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Friday, February 16, 2007


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First, I'd like to thank Jasmine over at Cardamom Addict for hosting this month's Sugar High Friday. :) The theme is sweet seduction.....

I have now officially been seduced by the fattening witch who is Nigella Lawson. Thus far, I've not been privy to the food porn featured on the Food Network, because I've been unable to commit to digital cable (I'm SO cheap and just can't fathom paying hundreds of extra dollars every year so I can get fat).

So I've never seen the shows that people rant and/or rave about (depending on if they are on chowhound or not). For our romantic Valentine's dinner, I was all set to attempt a tarte tatin (probably a silly dessert idea for two people - instead I'll make it for a dinner party tomorrow).....but then I read about Nigella's chocohotopots.

And there was no way that I wasn't making them. I'm not even hormonal and yet this chocolatey richness just sucked me right in. It's so simple, and yet so decadent. It was a great choice for a weeknight dinner because I threw it together the night before, and it was the absolute perfect foil for some nummy strong italian coffee.

The rest of our dinner was not bad - I made brie en croƻte (don't be impressed - you take a brie wheel, cut it in half, fill with hot pepper jelly, and then wrap in purchased puff pastry and bake at 400F for about 25 minutes), french onion soup (ended up being decidedly underwhelming due to the ridiculous overfruitiness of the sauvignon blanc used to flavour it), steamed king crab legs (AWESOME, but not exactly a recipe...ya just steam 'em!).

And so this really was the crowning glory of this romantic meal. Hubs is so cute, on V-day, it took me TWO freaking hours to get home from work due to a massive snowstorm, and so I was cold, tired and highly grumped out. But when I opened the door, I saw a dozen red roses, a table set for two, I heard gentle jazzy music and all my grumpiness melted away. What a cutie pie.

So we both enjoyed this amazing dessert. I think Nigella's cook times are quite off, so I've modified the recipe just a touch. You can see her video of it on YouTube...umm...the entire internet community seems to have a rather unhealthy fixation on her if you ignore the comments, at least you can get something out of the video...hahahaa.

Nigella Lawson's Chocohotopots with Berry Coulis

1 cup frozen berries
1/4 cup superfine sugar

1. Combine berries and superfine sugar.
Frozen Freshness

2. Blend away until smooth. Some would argue that straining is a good idea. *Personally* I am not in this camp, as I attempted to strain this stuff, and all I succeeded in doing was covering my pepper grinder and counter in the stuff. ANd the blasted coulis wouldn't even go THROUGH the strainer. Seeds add fibre anyway.

3. I put the coulis in a small ziploc bag at this point - when you want to drizzle, just give the corner a snip and go nuts.

1 stick butter (1/2 cup or 1/4 pound)
125 g chocolate (I used 76% dark chocolate for 100 g and semi-sweet chocolate chips for the rest)
2 eggs
3 T flour
1 t vanilla
3/4 c superfine sugar (i've heard you can sub granulated, or you can just stick granulated in a food processor for a bit)

Special equipment: 4 (2/3 to 1-cup capacity) ramekins

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter the ramekins with 1 tablespoon butter.

2. Either in a microwave or in a bowl suspended over a pan over simmering water, melt the dark chocolate and 1 stick butter, then set aside to cool a little (microwave all the way my friends!)
Butter and chocolate

3. In another bowl, mix the eggs with the sugar and flour and vanilla with a hand whisk and beat in the cooled butter and chocolate mixture. Divide the mixture between the 4 buttered ramekins.

4. Bake for about 15 minutes, by which time the tops will be cooked and cracked and the chocolate gooey underneath. (Nigella's recipe says 20 minutes, but it's TOO long).

5. I drizzled berry coulis on the plate and then put the ramekin on top. It looked pretty. :) Place each ramekin on a small plate with a teaspoon and serve. Make sure to warn people that these desserts will be HOT!

seduction in a ramekin

Yum! Stay tuned for a dinner party extraordinaire....stuffed chicken, tarte tatin and more!


Christy said...

Yummy Chocohotopots! Glad your everything turned out so well. We absolutely love Nigella in our house, heck sometimes we talk about her like she is a member of our family, I know we need help.

Anonymous said...

YUMMMMM!!! I think everyone on WB's been lured by Nigella's chocopots. I'm SO making this, I just have to go and find the perfect ramekins. More kitchen stuff for me. Hubs eyes will roll. bwhahahaha.

Freya said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time, despite the weather! The crab legs sound delicious! I love them!
As for the chocohotpotomus (or whatever they're called), these looks soo good!

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie!! How big are your ramekins? I swear, I could only make 2 with mine!! :( They are good though, and you are right about the cooking time! Definitely too long at 20 minutes! I had them in 15 (which is more or less 20 minutes in *normal oven time*, and it was too long! Will be making these for our girls day in in a few weeks! :)

Brilynn said...

I've got NO love for Nigella right now, I made two of her cakes in the same day and they both failed.

Yours, on the other hand, look very tasty!

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