Milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate come together in these pots de creme. Dolloped on top is whipped cream that’s covered with chocolate curls.
Milk chocolate is often overlooked in the quest for the newest and darkest offerings, but it’s still a favorite—with kids and adults alike. Its presence is a surprise in this double chocolate pots de creme recipe, as the luscious milk chocolate custard is hidden under a thin layer of warm chocolate ganache. So although the spoon dips into a dark surface, it comes out with a lighter chocolate custard full of the malty, caramel-like qualities of milk chocolate. The interplay of cool, milky sweetness against warm, dark richness is sublime.
The pots de creme may be baked up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap. Cover with the warm ganache shortly before serving.-–Sur La Table and Cindy Mushet
WHAT IS GANACHE?
Ganache is a kind of icing but it’s not a fluffy, sugary frosting. Ganache is made with a lot more cocoa solids and heavy cream, and it isn’t whipped. It’s not made for spreading (although it can still be licked off a spoon and we recommend that you do), instead it’s quite a bit thinner and has a beautiful pouring consistency. Ganache can be poured a few times, building up the layers so you get a thicker topping. When refrigerated, it solidifies beautifully and becomes the perfect filling for truffles.
Double Chocolate Pots de Creme
For the milk chocolate custard
- 7 ounces good-quality milk chocolate finely chopped
- 1 large egg
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) whole milk
- 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
For the dark chocolate ganache
- 1 1/2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (up to 64 percent cacao)
- 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) heavy cream
Optional for serving
- Softly whipped cream
- Milk or dark chocolate curls
Prepare the oven
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) and position an oven rack in the center.
Make the milk chocolate custard
- Place the chopped chocolate in the medium bowl. Combine the egg and egg yolks in the small bowl.
- Heat the cream, milk, and sugar in the medium saucepan over medium heat until just before the mixture boils. Immediately pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute, then whisk gently but thoroughly to completely blend the mixture. Add the whole egg and yolks, whisking to incorporate thoroughly.
- Pour the chocolate custard through the strainer into the pitcher.
- Place the custard cups in the large roasting pan, making sure they don't touch, and divide the warm chocolate custard among them. Pull out the oven rack and place the pan on the rack; then remove one of the cups, pour enough hot tap water (not boiling) into that area to come halfway up the sides of the cups, and replace the cup. Cut a piece of foil large enough to fit just inside the edges of the pan, then lay the foil across the top of the cups, making sure it doesn't touch the custard. You may need to smooth and flatten the foil on the counter if any wrinkles touch the custard. Gently push the rack back into the oven, shut the oven door, and bake the custards for 50 to 60 minutes, just until the edges of the custards are set—there should still be a dime-size liquid area in the very center of the custard (test by gently tapping the side of the pan).
- Remove the foil and then the pan from the oven, being careful not to tilt the pan and splash water on top of the custards. Set the pan on a heatproof surface. Use the tongs (or your hand protected by a kitchen towel) to immediately remove the cups from the water bath and place them on a rack to cool to room temperature, about 40 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Make the dark chocolate ganache
- Place the chopped semisweet chocolate in the cleaned small bowl. Heat the cream in the small saucepan over medium heat just until it begins to simmer (don't allow the cream to boil and evaporate).
- Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for 1 minute, then gently stir with the spatula until thoroughly blended and smooth. Spoon a tablespoon of ganache onto the surface of each custard, then gently swirl each cup until the dark chocolate completely covers the custard. (If the ganache seems too thick to spread easily, heat another tablespoon of cream and add it to the mixture).
- Serve the pots de creme immediately, while the ganache is still warm, or refrigerate up to 1 hour. As the ganache chills, it begins to harden and pull away from the sides of the cup, losing its silken texture and exposing the custard beneath, thereby spoiling the surprise. Serve each with a spoonful of whipped cream, topped with a scattering of chocolate curls if you like.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
These pots de creme deliver as advertised…cool milk chocolate custard hidden under a creamy warm dark chocolate ganache. They’re smooth and elegant. Definitely top these with dollops of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
I decided to whip these up on a whim because I had the ingredients on hand and guests coming for dinner. I made them mid-morning and by dinner, they had set perfectly and I couldn't wait to see how they had turned out.
Unsurprisingly, they were divine. That's even considering that I used middle-of-the-road baking chocolate because that's what I had. And they were still very, very good. This is a recipe that I will keep in my back pocket for impressing guests, likely made even better with a top quality chocolate. But don't fret if you don't have that--I used a well known baking brand and the results were still fantastic.
A smooth and creamy custard with hot ganache and cool whipped cream--the difference in temperatures and intensities adds more than you think it will. I finished them off with chocolate shavings and a Luxardo cherry, just to take it over the top. All the ramekins were very nearly licked clean.
Originally published August 11, 2009