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Dark Chocolate Pots de Crème

April 19, 2013

Dark Chocolate Pots de Creme

Sumptuous, smooth, velvety chocolate pots de crème. When you dip your spoon in for the first time, you’re probably expecting a custard, or a mousse, or even a ganache-like fudge. But when done right, pots de crème are none of the above.

The pot de crème is a loose custard, wherein a decadent combination of cream and chocolate result in a silky, creamy consistency. The flavour is luxuriously chocolatey without being overly rich. And it pairs  incredibly well with either whipped cream, or my personal favourite, crème fraîche.

This luscious dessert can be made a few days ahead of time, if you can resist it for that long. Luckily, if you do give in to temptation, another batch can be whipped up in no time at all.

Dark Chocolate Pots de Creme 2

Ingredients:

(Makes six 4 oz. ramekins)

  • 1 ½  cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup water*
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate (70%), finely chopped**
  • 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons liqueur of choice (optional)***
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly boiled hot water for water bath
  • crème fraîche or whipped cream (optional)
  • chocolate shavings (optional)

Preparation:

1) Preheat oven to 325°F.

2) In a large bowl, lightly whisk egg yolks, just until combined and slightly thickened (approx. 30 seconds) – you don’t want to introduce too much air.

3) Heat cream and water in a saucepan over low heat just until it reaches a simmer, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat.

4) Add the chocolate into the cream and stir well until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.

5) Stir in vanilla, liquor (optional), and salt.

6) Very slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks, stirring vigorously. (This process should take a few minutes, pouring especially slowly at the beginning so that the eggs don’t get cooked by the hot cream mixture.)

7) Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the mixture into another bowl (preferably one with a spout to make it easier to transfer to the ramekins). (Don’t skip this step! Straining removes any undissolved chocolate and accidentally cooked egg particles, ensuring a smooth pot de crème.)

8) Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins.

9) Place the ramekins in a water bath. (Make a water bath by filling a large baking dish with hot water until it reaches about halfway up the ramekins. If you overfill, you risk splashing water into the ramekins).

10) Cover the entire baking dish with aluminum foil. Poke a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape.

11) Gently place the baking dish in the oven. Bake until the custards are set along the edges, but the centre still jiggles slightly when you gently shake the ramekin (approximately 25 – 30 minutes).

12) Gently remove the baking dish from the oven. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and allow them to completely cool on a baking rack.

13) Once they have cooled, they are ready to serve. Serve plain, or with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche and a sprinkling of chocolate shavings (optional).

14) Alternatively, cover the pots de crème with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. If refrigerated, allow the custards to come to room temperature (about 20 minutes) before serving.

Notes:

* Why water? Most pot de crème recipes ask for a combination of cream and milk. Although I enjoy dairy in moderation, I stick to high fat dairy which has more of the good stuff (saturated fats) and less of the bad (lactose and casein). Since I don’t drink milk, I didn’t want to incorporate it into my desserts. Because I found the cream only version too dense, I’ve diluted the cream slightly with water to achieve that unique pot de crème consistency.

** This recipe was developed around dark chocolate with a cocoa percentage of 70% (I used Callebaut). If you’re considering using a different cocoa percentage, please note that keeping everything else constant, the higher the cocoa percentage, the firmer the pot de crème will be (meaning it could become overly dense). Alternatively, the lower the cocoa percentage, the looser the pot de crème will be (meaning it could potentially not set properly).

*** I used coffee liqueur (Patron XO Café). Other ideas: hazelnut (e.g. Frangelico), raspberry (e.g. Chambord) , orange (e.g. Cointreau or Triple Sec), almond (e.g. Amaretto), mint (crème de menthe), etc.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please remember to share it (pinterest, facebook, twitter, etc.). Thanks!

Shared with Real Food Wednesdays.

Dark Chocolate Pots de Creme 3

Leave a Comment

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Meg April 19, 2013 at 5:57 AM

Oooo yum!! What kind/brand of heavy cream did you use?

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[email protected] April 19, 2013 at 7:41 AM

I used Avalon organic 36% heavy cream.. I hear it’s mostly grass-fed, although they don’t advertise it.

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Koritt April 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Yum. On my list of things to make. :)

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[email protected] April 19, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Sweet, hope you like them :)

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Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen April 19, 2013 at 4:33 PM

These look so delicious, thanks so much for the recipe!

Reply

[email protected] April 19, 2013 at 7:04 PM

You’re welcome, thanks for stopping by!

Reply

Cindy April 19, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Your pots de creme look delicious! They sound very rich, I like that you used dark chocolate :)

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[email protected] April 19, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Thanks! Lower cocoa percentage translates to more sugar, and I try to stick to “healthier” stuff, even (or especially?) in desserts..

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