Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chocolate Espresso Pot de Crème -- Decadent & Sugar Free

Here's a recipe for Decadent Chocolate Espresso Pot de Crème that I made and photographed over the weekend for a Valentine's Day dessert. I had originally planned to post it earlier this week, but with the winter ice/snow storm we got and an unexpected trip to the hospital during the ice storm...well, I am just now getting around to posting it. Fortunately, it is so quick and easy to make that you don't need a lot of advance planning to make it and it uses very few ingredients. Another bonus is it is completely sugar free! When I made it last time, I topped it with buttered almond brittle (sugar free). This version is topped with fresh raspberries. You can top it with strawberries or freshly whipped cream...or absolutely nothing at all if you want. It is super rich and fudgy, and a very little bit goes a long way. If you are interested in seeing the version I made last time, click on the link above in the first sentence. I've also copied the recipe for you below as well as the photos I took this past Sunday. Enjoy!

*My Scary 24 Hours: Today, I am especially thankful to be alive and well. We survived the beautiful snow and ice storm and awoke to the most beautiful winter scene here at home today. It was still snowing and the trees were covered with ice and snow...it was truly picture perfect. I haven't posted the last few days because of a scary situation I experienced Tuesday. I worked a little late on Tuesday to get everything done in anticipation of what they were calling a "catastrophic winter storm" that was due to begin late that night, and in the event I wouldn't be able to get to work Wednesday. Well, I didn't make it into work on Wednesday...but not because of the snow and ice. Shortly after I got home from work Tuesday night, I began experiencing chest pain. Of course, I tried to ignore it because I still had things to do to prepare for the storm. Hubby and I went out to the grocery store to pick up a few more groceries, "just in case". My pain continued and I continued to ignore it. We got home and I actually began fixing dinner. I made dinner but had to stop and sit down because of the pain and difficulty breathing and finally told my husband what was going on. I continued to wait a couple more hours torn about what to do. I didn't want to overreact and go to the ER only hours before this catastrophic storm and in the event we had to wait long, I didn't want to get stuck and not be able to return home in the middle of this storm. So, I waited and finally got to the point where I feared that once the storm began I may no longer be able to make it to the hospital safely and that an ambulance might not be able to get to me either. So, I did what every stupid person experiencing chest pain would do...I began to pack the car for the possibility of getting trapped like so many did a couple weeks ago here in Atlanta. I packed food, water, coats, etc....hoping that somehow I would feel better before leaving the house. I was worried about leaving Spike and our bird behind without food, water, etc. in the event we got stuck. The long and short of this was that we reached the hospital, I was whisked back promptly with my symptoms and as they hooked me to monitors, inserted a port in my arm, took my history and tried to give me an aspirin to chew...I reminded them I was allergic to aspirin. They asked if I had ever had nitroglycerin and I said no. They assured me it was safe and the worst side effect I would experience was a headache and that how I responded to it would help them rule out certain things. So, I placed it under my tongue. When they asked me if I noticed any difference and I said "maybe a little less pain and no headache" and then immediately told them I didn't feel well and thought I was going to pass out. When I regained consciousness and could understand what was going on (I was extremely disoriented), they told me that my heart had stopped for 16 seconds. They had called a code and had the crash cart and were getting ready to shock me. It all happened so fast. They informed me that I had a serious adverse reaction to the nitroglycerin and that I could never have it again. Is it really possible that this drug that saves so many lives almost took mine? The saddest part is that my husband was there to watch all of this. The good news is that after every kind of test imaginable; echo, CT scan, MRI, nuclear testing; stress testing, x-rays, so much blood drawn that I'm surprised I have any left...I was told that I did not have a heart attack. I was released from the hospital a few hours short of 24 hours and sent home with a "pleurisy-like" diagnosis (breathing and inflating my lungs hurts and causes me to breathe shallow). I have had pleurisy before and this feels much like that, only I didn't have jaw pain, shoulder pain and neck pain with it the first time. I am to follow up with a cardiologist next week. So, I am home resting today and going a bit nuts with nothing to do. I can't stand to have nothing to do...so that is why I am posting this recipe. I had already taken the pictures this past weekend and it gives me something else to focus on other than breathing! :-)  So, in case you were wondering, that's why you haven't heard from me these last few days. It's been a long 24 hours. I am so very thankful that the first (and only) time I was given nitroglycerin that I was in the emergency room setting I was in, and not at home. It is really great to be back! P.S. -- while anticipating the storm earlier in the week, I took a pot roast out of the freezer and had planned to cook it yesterday (before my fiasco). I have it going in the crock pot today...a good roast is a terrible thing to waste!  ;-)








Trees in my backyard this morning
This is not a common scene from my kitchen windows...but it's beautiful!



