Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Pots; A Cool & Creamy "Midnight Sneak"

Our theme this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs is "Midnight Sneaks" which means a Nigella Lawson recipe that is so good, it is well worth sneaking to the kitchen late at night for another few bites of it. Although I am a snacker and sometimes an insomniac, I don't do a lot of late night kitchen trips like those Nigella is famous for. Still, when picking a midnight sneak (or snack), I went for something that is often on my cravings list, chocolate, in the form of cool, creamy and ridiculously easy to make Chocolate Pots from "Nigella Bites"

Nigella calls these treats, "just mousse without the whisked egg whites, easier to make and somehow less vulgar, for all the daintiness of their presentation. The method used to make them is ludicrously simple and done necessarily, in advance. You just process the lot, pour them into small containers and sit them in the refrigerator to set."

Chocolate Pots
Nigella Bites, Nigella Lawson
(Makes 8 1/4-cup pots or cups)

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (best-quality - minimum 70 percent cocoa solids)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 egg
8 pots or custard cups (1/4 cup)

Crush the chocolate to smithereens in the food processor. Heat the cream and milk until just about boiling, then add the vanilla and allspice and pour through the funnel over the chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds. Process for 30 seconds, then crack the egg down the funnel and process for 45 seconds.

Pour into whatever little cups you're serving in, and sit them in the refrigerator for 5 hours or overnight. But remember to take them out of the refrigerator a good 20 minutes before you want them to be eaten; the chill interferes with their luscious, silky richness.

Note: This makes 2 cups altogether: enough to fill 8 little pots of approximately 1/4 cup capacity. But if you've got only bigger cups, just augment quantities.

Notes/Results: Rich and satisfying, these little pots of goodness are delicious. Like a cross between a mousse and a ganache, they are rich and chocolaty and the touch of allspice gives them a slightly exotic touch. Originally I wasn't sure if I was going to like the allspice, but it did add another layer of flavor that when combined with a good dark bittersweet chocolate, kept these from being too sweet. I used a good local single origin chocolate from Waialua Estates on the North Shore with 70% cocoa solids. This recipe took all of about 10 minutes to prepare, and then it sits until firm in the fridge--easy peasy. Nigella recommends letting them sit out for 20 minutes before serving and I found pulling them out about 15 minutes before eating worked for me--making them not too thin, not too firm but just right. They are so rich that a small 1/4 portion is perfect and I served them in some of my favorite little sake cups from Japan. I would make these again, as is, or it would also be fun to play around with different spices like cinnamon or cardamom.

You can check out the other "midnight sneaks" our IHCC participants made and what they thought of them by going to the IHCC website here

***Cookbook Giveaway***
In case you missed it yesterday, I am giving away one big, beautiful "My New Orleans: The Cookbook" by Chef John Besh. Read my review and find out how to enter (you get up to 3 chances to win), here. You have until midnight Sunday to enter. Don't miss out, this is a terrific cookbook!


  1. What a wonderful presentation, I love how the chocolate pots look in the sake cups and groovy spoons!
    Rich and creamy, definitely sneak-worthy!

  2. I like this recipe. It seems to have so many flavor possibilities, don't you think? Lemon, strawberry....
    I don't own any of her cookbooks or know much about her. I'll have to take a look next time I'm in the bookstore.

  3. I love the pictures of this with your cute little sake cups and those crazy spoons. I feel like I can reach out and take a bite. Something between a mousse and ganache - I'm so there!! I could definitely see myself sneaking down for some of this.

  4. Sinful!! Love your spoons :D I bet these would be great w/ some cardamom...I would definitely be sneaking to the kitchen for some more of these beauties!

  5. Mmmm - those look perfectly chocolatey. And better than the hoto-pots I made last month. I'll have to give these a try.

    I love the spoons you used - too clever!

  6. I really love the way this looks and sounds. Yes, the pots and spoons are lovely but I'm into calories. I really have to try this post haste (we use to say that when I was in high school).

  7. Deb... this is definitely not 'Jello pudding'! You have made the ultimate Chocolate Pudding ~ bordering on true decadents.

    I'm absolutely going to be serving this soon. Thanks...

  8. Mmm... delicious chocolate goodness! I love those neat spoons!

  9. Nigella's recipes are so approachable and always satisfying and divine! I like the way you presented these chocolate pots!

  10. I'm all about sweet and crunchy UNTIL...chocolate. How much damage can a mere 1/4 cup do? Love your spoon!

  11. oooh leave it to nigella to having something this yummy as a midnight snack. it looks sooo good!

  12. i have made this, pure heaven... great pics!

  13. I made these a while ago! I loved them, they were so rich and decadent! Your spoons are absolutely adorable!

  14. I looked at this recipe and it is on my ToDo list. Love the idea of adding Allspice!

  15. What a decadent midnight snack! I love how easy they are and your spoons - so cool!

  16. Oh, these are definitely a midnight sneak. YUM.

  17. Ooooo yummy! I'd make a midnight trip to the kitchen for these! I can't belive they came together that quick. I'll have to put these on my list to make :)

  18. Deb these look amazing! The texture looks so silky and luscious!

  19. omg...that looks so decadent. I would be sneaking to eat that all the time, not just at midnight!

  20. it's a nice recipe, really! looks awesome on your pictures..

    I tried to make it yesterday; I cruhsed the chocolate, heated the milk and the cream, added spices and poured over the chocolate. since i don't have a blender, i whisked the egg in with a hand-held mixer. i poured it into small cups and left it in the freezer for over night.
    but o'horror - it still has not got any stiffer! it still resembles a liquid...´

    what did i do wrong? I did not whisk the egg for too long, is that it?
    is there anything i could do to save my little choco pots? TT__TT

  21. useless1--I can't imagine why it didn't work for you if you followed the recipe with the temps and times. Maybe it was the hand mixer--maybe it needed more or less, or maybe it was the freezing? Mine set up just perfectly in the refrigerator so maybe freezing them before they set did something to them? I am bummed it didn't work well for you. I guess if it doesn't set up in the fridge,you could use it as a sauce for cake or something. I'm just not sure what else you could do at this point.

  22. Very nice recipy

  23. Shouldn't there be some sugar in there?

    1. No. Nigella's recipe doesn't call for extra sugar as these are meant to be not-too-sweet and bittersweet chocolate contains sugar. But since the amount of sugar/sweetness in all chocolate can differ--if you think your chocolate isn't sweet enough, you could easily add some sugar to your taste in the hot cream mixture and have a sweeter dessert.


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