The type of chocolate you use has a significant impact on the flavor and texture of this luscious dessert. With bittersweet chocolate (60 – 65% cacao), the pots will be intensely chocolatey and almost truffle-like; using semisweet chocolate (around 52% cacao) yields a sweeter, mellower, more pudding-like treat.–Sam Mogannam and Dabney Gough
LC As You Like It Note
As the headnote above indulges, er, instructs, this classic you can choose how you want these little puddings to turn out, sorta the culinary equivalent of a choose-your- own-ending book. This riff on a classic invites you to choose between a bittersweet, truffle-like custard or a semisweet and comforting pudding. It all hinges on whether you choose bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. If you’re the indecisive sort, you can choose not to choose and instead make a batch of each type of petits pots. Then let us know what you think.
Chocolate Pots de Crème Recipe
Hands-On Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 7 hours | Makes 8
- 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 ounces) half-and-half
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 9 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
- Shaved chocolate, for garnish (optional)
- 1. Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. (Try not to nibble any of it…or maybe you bought a little extra for that.)
- 2. Combine the cream, half-and-half, salt, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until it starts to approach a simmer—that is to say, when small bubbles begin to appear around the edge of the pan. This ought to take about 4 minutes. Do not let the cream mixture boil. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- 3. Combine the egg yolks and the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in a bowl and whisk until well combined and smooth. Whisking the egg yolks constantly, slowly pour in about 1 cup of the warm cream mixture and whisk until combined. Then pour the yolk mixture into the remaining cream mixture in the pan and whisk constantly until smooth.
- 4. Return the pan to medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the mixture has thickened to about the consistency of a pureed soup, 2 to 3 minutes.
- 5. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chopped chocolate and let it stand, without stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes to warm the chocolate. Then slowly and gently stir with a whisk—trying your best not to incorporate any air into the chocolatey goodness. When the mixture is smooth, add the vanilla extract and gently stir again. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer into a large measuring cup or bowl.
- 6. Divide the custardy chocolate mixture evenly among eight 4-ounce ramekins or ovenproof cups. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 2 hours. Cover the chilled custard-filled ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours longer. (Don’t let your impatience get the better of you. The additional fridge time brings about a revelatory transformation in the texture of these pots de crèmes.)
- 7. To serve, let the pots de crèmes come to room temperature, about 30 minutes, give or take a little. If desired, top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
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Chocolate Pots de Crème Recipe © 2011 Sam Mogannam | Dabney Gough. Photo © 2011 France Ruffenach. All rights reserved.