Decadent Chocolate Espresso Pot de Crème

Ingredients:

3 oz. Ghirardelli 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Premium Baking Bar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners Swerve sweetener (or equivalent sweetener to 1/2 cup sugar)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup very strong espresso coffee (I made by using instant espresso and water)

Directions:

Break chocolate baking bar into small pieces. Bring the cream, Swerve, and vanilla to a boil in a saucepan. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl. 

Add about 1/3 of the boiling cream into the yolks and whisk constantly (you don't want to cook or scramble the yolks). Return the remaining cream to a boil and whisk in the yolk/cream mixture. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, for about 20 seconds or so, until slightly thickened. 

Strain the cream mixture through a mesh net strainer into a bowl and add the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Once chocolate is melted and incorporated, whisk in the espresso coffee.

Pour into three or four small custard cups or ramekins. Refrigerate until cooled.  Top with toasted nuts, whipping cream or berries, if desired.

*Note: If a sweeter confection is desired, add a couple more tablespoons of sweetener to the mixture. Espresso can be omitted, if desired.

         

47 comments:

unter der laterne said...

Holy Moly GG, I am so glad that you did not have a heart-attack and that you are alright!
You behaved exactly as I would have-exactly! It is also generous of you to share your experience with us with us!
I was really worried and I am so happy that you are in the kitchen again, lol!
I am not very educated about your medical problem, but I will find out now!
GG, take good care! So good that you are able to continue your hobby! Fondly Barbara.
PS. I would have written sooner, but I woke up at 10:30 AM(husband is in the mountain again)
I am wondering now weather you get enough sleep ,GG .

unter der laterne said...

Cybersis has been absent for a while too, I hope that she is alright!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Barbara! I last heard from her on 2/10 so hope she is okay, too and not having the kind of fun I did! I am hoping to find out more when I see a cardiologist. Tried calling to schedule an appointment this afternoon but their offices were closed (I'm assuming due to weather since so many things are closed here). I am not doing a lot of strenuous stuff -- I put a roast in the crock pot this morning which is fairly effortless and have only had yogurt and coffee to eat today. Lucky you sleeping in until 10:30. I already know about getting enough sleep...the answer to that question is NO. LOL I have rested most of the day today and feel better but tired. If I move around too much and breathe a little deeper I can tell it isn't gone. It usually takes a few days since I can't take any aspirin or anti-inflammatory meds. Thanks for your concern! :-)

Ann said...

I was starting to worry too since you hadn't posted in a while. I thought maybe you had lost power. Glad you're doing okay and hope that everything goes well at the doctor.

Neha SR said...

What a scare! So very glad that you are well, and safe. I have been wondering about you since I had seen anything you posted, but now I know! Take care of yourself!!

Anna said...

What an ordeal. I think we sometimes just don't think straight when we're in a lot of pain! Hope you get well soon.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much, Ann. I am glad to be home safe and sound, after surviving my ordeal and making it home safely in this ugly ice storm! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thank you Neha! It is good to be back! :-)

Kathy said...

So glad you are still with us! You behaved like every practical woman does--taking care of everything and everyone else first. Yes, we missed your posts, but it's really you we missed.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anna -- I think I was somehow hoping that maybe it would stop before we left. It's scary enough heading to the ER in good weather and with the storm coming towards us it was quite scary and made it a more difficult decision to make -- I didn't want to jeopardize our safety for "nothing" and didn't want to abandon my pets with the possibility of not getting back to them -- fortunately once it appeared I might not be coming home soon, my youngest son drove home at 4:00 in the morning before the ice got bad so I didn't have to worry about my pets.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much, Kathy!!! :-)

Pat in Ohio said...

WOW!!!! I am so glad to hear that you are OK! Being allergic to something that is supposed to be lifesaving is scary. Take it easy - treat yourself to all the rest you need. While we love and appreciate your recipes and the help you have given those of us who have chosen to be wheat and grain free - nothing is more important than having you operating at 100%.

Pat In Ohio

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much, Pat -- your kind comments are appreciated more than you know! :-)

Sonshine Girl said...

Oh my goodness...how scary for you and your poor hubby. I'm happy to hear that you are okay. And what a trooper...posting already. Thanks for all that you do. Take care!!

rhodeanie said...

All my good wishes for your return to health, happiness, and cooking!

Peg said...

Oh my gosh GG what a scary situation for you! I'm so glad to hear it wasn't a heart attack but the symptoms you describe would make anyone think it was a heart attack.

I also wondered if you had lost power with the ice storm.

