The type of chocolate you use has a significant impact on the flavor and texture of this luscious chocolate pots de crème recipe. 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 Choose-Your-Own-Ending Recipe Note
As the headnote above indulges, er, instructs, you can choose how you want these little chocolate pots de crèmes to turn out, not just in taste but in texture, too. It’s sorta the culinary equivalent of a choose-your-own-ending book. If bittersweet chocolate beckons, you’ll end up with a truffle-like custard. Opt for semisweet and you’ll end up with a comforting pudding. If you’re the indecisive sort, you can choose not to choose and instead make a batch of each type of petits pots. Whatever you opt to do, us know in a comment below.
Chocolate Pots de Crème
- 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate roughly chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons 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)
- Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. (Try not to nibble any of it…unless you bought a little extra expressly for that inspired purpose.)
- Combine the cream, half-and-half, salt, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until it approaches 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 the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.
- Whisk the egg yolks and the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in a bowl until well combined and smooth. Still whisking constantly, slowly pour in about 1 cup warm cream mixture and whisk, whisk, whisk until completely combined. Then pour this mixture into the remaining cream mixture in the pan and whisk constantly until smooth. (Your arm tired from whisking yet?!)
- Return the pan to medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a pureed soup, 2 to 3 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Craving serious chocolate? You need this chocolate pots de creme recipe. Really. The recipe says when using bittersweet chocolate (60-65% cacao) the dessert will be intensely chocolatey and truffle-like, and when using 52%, mellow and pudding-like. Well, I used 70%, as that was what was available, and the result was surreal! This is what we should be dreaming about! The author advises allowing the pots to sit out for 30 minutes after refrigeration and she knows what she’s talking about. The texture is silken and unbelievably smooth, precisely like truffles. Somehow I continually found myself drawn to the fridge for another spoonful of decadence, and I am not even a chocolate lover! The pots are also very pretty and would be impressive to guests. They set very well and the leftovers remained perfect the next evening. My husband and I both tried to think of ways to improve upon this recipe but could not. It is one of those immaculately perfect recipes that you do not want or need to fool around with. I am already planning to make this for my sister when she visits. Without question she, too, will swoon!
Every day, I allow myself one small gastronomical splurge. Savory or sweet, this keeps me centered and fulfilled. The richer the splurge, the smaller the portion; this is where I find my greatest satisfactions. There is nothing like pots de crème. I love its density. One spoonful acts as two on the palate. And this chocolate pots de creme recipe is a wonderful and easy recipe. I love how little sugar is added. I chose bittersweet chocolate, which for me has big flavor without being cloyingly sweet. Tip: reserve the unused egg whites for egg white omelets or a veggie frittata the next day. Makes up for the splurge.
This chocolate pots de creme recipe has become my family’s favorite dessert. I still cannot believe how good it tastes. As I read through the recipe, it looked simple. When I started cooking I became skeptical about how the chocolate pots de crème would turn out. I followed the recipe exactly and became very concerned the custard was going to curdle. Sure enough, as I began pouring it through the sieve, there were some pretty big clumps. To my surprise the pouring of the custard through the sieve resulted in a creamy, non curdled, rich, silky Pot de Crème which did not need any topping of any kind. The room temperature serving is a must to taste all the depth of flavor in the custard. This was really wonderful and so easy to make. I cannot wait to make it again.
I made this chocolate pots de creme recipe the day after Christmas to give a break to my mother-in-law, who cooked nonstop for us all for four days. I used bittersweet chocolate and they came out outstanding. These are more of a grown-up type of sweet, but if using semisweet chocolate the kids would have enjoyed them, too. The end result was a luscious, dense chocolate pudding with a melt-in-your-mouth type of feeling, much as a mousse. The whipped cream gave the perfect amount of sweetness to compensate for the bitterness of the chocolate.
This chocolate pots de creme recipe is very easy to do but requires your full attention to ensure the cream doesn’t overheat. I used 65% cacao and it does make a very rich chocolate dessert. After all, it does have heavy cream, half and half, and nine egg yolks! The resting time is important. I was a bit impatient and tried one after about two hours of cooling and I wasn’t real happy with the texture. I thought I’d overcooked the cream, but after waiting the CORRECT amount of time as instructed, the pots de crème were smooth and delicious. I added a splash of orange liqueur to my whipped cream for added flavor.
This chocolate pots de creme recipe was an easy dessert to make. I used semisweet chocolate, and, like the recipe stated, it produced a more pudding-like consistency. Be sure you let it come to room temperature as this ensures a more full taste. This was a rich, creamy, chocolatey dessert and it was incredibly smooth on the tongue. I loved it and everyone I served it to loved it as well. A keeper for sure!
Originally published April 27, 2012