Halloween is a fairly recent event celebrated by Mauritians as a result of their exposure to foreign cultures and beliefs as well as considerable media attention and publicity surrounding the festivities. Originally observed in memory of the dead, Halloween traditions now centre around trick and treating, dressing up in scary costumes and decorating homes and gardens with carved pumpkins and other symbols to ward off evil spirits.

Though I do not celebrate Halloween in the true sense, I could not deny myself the pleasure of dabbling with some Halloween themed dessert. These spooky dark chocolate Pots de Crème, from My Recipes, are fashioned as graveyard tombs with engraved Tombstone Cookies, and are eerie enough to give guests goose bumps at your Halloween party.

DARK CHOCOLATE POTS DE CREME & TOMBSTONE COOKIES

Ingredients:

For the Dark Chocolate Pots de Crème

200g bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk

1 1/4 cups whipping cream

1/6 cup coffee-flavored liqueur

1/4 cup chocolate wafer crumbs

For the Tombstone Cookies

2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling cookies

1 large egg, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

Melted semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

Method:

  • In a food processor, whirl chocolate until finely chopped. Pour into a bowl. Put eggs and yolks in the processor or blender.
  • In a 4-cup glass measure, heat whipping cream in a microwave oven at full power (100%) until cream boils, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • With processor on high speed, add the boiling cream to the egg. Check the temperature of the mixture with a thermometer.
  • If below 160°F, pour the mixture back into glass measure and reheat in microwave oven at full power until it reaches 160°F.

  • Combine hot cream mixture, chopped chocolate and coffee liqueur in a blender and whirl until smooth, for about 1 minute.
  • Pour chocolate mixture into 8 ramekins or glasses (1/2-cup size). Chill mixture until softly set for about 30 to 45 minutes.

  • If making ahead, cover and chill up to 1 day. For creamiest texture, let dessert stand at room temperature about 30 minutes.
  • For the tombstone cookies, preheat oven to 400°F. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1/2 cup sugar.

  • Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and finely chopped bittersweet chocolate.
  • Gradually add to butter mixture, blending thoroughly, to form soft dough. Cover the cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap.

  • Refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour), or up to 3 days. On a floured board, roll out dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inches.
  • With a sharp knife, cut free-form tombstone shapes of about 1 1/2 by 3 inches out of dough. Cut bottom edges at an angle.

  • This makes them easier to poke into the pots de crème. Place the cookie shapes slightly apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake cookies until edges are lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack.

  • Cool completely before handling. Using a pastry bag with a very fine tip, pipe the letters “RIP” in chocolate on the cookies.
  • Spoon one tablespoon wafer crumbs onto each pot de crème and stick the tombstone cookies into the pots before serving.

Have a Spooky Halloween!

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