Some years ago, Matt and I participated in “Tasting on the Wine Road” where over 100 wineries in the Healdsburg region (in Northern Sonoma, California) offered tastes of their wines paired with something to munch on. Offerings ranged from very rich cheese fondues paired with bold reds, and salmon teriyaki paired with crisp white wines. We collected our free cook books that documented all the wines we had the option to taste and all the foods that had been paired, and after a solid day of eating and tasting, concluded that this was one of favorite places to vacation.
A little later while leafing through the book, we came across this recipe for Pot de Crème from a winery that we were members at, but had not stopped at for the Wine Road day. But given how much we liked Truett Hurst Winery (both for their wines and the beautifully rustic property where we’ve whiled away a day in the sun), we knew the recipe must be delicious, and so it was! It’s turned into my favorite company dessert since it can be made ahead, and looks beautiful in presentation with a raspberry or two on top and a little bit of whipped cream or “schlag” as we love to call it. The flavors for this are incredibly dense and delicious.
1 cup Zinfandel (they recommend their Red Rooster Zinfandel)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1/8 tsp clove
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp brown sugar
8 oz semisweet or dark chocolate chips
4 egg yolks
2 tsp smoked Maldon sea salt (optional)
raspberries and whipped cream (optional for garnish)
Place the Zinfandel and the spices in a small saucepan and reduce by half. Whisk in the cream, bring to a simmer, cover and turn off the heat.
In a small double boiler, melt the chocolate with the brown sugar, stirring to combine. Whisk in the warm cream mixture.
Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl, and add in 4 tbsp of the chocolate mixture, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking throughout each addition. Whisk the tempered yolks into the chocolate on the double boiler and continue to cook, whisking, for 5 more minutes over low heat.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a small pitcher.
Pour into 1/2 cup ramekins (should be enough for 8). Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of salt (optional) and allow to cool for 4-6 hours until set (better if overnight).
Serve with whipped cream and raspberries (optional).
From Tasting Along the Wine Road Cookbook, volume 15, recipe from Chef Peter Brown, Jimtown Store