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Chocolate-Tangerine Pots de Crème

Tangerines lend their distinct taste to this rich custard dessert. Their bright, fragrant zest perfumes an intense dark-chocolate custard, while the tangy juice perks up a vanilla mixture. The two are swirled together to create a wonderful contrast in color as well as complementary tastes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tangerines
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions:

Finely grate the zest from the tangerines, then squeeze 3 Tbs. tangerine juice.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

In a saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, salt and tangerine zest. Whisk the cream into the egg mixture, then cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (do not let the mixture boil). Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Pour two-thirds of the hot mixture over the chocolate, let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk to combine. Whisk the tangerine juice into the remaining plain mixture.

Using a small ladle, fill six 3/4-cup ramekins one-third full with the chocolate mixture. Pour the tangerine mixture into the ramekins, dividing it evenly, then top with the remaining chocolate mixture. Drag a toothpick or skewer through the mixtures in the ramekins, swirling in a figure-eight motion, to create a marbled effect. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. Serve the pots de crème chilled. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Desserts, by Raquel Pelzel (Oxmoor House, 2008).