Chocolate pot de crème is my dessert of choice for intimate gatherings because it is easily scalable and can be made a day in advance. A silky custard baked in single-serving portions, pots de crème can be topped with fresh fruits, whipped cream, or chocolate shavings to make a dainty-looking but unfussy dessert.
You may already have the ingredients necessary to make this version of pots de crème, perhaps with the exception of chocolate liquor. Chocolate liquor is also known as baking chocolate, consisting of roughly 50% cocoa powder, 50% cocoa butter, and 0% sugar. The bitterness will short-circuit your palate for a bit so don’t confuse it with regular sweetened chocolate when snacking. A small amount is enough to lend the custard a deep but pleasant bittersweet flavor.
recipe adapted from Michel Suas’ Advanced Bread and Pastry
Pots de Crème au Chocolat
Chocolate Pots of Cream
makes approximately six servings
2 1/4 cups heavy cream (1.1 pounds / 500 grams)
2 large eggs (3 1/2 ounces / 100 grams)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces / 100 grams)
chocolate liquor (1 ounce / 30 grams)
60% to 70% chocolate (4 1/4 ounces / 120 grams)
an immersion blender
a tall and narrow container
a bain-marie / water bath
- I really doubt that anyone weighs eggs in fractions of ounces as called for in the original formula so I used the pots de crème baker’s percentages and scaled the recipe to use exactly 2 large eggs. A large egg weighs in at approximately 50 grams without the shell.
- What’s with the “tall and narrow container?” An immersion blender will be used to emulsify the chocolate and custard mixture. The tall and narrow container will limit the amount of air mixed into the custard while emulsifying. If enough air gets incorporated, the pots de crème will expand in the oven and cause cracks in the surface of the custard. It’s not a pretty sight.
Preheat the oven to 300ºF / 149ºC.
Break the chocolate liquor and sweetened chocolate into small chunks and place in the tall and narrow container.
In a heavy saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil and remove from the heat.
In a bowl, gently whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar, just until thoroughly incorporated. Temper the egg and sugar mixture by pouring the steaming heavy cream against the side of the bowl while whisking.
Strain the warm custard and add to the chocolate chunks. Emulsify with the immersion blender, ensuring that it is thoroughly submerged in the chocolate mixture to limit the amount of air incorporation. Pour into the ramekins and skim off any foam or bubbles on the surface.
Bake at 300ºF / 149ºC in a bain-marie for about 30 minutes. The custard will still be slightly jiggly and barely set in the center.
Cool at room temperature to set the custard and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Top with Crème Chantilly, chocolate shavings, or fresh fruits such as raspberries and cherries.