The ‘pots’ for Pots de crème au chocolat are not a requirement for making this dark chocolate cream. The dessert may very well be made in ramekins and it will taste every bit as good. (In taste and texture the baked cream resembles a dark chocolate truffle…which is why a small ‘pot’ goes a long way.) However, the special charm of the dessert is in the tubby little lidded ceramic ‘pots‘ in which the cream traditionally is baked. As someone once delightedly observed, “They look like something Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle might serve to her guests.” (Anyone unacquainted with Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle may view her portrait and read a brief biography here.)
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An Equipment Note: To give you an idea of the size of the ‘pot’ or ramekin used for the dessert in the photographs, they hold about 1/2 cup of liquid when filled to the brim. A ramekin with the same capacity would be a good substitute for the ‘pot’. If you have larger ‘pots’ or ramekins, they will work very well by simply adding a little more baking time.
- 1/2 pound of Dark Chocolate Chips or Chopped Dark Chocolate (228 grams)
- 1 cup of Milk (237 milliliters)
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 1/2 Tablespoon of Sugar (8 grams)
- a Double Boiler or homemade Bain-Marie: the Bain-Marie is made out of a pot partially filled with water and a heatproof bowl that will fit in the rim of the pot without touching its bottom. Ideally, the water in the pot should not touch the bottom of the bowl…but if it does…it will be alright. (A photo of a homemade Bain-Marie is here in this previous diplomatickitchen post.)
- a Mixing Bowl
- an Electric Mixer, standing or hand
- 6 ovenproof lidded Ceramic ‘pots’, holding 1/2 cup of liquid when filled to the brim or 6 Ramekins with the same capacity.
- Aluminum Foil to cover the ramekins if they are used instead of the ‘pots’
- a Baking Pan and some Water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
2. Place the chocolate and milk in the double boiler or homemade bain-marie and heat them over simmering water, stirring, until the chocolate is completely melted into the milk. Set the mixture aside.
3. In the mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until they thicken and the color of the yolks lightens.
4. Beat the chocolate mixture into the eggs.
5. Divide the mixture among the ‘pots’ or ramekins. Fill the ‘pots’ about 2/3 full…for ‘pots’ of the size described in the recipe, this will be about 1/3 cup (79 milliliters) in each ‘pot’. (Fill ramekins in the same way: 2/3 full or about 1/3 cup of mixture in each ramekin.) If the ‘pots’ are over-filled, some of the cream will spill out as the dessert bakes. This is no great tragedy…just wipe off any over-flow before serving.
5. Place the lids on the ‘pots’ or, if using ramekins, cover each with a piece of aluminum foil. Place the ‘pots or ramekins in a baking pan and add water to reach three fourths of the way up the sides of the ‘pots’ or ramekins.
6. Bake them for 30 minutes or until just firm. If using slightly larger ‘pots’ or ramekins a few more minutes of baking time may be needed.
7. Uncover the desserts to cool and serve at room temperature. (Replace the lids on the ‘pots’ before serving…they look so pretty this way.)
A Note: Pots de crème au chocolat are served for Dessert in the Lunch Menu: A Lunch with Spice and Many Things Nice.
An Invitation: You are invited to request suggestions from the diplomatickitchen for your own menus for any occasion by clicking on the feature ‘Ask and Tell’ here or in the Menu at the top of the page. Do you have a menu concept with a gap or two that wants filling…or perhaps you are an expat looking for ways to adapt your recipes to what is available in your temporary home…maybe you are just looking for a new way to use a familiar ingredient or would like suggestions on how to adjust quantities of a recipe from the diplomatickitchen for smaller or larger groups…Replies will be published in ‘Ask and Tell’ or sent by email if you prefer.