vending machine fodder and wonder what in the world is the difference between me and them.  Is body chemistry, self control, portion sizes, nurture, nature...?

Anyway, it's Valentine's Day and I knew I would never get through the whole day without something chocolate.  I let Alex stay up late last night because he was thoroughly engrossed in a book, Mousenet, and Penny had fallen asleep super early so I was wasting time reading blogs.  I came across a recipe for Pots de Creme on Pioneer Woman. I usually read her blog only for the photography and homeschooling ideas because the delicious-looking real butter and cheese in her food torture me; but something made me check out this recipe.  I was thrilled to find out that it was already dairy free and so simple!

The amount of sugar in the original recipe is relatively low, coming only from the semi-sweet chocolate, but I wanted to try and make these a little more nutritionally dense.  I took inspiration from the white chocolate both my children love from Organic Nectars.  They use cashews in place of milk powder so I used some cashews to lighten my unsweetened chocolate.  I added my favorite natural sweetener, dates, and changed the flavorings to suit my mood.  Probably these should now have a different name but I have had the real thing and these are better than quite a few that bore that name honestly with real cream.  Be sure to take your time and fully blend the mixture so you get the creamiest texture possible with your blender.  And don't be surprised if you want to eat them all at room temperature once you take a taste.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Pots de Creme
Based on Pioneer Woman's Pots de Creme a L'orange recipe
Makes 6-8 servings, halves easily but requires more scraping while blending

6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
3 oz (1/2 cup) raw cashews
6 oz dates or date paste, (~1 cup packed, pitted dates)
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup very hot water

-Add the chocolate, cashews, dates, eggs, salt and vanilla to a blender and blend until everything is combined and the cashews and dates are mostly smooth.  You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times to get everything together.
-With the blender running, slowly add the hot water through the hole in the lid.  After all the water is added, stop the blender and scrape down the sides.  Blend again until very smooth, scraping more as needed.
-Spoon into cups or jars.  Serve either right away because it is pudding-like warm from the blender or chill and eat cold, chilled it is very rich and almost like frosting.

You could replace the hot water with hot coffee and/or replace the vanilla extract with Grand Marnier, Chambord or other liquor

After nearly 10 years of product loyalty, I gave up using Paint Shop Pro last fall and have been slowly learning my way around Adobe Photo Shop.  I figured I was finally ready to try using some actions.  Here is Penny with PW's Old West action.  You can download her action sets here.