Break all of the chocolate except for 1 piece up into a medium bowl, then melt in the microwave in 30-second spurts. I find 1.5 minutes is about right.
Add the water little by little, stirring until you have a smooth paste.
Whisk in the cream and vanilla or any other flavouring (if using).
Pour into shot glasses or similar and let set in the fridge (for at least 6 hours or overnight). Take them out of the fridge for a while to 'warm up' a little before serving if they seem really solid. They'll keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Just before serving, grate the piece of chocolate you saved finely. Top each chocolate pot with a small sprinkle. If you like add a spoonful of whipped cream to the top of each chocolate pot, and then sprinkle over the chocolate (optional).
Adapted from an original recipe by Green and Blacks.
Melting the chocolate
I always melt the chocolate in 30 second bursts in the microwave in a glass bowl (3 bursts usually does it)You can also melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Just make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
Adding the water
The chocolate will go stiff and grainy when you first start pouring the hot water in, but don’t worry. Just keep adding water and stirring until the mixture becomes smooth again.
IMPORTANT: A note on getting the chocolate pots to set correctly!
The original recipe that inspired this post said to leave the chocolate pots in a cool place to set for 45 minutes. I find though that that's no way near long enough for them to set properly. I prefer to let my desserts set in the fridge for a few hours before serving.To be honest... I've tested and tested this recipe over several years and I find that the results vary very slightly each time according to what kind of chocolate and cream is used (see below!).If my pots are quite thick, I sometimes take them out of the fridge for a while before serving to let them 'warm up' a little for the perfect consistency.
What type of cream & chocolate to use
It's important to use heavy/double cream or even thickened cream and to use really good quality chocolate (at least 40% cocoa). Chocolate with less cocoa in tends not to set so well. If you do use milk chocolate with less cocoa, try reducing the amount of water and cream just slightly.The important thing to remember is that whether your chocolate pots end up a bit runnier or thicker, they'll always taste delicious!Use coconut cream for a dairy free version.I use dessert glasses for my chocolate pots, because that's what I have, but shot glasses or even espresso cups work really well.