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BackstoryI helped my best friend's boyfriend plan a surprise dinner for my best friend as part of his proposal. This is the dessert he made. (Easy enough for my non-kitchen-oriented husband and her culinarily clueless boyfriend to make!)
- the orange part of the peel of one orange
- 4 oz. high-quality bittersweet chocolate, preferably organic (NOT Baker’s or Hershey’s)
- 1 large egg yolk, preferably organic and cage-free
- 1/2 c. milk (skim okay), heated
- 1 tablespoon orange juice or 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
- 2/3 c. very cold (but NOT frozen!) whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (has to be powdered sugar)
- 1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur or 1 tsp. almond flavoring
- Using the smallest size of holes on a cheese grater, grate the orange part of the peel off of the orange you’ll use for the salad. (Don’t dig into the white part–it’s bitter.) Set it aside in a small bowl.
- Chop up the chocolate, and set it aside in the bowl with the orange peel.
- Crack an egg in half and let the white part (the egg white) run out into the sink or garbage. Pass the yellow part–the yolk–back and forth between the egg shell halves to get the white out.
- Place the egg yolk in a small saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, just until thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes.
- Pour over chocolate and add orange liqueur (or OJ). Let the mixture stand 3 minutes, and then whisk it until it is completely smooth.
- Using a large spoon, scoop the mixture into two small (ramekin-size) bowls, and smooth out the tops of the desserts.
- Take plastic wrap and spread it over the dessert cups so that the entire top of the dessert is touching the plastic wrap. This will keep a layer of fat from forming on the top of the dessert.
- Refrigerate at least two hours.
- Separately, pour the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and amaretto into a mixing bowl. Using electric beaters, mix on high speed until you get what looks like mountain peaks when you turn off the mixer and lift the beaters up. (Be careful not to overbeat, or your whipped cream will start to fall apart. It will still taste good, but it looks better not overbeaten.) Store the whipped cream in the refrigerator until it is time for dessert. Then spoon a serving over the pots de creme. . . It worked, by the way. They're getting married next October.
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