I’ve been logging a lot of hours in the kitchen lately, and Matthew is usually in there with me, ready to help whisk a bowl of pancake batter, press the buttons to blend a smoothie or stir something in our big red pot, one of his favourite tasks. He has no fear when he enters the room, and doesn’t hesitate to swipe a knife off the counter or stand this close to the stove where a large Dutch oven sits gurgling full of hot liquid. I try to encourage his curiosity, but dang it if he isn’t immediately drawn to the most dangerous tools of the trade.
My solution is to encourage him to make a mess instead. His attention is immediately diverted from that which can harm him if he can a) play with flour and oats and rice and other random dry ingredients or b) use a machine that makes a lot of noise. He used to love to work the food processor – also a safety hazard if one isn’t careful – but now he’s completely captivated by our new blender, and quite frankly so am I.
I’ve been coveting a high-end blender for years, but when faced with paying for Ben to play hockey or adding a new small appliance to my collection, the sticks and skates won out. I kid, of course, but kind of not really because some of those top-of-the-line products can and do cost the same as a season of sports for the kids. I think I always assumed I would purchase one as a celebratory gift for completing a big project, but colour me surprised (and happy!) when Vitamix reached out to see if I’d be interested in taking one of their machines for a test drive (side note: speaking of driving, I’m now the parent of a child in possession of a driver’s license). Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity, and I can confidently tell you that Matthew and I are having even more fun in the kitchen together now that we have a new toy and some of her shiny accessories to play with.
As die-hard smoothie lovers, we’ve really enjoyed the personal cup adapter (that works with all Legacy Series blenders) that can be purchased for the blender. For years, I’ve sung the praises of a popular countertop mini blender that allows you to blend and drink from the same cup (and I still love it!), simply because I love being able to take a drink on the road with me when time doesn’t allow for me to sit and enjoy it at home. Now that you can do that via an attachment for the Vitamix, I’m even more smitten with my high-powered machine.
Last week we played around with it some more and made these adorable no-bake pots de crème to see what, if anything, we could come up with that wasn’t a smoothie. The second Matthew spots me pulling the monstrous bags of chocolate chips from the freezer, he’s already on my heels ready to get to work. Add in a machine with noise, and that’s just icing on his already enthusiastic cake.
Blender pots de crème have been around since the 1960s when a company produced a ‘secret’ recipe to accompany their blender with hopes of enticing people to purchase the product. It worked, and variations of the recipe have been around ever since. My version makes four servings and the ingredients fit perfectly into the personal cup adapter for the Vitamix. Blend, heat, pour and blend; those four simple steps yield a magical dessert worthy of serving to your friends and family, or even your pint-sized cooking companion who will happily take payment for his work in the form of decadent sweet treats.
No-Bake Chocolate Espresso Pots de Créme
- 1 cup good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Whipped cream, for serving
- Cocoa powder, for serving
1. Place chocolate chips and sugar in the 20-ounce container and secure the adapter. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Add the egg, vanilla, espresso powder and salt and blend on the lowest speed for 30 seconds. Slowly increase to medium speed and continue blending until completely smooth, about 1minute.
2. Meanwhile, heat the cream in a saucepan set over medium heat until steam rises and bubbles begin to form around the perimeter of the pot.
3. Unscrew the adapter and pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips. Reattach the adapter and let sit for 1 minute. Select the lowest speed setting. Start the machine, slowly increase to medium, and blend for 1 minute or until smooth and the chocolate is completely melted.
4. Divide the mixture evenly between four tea cups or small ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 6 hours, or overnight.
5. Unwrap pots de crème and spoon a dollop of the whipped cream over each. Sprinkle a small amount of cocoa powder over top and serve.
Many thanks to Vitamix for providing me with a blender (and accessories) to take for a test-drive. As always, all opinions are my own.