Post-Rejection Pots de Creme

Every once in awhile--though it's always with great trepidation--I check out what people are saying about me on various sites for writers' experiences with agents.

Yeah, it's probably not such a great idea--but knowing that gossip about me is out there, just a few clicks away--it's just too tempting.

One writer on one site said she wanted to nominate me "sweet agent of the year."

Very pleased, I posted this to my Facebook status.

"Maybe it was a pun on all the dessert recipes you talk about," a Mr. Colin P. Hill quipped.

Well--yes. Quite possibly.

Also, I've noticed that a number of blogs are writing about techniques for dealing with rejection, and that,as a writer, you will inevitably be rejected--at least a few times, even if your books go on to become international bestsellers.

That's all well and good, but my Gatekeeper-endorsed technique involves egg yolks, blenders, and much more immediate gratification.

Post-Rejection Pots De Creme

Image from this low-carb pots de creme recipe.

Now, keep in mind that Gatekeeper is 1) lazy as can be in the kitchen, 2) not usually a fan of cooking with crazy culinary technology* and 3) addicted to chocolate, like any reasonable human being. Theobromine = reliable happiness.

And everyone always seems to assume I slaved for hours over these things. Try fifteen minutes plus fridge time. (If you want something even easier, try this.)

Note that this could probably also be made with bitter baking chocolate and Stevia, Splenda, or packets of Equal you steal from Starbucks.

You will need:

Six pots de creme pots, footed dessert dishes, ramekins, small bowls, chocolate bowls**, pretty little mugs, teacups (cute presentation, if you serve with the saucer), pretty glass cups, or tupperwares. You could also hollow out half-oranges (just make sure to slice the bottom so they'll sit upright in the fridge) and grate zest on top. I thought about adding Dixie cups to the list, but they might melt under pressure. And get wax in your chocolate. 

You'll also need a blender, and:

3/4 pound semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips--I like Ghirardelli.
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/16 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream. Note that
Trader Joe's soy creamer also, amazingly, works.
6 egg yolks

Put in blender: chocolate + vanilla + salt.

Put the cream over medium heat (could probably also nuke, but be careful) until it just begins to boil. Pour over chocolate & etc. in blender. Blend until very smooth. Add egg yolks. Blend again. (This
does have to be two steps--or the egg yolks will cook and look scrambled. Ew.)

Pour into containers of your choosing. Fridge those for four hours, and you will have an easy, creamy, fancy-seeming, dinner party-worthy, very, very chocolate-y dessert. Satisfying even for the "I must have dark chocolate at all times" chocolate-lovers.

This was adapted for ease and ingredient-findability from They suggest chocolate in slab form that you cut into tiny chunks yourself. Ha! Ha! I mean, I'm good with a knife and all (especially serrated ones) but--really? Really Gourmet Sleuth? Yeah. Not gonna happen.

* However, I do have a heatproof silicone spatula, and it is one of my favorite inventions ever. I use it to stir-fry. I mean, how cool is that? You can scrape liquid/sauce off the bottom of a frying pan over high heat and not end up with a flat spatula and a rubber-scented dinner. You can also use it to spread a very thin layer of oil over the entire pan, thus using less. Seriously: if someone who works in the arts says it's worth the money--it is. Try finding one on Ebay.  

** Temper chocolate, let it cool a little, spray a balloon with non-stick spray and dip the bottom part into the chocolate in a bowl shape. Then set them on cookie sheets lined with waxed paper and put 'em in the fridge.  Note that the chocolate must not be too hot, and you really should not use water balloons, which are designed to pop easily. I  managed to get chocolate all over my cousin's ceiling, behind her display plates, in the light fixtures, behind the fridge, under the get the idea. Don't do that. Once the chocolate is solidified, pop the balloons and peel them out. Lots of work, but they turn out very pretty, especially when filled with pots de creme. See below.


Filippo said...

Great image to sleep on. Chocolate and ice cream, great friends of those traped inside deeper thoughts. Although, I must admit it, I'm one of the few people in the world immune to the chocolate epidemic -- even enjoying so much cooking with it for others. Just because I don't eat much, doesn't mean I don't recognize great stuff when I see it. Thanks for the recipe! (I can even foresee the hilarious balloon exploding on me or my dog below me)

Connie said...

I'm going to have to make this. It sounds like chocolate nirvana to me.

Jenny S. said...

Yum! (But I know I'll never actually make them.) I especially love the tip about the balloons.

Stacy Overman Morrison said...

I would look, too. I profess this glorified sense of self, pontificating that I am above the opinions of others--but please! I am a writer, therefore, I have to care what other people think of me and my work. Plus, the curiosity would kill me and drive me to consume even more Pots de Creme. Glad your hunting expedition confirmed what I already knew. You're doing a great job!

Rowenna said...

That looks amazing. And I cannot begin to describe how thrilled I am that it can be made dairy-free- Lactose and I had a bad fight and Lactose won't speak to me anymore, so I'm ecstatic to find creamy chocolately goodness I can eat, too :)

Agency Gatekeeper said...

Hi Rowenna,
Yeah! In theory, it can be both dairy- and sugar-free. And it's always delicious!

Agency Gatekeeper said...

Yeah, you really have to be very careful with the balloons! Unfortunately, this happened after my cousin and her small children had gone to bed--and then an enormous pop--and chocolate EVERYWHERE! Well, there's one for the family archives.