Please rest up and don't be in a hurry to post recipes. We can all search through the archives if we are looking for inspiration.

Hugs,

Peg

Roberta said...

OMG! It always stuns me how quickly life can change ... gotta tell you, though, I would've packed the car too :) Glad you are better and safe at home. Rereading your post reminds me that women usually take care of everyone else EXCEPT themselves. This may be your time to take care of YOU.
Roberta

Darlene said...

Hi GG! I had assumed you were maybe "snowed in" without electricity/heat! I probably would've done exactly what you did at first and hoped the pain would go away -you really had a dilemma considering the bad weather/your pets etc. So relieved you are ok & hope you'll get some much-needed rest!

samudra said...

so happy to hear you are okay. what a scare. take utmost care of yourself. you are such a blessing…so creative and generous in sharing your wonderful recipe discoveries. sending you brightest blessings and thorough healing. xoxo

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks Sunshine Girl! I feel bad because it really was probably more frightening for my husband than it was for me -- I was more overwhelmed and being whisked around and tested and sort of felt like I was on a run-away train. I had no choice but to surrender to whatever they wanted to do which is something I am not used to doing. He on the other hand had to watch and really soak everything in. One test they did took 3 hours and he thought something had happened to me again...I think he was probably traumatized more than I was. I am glad its over and hope it stays that way. Thanks, again! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much, Rhodeanie! I don't want to ever take one moment for granted again. So as much as I would like to forget...I hope I never do. Thanks. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Peg. It was scary and I am taking it easy...but I have to do something to keep busy, so I will keep my cooking pretty simple for a little bit but don't like sitting around with nothing to focus on. The good thing is that because of the storm I am stocked with groceries for a bit! Thanks for the concern...it's appreciated. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness I just read this, I'm so sorry you went through such an ordeal. I can imagine how scary that must have been for you and your family. I am praying for you to make a full and complete recovery, please take care of yourself and make your husband wait on you hand and foot, you deserve it! Besides I have a feeling it won't be long before you are up and about and running around again so you might as well enjoy some pampering. Sending you lots of positive thoughts and warm hugs. Be well sweet lady. Maria

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

What an ordeal you had! I was wondering, too, if you were OK but I'd chalked your absence up to dealing with yet another round of impossible weather conditions. (Beautiful, but treacherous.) I'm so glad you're home and recovering. Pleurisy can be awful ... my hubby has had a couple of run-ins with it, but not the jaw, shoulder, and neck pain. Your symptoms really were *very* *very* severe. And the drug reaction ... incredible! You still need to be alert to unusual and/or severe symptoms, even though it seems to have not been a heart attack this time. Women often present quite differently than men and we tend to brush aside things that really should be checked out. Good to hear that you'll be seeing a cardiologist soon.

As for me, I'm perfectly OK ... *Thanks for your concern.* *Thanks also, Barbara* ... hope you are doing well and getting more rain! I've just been busy, plus knitting up a storm these days, *plus* getting suckered into watching more Olympics than I really want to.

Take care of yourself and don't over-do it. Some of these things just take a little time to recover from. You have a supportive family ... let them pamper you a bit. :-) Stay safe, snug, and warm. Get well soon! I'll be praying for your quick recovery ... and for spring! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks Roberta. I am not sure what it is that make us women the way we are. I wouldn't accept anyone else in my family doing what I did or waiting that long, but I just kept hoping it would go away and did not want to put us into harms way heading out into what was reported to be such a catastrophic weather event...and put both of us and our pets at risk if we should get stuck in it. I hope that someone else might learn from my hard headed behavior and not wait like I did. I lucked out (except for the nitroglycerin part)...it would have been even worse had it been an impending heart attack that I waited so long to tell my husband about or seek help. Thanks for the kind words...and don't ever do what I did! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Darlene. It was an even harder decision to make because of the impending winter storm. But if I were to be honest, if it hadn't been for the storm coming and having to make a now or maybe never decision to head to the hospital, I probably would have waited longer than I did. I have never been one to run quickly to the doctor or hospital for myself (with my kids, a different story). I have had a restful day today and am very glad to be home. Thanks for the kind words. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much, Samudra. Your kind words are appreciated more than you know. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much, Maria. I am trying to rest and take it easy...it is hard to do. It's something that always sounds good until you have to do it! I rested and read most of the day and the only "work" I did was put a roast in my crock pot this morning that I had thawed earlier in the week to make for the storm. I didn't want it to go to waste, so I cooked it and kept it simple. I resisted the urge to make anything else and since I really didn't have much appetite today, it was easy. I will resist the urge to post it tonight and wait until tomorrow! See, I'm trying to relax. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much, CyberSis. After getting several emails and messages when I stopped posting for a few days and folks wondering if I was okay in the storm, I decided to go ahead and post it instead of repeating the story over and over. I agree with you that even though they ruled out a heart attack yesterday doesn't necessarily mean that it can't happen. I wonder in the back of my head if it isn't a warning of something impending. I hope with all the tests they ran that if there was something profound that they would have found it...but know there is no guarantee of that. Of course I would feel a lot better if I was completely free of chest pain but remember how painful pleurisy was when I had it before -- the jaw, neck and shoulder involvement this time does seem different. I tried scheduling an appointment with the cardiologist but their office was closed when I called this afternoon. Maybe they will be open tomorrow -- I hope they will be able to see me next week like I am supposed to be. In the hospital it seemed like it was a different doctor every 5 minutes and I had to keep repeating everything over and over...but the hospital was busy and hospital staff were working 72 hour shifts through the storm and sleeping there...so I have no complaints. But it will be nice to have one physician to follow me now, so I am anxious to at least get my appointment scheduled. Thanks for your concern. And, I am glad (as is Barbara) that you are safe, sound and okay, too. This has been an interesting winter to say the least! Stay safe and warm. :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

