Chocolate pots de creme surpasses mere pudding
Chocolate is always the best choice for dessert at a dinner party. What I love about Pots de Creme is that it can be made ahead (up to 3 days) and it packs a great chocolate punch. The satiny texture takes “chocolate pudding” to a whole new level. Many recipes require baking the dishes in a hot water bath, but this recipe is much simpler and uses a cooked custard (creme anglaise) method, which is poured over the bittersweet chocolate.
You can cut the recipe in half to serve 4 or increase as needed, depending on how many you are serving. Because it’s so rich, a small amount goes a long way. Although I like to serve it with a small butter waffle cookie and my recently discovered Yoku Moku cookies from Japan, a simple dollop of cream and some chocolate shavings will deliver beautiful dessert for any occasion.
Bittersweet Chocolate Pots De Creme
10 ounces Ghirardelli or Callebaut bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
5 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or Kahlua
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder mixed with 1 tablespoon water (optional)
Whipped Cream Topping
1/2 cup heavy cream (cold)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cocoa powder for dusting
Chocolate shavings for sprinkling
Pots De Creme:
Place chocolate in medium heatproof bowl; set fine-mesh strainer over the bowl and set aside.
Whisk the yolks, sugar and salt in medium bowl until combined; whisk in the heavy cream and half-and-half. Transfer mixture to medium saucepan. Cook mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon, until thickened and silky and custard registers 175 to 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 8 to 12 minutes. Do not let the custard overcook or simmer.
Immediately pour custard through the strainer over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand to melt chocolate, about 5 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth, and then whisk in vanilla (or Kahlua) and espresso (if using). Divide mixture evenly among eight small cups. Gently tap against counter to remove air bubbles.
Cool pots de creme to room temperature, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 72 hours. Before serving, let the pots de creme stand at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes.
For the Whipped Cream: Using hand mixer or standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat the cream, sugar and vanilla on low speed until bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium; continue beating until beaters leave trail, about 30 seconds longer. Increase the speed to high; continue beating until nearly doubled in volume and whipped cream forms soft peaks, 30 to 45 seconds longer.
Dollop each pot de creme with about 2 tablespoons whipped cream; garnish with cocoa or chocolate shavings, if using. Serve.
Per serving: 485 calories; 40 g fat (24 g saturated fat; 74 percent calories from fat); 31 g carbohydrates; 25 g sugar; 223 mg cholesterol; 112 mg sodium; 6 g protein; 3 g fiber.