Agency Gatekeeper said...

Thanks Stacy!

Lindsay said...

You probably already know this, but I love this post and will most definitely try out the recipe. Chocolate makes even the toughest rejections and stickiest situations in life just a little bit easier:-) And, I think you're entitled to check out the "gossip" about you - even the celebrities are caught reading US and I promise the word on the street about you is much, much kinder.

Cari said...

My usual post-rejection ice cream wasn't cutting it anymore. This may be just the thing...

Tahereh said...

i am positively drooling all over this post.


Holly Dodson said...

Man, I wish I could make this, it looks divine.
If only the munchkin wasn't allergic to the weirdest stuff ever. :)

Filippo said...

Hahahahaha, I know exactly what you're saying, because, no matter the "accident" in the kitchen, my dog always gets the best of it -- like I imagine it is with your cousin's children too. But I never get mad or anything, since I'm always singing while cooking (Zeppelin, Jovi or even Winehouse), what simply confirms the diagnosis of our food... If that can't relax even the most epileptic anxieties, I don't know what else can!

Agency Gatekeeper said...

Hi Holly,
If it isn't the eggs that are a problem, there's probably a way around it. Here are a ton of other recipes. I'm excited about the chai, earl gray and chocolate, and pumpkin--which can be served in tiny pumpkins, hollowed out.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Given the fact that it's my birthday, I wish someone would whip me one of these bad boys.

Instead, I will have to settle for bday cake. Settle as in eat half the cake single-handedly. ;)

:) said...

Yeah, the "gossip" on GK goes something like this:

Writer 1: GK requested my full! Yippee!

Writer 2: Good luck! She turned me down a few months ago. Best. Rejection. Ever.

Writer 3: I WISH GK would rep me someday.

Writer 4: She's so generous with her comments I don't know how she has time to make chocolate thingies and post their recipes online.

Writer 1: GK rejected my full but gave me just the feedback I was waiting for to turn it into a bestseller!

etc., etc.


rebekahg22 said...

Oh my gosh! This looks like something even I could make (er...yeah, the hubby does all the cooking in my house). And it has chocolate, my favorite food group!

Steena Holmes said...

Gatekeeper - where were you last Wednesday when I spent 3 hrs in my kitchen slaving over my chocolate bowls - which I made with water balloons btw. I wrote a whole post on the grieving process I experienced with this delectable dessert. I learned the hard way what NOT to do. I STILL have chocolate on my ceiling, fridge, window and stove. I had to throw out my white shirt I wore (why oh why did I wear white???). Out of the 40 I attempted to make - only 7 turned out.
Next time I will pay for someone to make this for me ;)

Agency Gatekeeper said...

:), you're so sweet. It's not all like that--I've seen some pretty unhappy comments from people I'd rejected--but I think that goes with the territory. After all, the people who bother to write reviews are either those who are most and least pleased by the experience.

Agency Gatekeeper said...

I know your pain! And, worse, there's a woman (whose recipe I followed the first time) who insisted these were SO easy, she made 200 (!!!) of them for her church! WHAT?! I barely got ten of them! (Though they were very pretty when finally done--and seem to impress even people who watch Food Network all day, every day.)

And I see so many recipes (can't find the original one, but there was a terrible sentence like, "So easy, anyone can do it!") that insist it's EASY. No no no. It's messy and will leave you stressed.

But it's very impressive--and delicious.

BTW, you can temper chocolate in the microwave. For dark, put it in a glass (Pyrex--though the old kind; the new ones can explode--another story) and nuke for 30 seconds, stir, nuke another 30 seconds, stir--until it's ready. You'll get shiny chocolate that won't bloom.

Agency Gatekeeper said...

Sounds like you found a great husband!

And chocolate *should* be a food group. It's made from beans, which could be either protein or vegetable; it has an amazing amount of antioxidants--and it promotes a sense of well-being. Surely that's healthy.

Ally said...

Yummy. Our summer go-to chocolate fix involves picking big mint leaves from our herb garden (especially the chocolate mint variety), rinsing, drying, dipping the entire leaf in melted chocolate chips and then freezing on parchment. These little frozen nibbles are incredibly refreshing.

Balloon molds are such a good idea - haven't tried those, but I have molded one side of maple leaves (repeat process above, except freezing) balanced atop of homemade ice cream. Very company presentation worthy - especially in the fall.

Agency Gatekeeper said...

That is SUCH a good idea. I love mint: I like to have a little plant (I kill houseplants but, so long as it lasts) for mint that can be boiled into the best tea ever. I'll have to try your chocolate-dipped mint leaves...

Colin said...

You honor me, my dear AG. I always feel so conflicted with these recipes. They sound so delicious, but the last time I tried to bake, the department of homeland security was called out.

Seems my neighbors heard enough commotion to suspect that I was building a sonic death-ray in my kitchen. (Which I wasn't. . . that time)

I'm pretty sure Tom Waits wrote this song about that very event.

I may have to try making this dish, but if the west coast mutates into atomic monsters, I want you to know that it was your fault.

Ally said...

Just a quick comment - I tried this recipe..To Die For. I even had to post it on my Facebook for my friends and family. Hubs family has a delicious warm chocolate pudding recipe (which takes forever and a day to make) and this tastes exactly like it, apart from being cold. Which I prefer.

Four stars, GK!

Agency Gatekeeper said...

I'm so glad, Ally!