Thursday, 29 March 2012

Lil Ms Squirrel's New Petits Pots au Chocolat

Over the years, the husband how to read the signs that I will give in and let him have a takeaway for tea.  Frazzled is usually the best sign and as this occurs on nearly a daily basis, he probably gets away with it far more often than he should.

Today was one such day.  After a full on day at work and a childcare crisis that the husband had to deal with as I was forty miles away presenting a project close-out to the board, the idea of not having to cook two separate meals - or even one - really appealed.  Of course, once I gave in, this left me without a recipe to try.  And with only thirty minutes to research one that I had the ingredients for whilst we waited for the takeaway to arrive, my options were limited.

So, I decided to try re-inventing one of my own staple recipes.  Many years ago, I adapted a recipe for petits pots au chocolat because I found the chocolate flavour too intense (this was back in the day when chocolate choice was limited to Dairy Milk or Bournville - yes, I'm that old!).  The recipe called for melted dark chocolate to be mixed with egg yolks and then whipped egg whites to give a light and fluffy mousse.  In my wisdom, rather than using milk chocolate, I decided to lighten the flavour by adding copious amounts of whipped double cream.  And very nice it is too.  Although you can feel your arteries hardening as you eat it.

From 100g of chocolate, three egg yolks, four egg whites and 300ml of double cream you can make two lard-arse portions or with other ingredients, turn it into a really nice dessert to feed four.  My usual dessert recipe contains the mousse layered with brownies and cherry compote.

But for a while, I've been thinking about getting the recipe back more to its original state but retaining some of the richness of the added cream.  So tonight, with a fridge full of half used pots of Greek yogurt, I figured I'd see if I could make something slightly healthier.  I also wanted an excuse to use the little espresso cups the hubby bought me for Christmas back in 2005 and that I'd forgotten about.  They're perfect for presenting mini desserts in.  Expect to see them appear on the blog again before the year is over.

I began with 40g of 70% dark chocolate, which I melted in the microwave on a low temperature until it was just melted but not too hot.  On our 700 watt microwave, this was 40% power for 4m 30s.  And in doing this, it meant I didn't have to wait for it to cool before I beat in the yolk of one egg.

Whilst the chocolate had been melting, I whipped two egg whites until they formed soft peaks.  I then added a tablespoon of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture to slacken it off, before pouring the chocolate mixture into the bowl of egg whites and folding with a metal spoon until just fully combined.  Finally, I added two rounded tablespoons of low fat Greek yogurt and mixed.  I probably could have added more to make the dessert go further, but I wanted to get the richness of the dairy, without that tang you get from yogurt.  At this level, the tang didn't come through.  I'm sure a bit of experimentation on the ratios will find the tipping point in the taste - it's a tough job, but I'll force myself to taste test it one day in the future.

An hour of setting time in the fridge, and voila, a perfectly light, creamy chocolate dessert - enough to satisfy a craving without the heart-attack inducing effect of my original recipe.  Mostly because the mixture fills two espresso cups, which you can't fit many calories into anyway.  Of course, it's highly adaptable and lends itself to being flavoured either with spirits or by using a flavoured chocolate in the first place.  A mint fondant bar would work well, as would a spiced orange flavoured one.  I'd also like to try using chilli chocolate or the one you can get that's laced with sea salt.  The possibilites are endless and the prep time is minimal - probably only seven or eight minutes, plus chilling if you're well organised.

So after six months of blogging, this is the first recipe from me to you rather than me trying someone else's recipe, which is technically not what I started out to do - but then the Greek yogurt in my mousse makes it a new recipe to me.  Happy eating!

Makes 2 espresso cups-ful

  • 40g 70% chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg separated plus 1 large egg white
  • 2 rounded tbsp low fat Greek yogurt


  1. Whisk the egg whites to soft peak - this is the point when the bowl can be turned upside down without them sliding out.
  2. Mix the egg yolk into the cooled chocolate until glossy.
  3. Add a tablespoon of the whisked eggs to the chocolate and mix to slacken the mixture.  Pour the chocolate mixture into the remaining egg whites and fold gently together using a metal spoon until just combined and there are no traces of egg white.  Fold in the yogurt.
  4. Pour into a piping bag (it makes filling tiny cups easier) and pipe into the espresso cups.
  5. Chill for an hour before serving.



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