Food & Drink: Weekend Cook 24: petits pots au chocolat Serves 4-6 Total time: 30 minutes

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I WOULD be hard-pushed to say whether I think the texture or the flavour of chocolate is more important. I always get slightly narked by the sales pitch of high-percentage cocoa chocolates that fail to make any mention of how they melt in the mouth.

These particular little cups of chocolate cream sell themselves on their texture: made with the right chocolate it collapses in the most louche fashion from being loosely set to a velvety stream. Depending on how flush you're feeling, that all-round achiever Valhrona remains the name in fine couverture chocolate. Lindt would be my first choice of affordable high- street names. Bournville, I'm afraid, just won't do.

225ml/8 fl oz double


185ml/6 fl oz full cream


4 large egg yolks, whisked

85g/3oz milk chocolate

150g/5oz dark chocolate

2 tsp Tia Maria

Bring the cream and milk to the boil in a saucepan. Pour on to the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk - it should thicken to a thin custard instantly. Pass it through a sieve into a clean bowl, coverwith clingfilm and cool to room temperature.

Melt the chocolate by chopping it into small pieces and placing it in a bowl over simmering water. Blend half the custard with the melted chocolate, and then add the rest. Stir in the Tia Maria. Spoon into small pots or coffee cups, cover with clingfilm and chill.