Can you believe I had never made pots de crème before the other day? I couldn’t either. I was forced to face this reality while flipping through the February Martha Stewart Living. After drooling over the photo in the magazine, I fondly recalled a few of these darling cups of decadence I had enjoyed in the past.
Wait a minute, those were all from restaurants… Surely I’ve made these before!
I racked my brain. Nope.
But how could I love something so much, yet never make it myself? Well ok – I’m still too afraid to attempt macarons, and I love those. (I’ve heard many a tale of macaron fiascos!) This wasn’t about fear though. I knew that pots de crème are easy to make, and that they use simple ingredients. So let’s see: they’re delicious, easy, and don’t use any exotic ingredients. What gives?
Of course Martha knew exactly what the problem was. Most recipes for pots de crème serve six. Most of the time I’m just cooking for two, and I know we’d just eat all the extra servings in one night. I guess I avoided that outcome by just not making them at all. I was protecting us! Thankfully Martha (or more likely, her kitchen minions) came up with this recipe for two.
I’ll pause for oohs and aaahs.
Pure genius! Couples of the world, rejoice!
This recipe was part of their four-course entertaining feature that focused not only on romantic recipes for two, but eating them on the couch. “Relocate your repast from the day-in, day-out dinner table to the far snugglier sofa,” it reads. Oh Martha, you’re too much. She turned something we do most nights out of laziness in to some sort of whimsical romantic getaway from the dinner table! Why, yes… that’s what we’ve been doing all along!
Now all I need you to do, dearest Martha, is come up with something that sounds better than, “I’m typing this post while eating nachos in bed.” Or, even better (worse?), “I just smeared nacho grease on my laptop.”
Whether eaten on the couch or in bed, chocolate pots de crème are totally satisfying and just barely sweet – a nice change from the average dessert.
If you aren’t big on dark chocolate, now is probably a good time to run away screaming; this one just isn’t for you. However, if you love chocolate and you’ll be cooking for someone you love on Valentine’s Day, this dessert has your name (and that of your special someone’s) written all over it.
Chocolate Pots de Crème
Martha Stewart Living, February 2012
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70%) finely chopped (1/4 cup)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bring 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream, the espresso powder, and vanilla to a simmer, pour over chocolate in a medium bowl. Let sit for 3 minutes, whisk until smooth.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together egg yolk, sugar, and a pinch of coarse salt; add warm chocolate mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Strain custard through a fine sieve into a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
- Place 2 teacups in the center of a baking dish. Divide the custard between cups, and fill pan with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the teacups. Cover tightly with foil; poke several holes in foil. Bake until custard is set around edges but wobbly in center, about 25 minutes.
- Remove cups form water bath, and let custards cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to 2 days. Before serving, whisk remaining 2 tablespoons cream to soft peaks, and dollop over pots de crème.
I added a pinch of sugar to the whipped cream used to top these, I like having a slightly sweetened whipped cream against the bittersweet chocolate.