One thing I love about living in Asheville, North Carolina is that it attracts food lovers. People visit here for all sorts of food festivals throughout the year. Others come to stay; opening restaurants, farming, attending culinary school, and producing artisan cheeses. With so many taking part in this “Foodtopian Society” as we call it, there is never a lack for delicious conversation or cooking buddies.
Debby Maugans is just such a friend. She moved to Asheville from Birmingham, Alabama, and is an avid member of our food culture. She’s been developing recipes for years as the author of the Birmingham News, Table for Two, and is passionate about good eats.
As an ardent food writer and author of three cookbooks: Beyond the Breakfast Bowl, the very popular Small-Batch Baking, and now Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers, Debby’s recipes are tried-and-true and easy to follow.
Debby would tell you Small-Batch Baking was inspired by her teenage daughter who would ask for homemade chocolate brownies a couple times a week. She would eat a brownie or two, then leave the rest of the pan sitting around for Debby to resist. She decided to make tiny batches of brownies in a small loaf pan each time, so their would be just enough for her daughter’s craving and no leftovers. Later she made tiny cakes for a baby shower, using metal cans as the cake pans and Small-Batch Baking was born!
Not everyone has a brood of children to bake for, and many of us want a decedent treat now-and-again without the concern of excess layer cake and cookies taunting us days later. Debby has taken all the effort out of making sweet treats for this generation’s small family; pairing back recipes, without loosing taste or texture.
Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers is a collection of all things chocolate. As Debby states in her introduction, “Everything is better with chocolate” and she is out the prove it with: Praline Chocolate Brownie Cake, Chocolate Early Grey Tea Souffles, and Chocolate Baklava.
As I dug through the book, salivating over the chocolate-laden recipes, I decided to make a treat with more chocolate and less of everything else! That’s how I roll. *wink*
I started with Debby’s Chocolate Raspberry Pots de Creme. These silky chocolate cups, fragrant with raspberry liqueur, are utterly amazing. Smooth, rich, balanced, and not overly sweet; I say they land somewhere between the best chocolate pudding ever and eating straight chocolate ganache. It gives me the shivers, all over again, just to think about them! Hugs to Debby Maugans.
To Prepare Chocolate Raspberry Pots de Creme:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place two 6 oz. custard cups in a rimmed baking dish.
Place the chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan until it simmers. Pour 1/3 of the cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for 1 minute.
Whisk until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture back into the saucepan and whisk.
Place the egg yolks in a small bowl. Whisk a little of the cream mixture into the eggs. Then pour the egg mixture back into the sauce pan and whisk well.
Mix the sugar and cocoa powder together. Add then to the sauce pan and whisk well. Allow the mixture to thicken for about 5 minutes—stir constantly.
Add the raspberry liqueur, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Then pour the mixture into two custard cups. Fill the rimmed pan with hot water until it come half way up the side of the custard cups. Then place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
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