One of the occupational hazards of being a food blogger? You end up wanting a lot of highly specialized food items. You know, like tortilla presses, crepe makers, Aebelskiver pans, etc., etc.
And since I’ve totally fallen for French pots de crème desserts (coffee version here), I now find myself longing for those miniature pots de crème cups that are impossibly cute but far from practical for a girl with a serious lack of storage space in the kitchen.
Thankfully these dark, rich and creamy French chocolate custards taste just as good in my infinitely more practical ramekins.
Some folks bake pots de crème with a foil covering to keep a skin from forming on the top, but I happily left the foil off. The skin reminded me of the Royal cook-and-serve chocolate pudding that my mom always made when I was growing up.
And was I the only one fascinated by the fact that the skin would “re-grow” if you skimmed the top layer of pudding off while it was still cooling? I was simultaneously appalled and thrilled at the whole thing as a youngster.
Chocolate Pots de Crème
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
* 2/3 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips (or use 4 ounces chopped chocolate)
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 cup whole milk
* 4 large egg yolks
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/2 Tablespoon Grand Marnier or any other dessert liqueur
* boiling water
* whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking dish with a double layer of paper towels and set six ramekins or pot de crème cups on top of the paper towels (the paper towels will help the ramekins/cups stay in place).
Place the chocolate chips in a large heatproof bowl. In a medium saucepan combine the heavy cream and milk over medium heat. Heat until the mixture is just about to come to a simmer and pour the mixture over the chocolate. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has melted.
In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, yolks, and the sugar. Slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture (you don't want to cook the eggs) until the mixture is well combined and smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and then add the Grand Marnier. Divide the mixture among the ramekins/cups. Pour the boiling water so it reaches halfway up the ramekins/cups. Bake until the custards are set, about 35-40 minutes.
Remove from oven and set the baking dish on a wire rack to cool slightly. Remove the ramekins/cups from the baking dish and allow them to come to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly.
Top with whipped cream just before serving.
Adapted from Essentials of French Cooking