Chocolate-Orange Pots de Creme

For the Candied Blood Orange:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 blood orange, sliced ? inch thick

For the Pots de Crème:

1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon blood orange zest
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 egg yolks

For the Whipped Mascarpone:
1/2 cup mascarpone
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon blood orange zest
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Make the candied blood orange: Preheat the oven to 250° and line a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the blood orange slices and reduce to a simmer; cook until the slices are translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the slices in a single layer to the prepared sheet pan. Bake until dried and crisp, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool completely.

Make the pots de crème: Place the chocolate in a blender and set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, cream and orange zest to a simmer over medium heat.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt and egg yolks until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is light yellow and thick. Whisk about 1 cup of the simmering cream into the egg yolk mixture to temper, then add it all back into the pot. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard is lightly thickened so it coats the back of the spoon, 5 to 6 minutes.

Pour the custard over the chocolate in the blender and blend until smooth. Divide the mixture between five 8-ounce ramekins, smoothing the tops with an offset spatula, then refrigerate until chilled and set, 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the whipped mascarpone: In a medium bowl, combine all the mascarpone ingredients. Whisk until the mixture holds a stiff peak.

To serve: Spoon a dollop of the whipped mascarpone over each pot de crème and stick a candied blood orange wheel about a third of the way into the surface, then serve.

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