It sounds like you were given an extremely thorough workup. Sometimes tests can be inconclusive, or have conflicting results, but that whole battery of tests all indicate that you didn't have a heart attack. I hope you're able to get an appt with the cardiologist very soon. He should be able to sort it all out. It wouldn't hurt to see your family dr. as well. In the meantime, since you probably have more "access" to Dr. D. than most of us, perhaps you could run it by him to see if anything jumps out at him. In any case, get plenty of rest and let your body heal. I'm sure your readers would understand if you wanted to take a "vacation" for now ... we have plenty of material to work with already to keep us quite busy! :-) I don't know how you keep going with all the recipe development, cooking, shopping, daily blogging, and everything else you do, all while holding down a job. It's truly mind-boggling!

Ginny said...

Very sorry to hear about your experience! Praying for your improved & good health!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Ayla, :)

I am so happy to hear that it wasn't your heart and that you are back home safely and resting.

I too have had issues with meds that nearly killed me. So sad when we are prescribed something that's supposed to help and it ends up nearly killing us.

Stay strong, friend and feel better soon. I'll be praying for you. ():-)

Linda :)

Sami said...

Hi Ayla, glad they ruled out an heart attack, what a scary episode. Hope the specialist is able to sort it all out.
Hope the weather is better too.

Terry Duncan said...

Gee Whiz - I'm so glad that it all worked out but what a scare! I hope you can rest, relax and get well so you can buzz around like normal. I did miss your posts, but figured it was weather related. Get better, and Happy Valentines Day!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, CyberSis. I am still processing all that happened and am working on getting an appointment next week. I had taken today off ahead of time because hubby and I were going to go downtown and have a nice lunch since dinner is impossible on Valentine's Day...but I don't feel comfortable doing that yet so I am staying close to home. I finally cut my hospital wrist bands off yesterday when I felt like I wasn't going right back (I wanted to make sure my allergy band was visible with nitroglycerin). I will definitely have a medical bracelet made now. I just want my normal back and will feel better once I see the cardiologist so I can understand what happened. Thank you!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much, Ginny -- I appreciate it!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thank you for the kind words Linda -- I appreciate them!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thank you Sami. Our weather is improving -- everything is melting because it is 51 degrees here right now. Thanks, again.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thank you, Terry -- I appreciate it. It was pretty scary and hope it is all behind me now. Happy Valentine's Day to you, too.

unter der laterne said...

GG, my thoughts are with you! I read up on *Pleurisy*. Much more serious than I imagined, the discomfort must be hard to bear. I am truly sorry that you have to go through this! My hope is that you get excellent news from your cardiologist!
You are probably getting more sleep now, that will help with the healing of your body!
Maybe a good book could distract you from your urge to work!
As Cyber Sis mentioned, we have plenty of recipes on your site!
Get well soon! Fondly your Barbara.

StacyP said...

You poor thing! Get well soon!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Barbara! This afternoon I feel better than this morning -- keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks again for your concern.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Stacy -- I'm working on it!

Cindi Hilt said...

What a scary experience! Take good care of yourself and get plenty of rest.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much, Cindy!

Carolyne said...

I just read this! I am so happy you are ok! Hope you are feeling better. Hugs from Canada
Carolyne

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much, Carolyne. I think I am okay now. My official diagnosis was pericarditis (inflammation in the membrane/sac around the heart). Thank you! :-)