This special dessert is perfect for sharing with a loved one on Valentine's day. The recipe may look a bit difficult, but it is really quite easy. The hardest part is waiting for the pots de crème to chill!
1Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a small saucepan add the half & half & 1/2 cup heavy cream. Heat mixture, whisking occasionally, until it just barely comes to a simmer. Remove from heat & add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla & chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute. In a medium bowl whisk together 1 1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar with the egg yolks. Whisk the cream mixture until chocolate is incorporated, then slowly pour it into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in the salt & food coloring. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Pour into 2 small ramekins or oven safe bowls. Place in a baking dish & pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover with foil & bake for 25-30 minutes, or just until set but still soft. Remove pan fron the oven & leave ramekins in the water bath until cool enough to handle. Cover ramekins with plastic wrap & chill for at least 3 hours or over night.
2In another small saucepan, add the Champagne & 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the sliced strawberries & orange zest. Bring mixture back to a simmer & cook until berries are softened, but still holding their shape. Using a slotted spoon, place berries into two small bowls. Garnish with whole berries.
3Add the remaining heavy cream to a mixing bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. Beat in the cream cheese, powdered sugar, & 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until smooth & thick.
4Serve the pots de crème with a dollop of whipped cream & berries on the side.