Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rosemary Chocolate Pot De Creme, Vanilla Poached Pear

Chocolate and of my favorite combinations.

Silky dark chocolate infused with rosemary and vanilla, served with a sweet pear soaked in sweet vanilla bean syrup spiced with cinnamon sticks and star anise.

Rosemary Pot De Creme
1c almond milk
3/4c organic sugar
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1c vegan creamer
2 tbl cornstarch
1 cup bittersweet chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract

Set aside whatever small bowls or ramekins you plan on using.

In a medium sized sauce pot combine the almond milk, rosemary and sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cover with seran wrap to steep. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Remove the rosemary and put the milk back on the oven and bring back to a simmer. While that is heating up combine the cornstarch and creamer. Once the almond milk is just to a simmer, add the cornstarch mixture and whisk vigorously. Continue whisking until the mixture comes to a boil. Let boil and thicken (while still whisking!) for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate and vanilla. Whisk until the creme is smooth. Pour right into prepared ramekins and place in the fridge to set. Once the creme has set completely and no longer jiggles, enjoy.

* If you don't like rosemary or would rather enjoy a simple chocolate flavor simply omit the rosemary and steeping step.

Vanilla Poached Pear
6 cups of water
3c organic sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped out
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp cinnamon
3 strips of orange peel
1 star anise
4 Bosc Pears, peeled and stem left intact

In a deep stock pot add the water, sugar, vanilla bean pod and seeds, cinnamon stick, star anise and orange peel. Bring to a boil and add the whole peeled pears, making sure they are completely submerged. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer in poaching liquid for 15 minutes depending on the ripeness of the pear. Test with a toothpick to make sure it can be inserted with ease, but isn't mushy (like an almost cooked potato). Allow the pears to cool completely in the liquid and serve immediately.

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