|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 43g||55%|
|Saturated Fat 26g||131%|
|Total Carbohydrate 13g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||11%|
|Total Sugars 7g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Pots de crème is a French dessert that dates back to the 17th century and translates to "pots of cream" in French. Pots de crème refers to both the lidded vessel the custard is baked in and the custard itself. Originally, the custard was baked in ornate porcelain cups, but these days, the custard is usually baked in small ramekins. This decadent dessert is served chilled, spooned right out of the container it was baked in. Whipped cream is also commonly served on top.
There are three different types of thickeners used in custards: cornstarch, eggs, and gelatin. Pots de crème is thickened with egg yolks. The number of egg yolks varies depending on the recipe, and some recipes use a combination of a whole egg plus egg yolks. Chocolate pots de crème, also known as crème au chocolat, is a popular variation that includes chopped chocolate along with the cream. You may find some recipe titles for chocolate pots de crème are shortened simply to "Chocolate Pots."
This recipe for Chocolate Pots de Crème yields custards that are thick, silky, and deeply chocolaty. The espresso powder amplifies the dark chocolate without giving it a coffee flavor. It's a simple, make-ahead yet decadent dessert that is suitable for a dinner party or as a delicious end to the day.
“Rich, creamy and not too sweet, this dessert has it all! Not overbaking the custard is the key for a silky smooth and soft texture. In addition to the whipped cream and maybe some shaved chocolate, I recommend topping them with some raspberries for more flavor and a bit of a tang." —Bahareh Niati
2 cups (16 ounces) heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon espresso powder
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 pinch fine salt
Whipped cream or crème fraîche, for serving
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 325 F.
Set six 4-ounce ramekins in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside. Place a fine mesh strainer over a glass measuring cup that can hold at least 3 cups of liquid and set aside.
Whisk heavy cream with espresso powder in a medium saucepan on medium heat and bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Once at a simmer, take the saucepan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let the chocolate sit for one minute and then whisk until the chocolate is melted, smooth, and completely incorporated.
Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl until combined.
While whisking, pour a splash of the hot chocolate-cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Continue whisking and adding the hot chocolate-cream mixture until about 1/3 of the liquid has been incorporated into the eggs.
Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining chocolate-cream mixture and whisk to combine.
Pour the custard through the strainer and into the spouted measuring cup to remove any lumps that may have formed.
Fill the ramekins with the custard, leaving 1/4-inch space from the top, about 3 1/2 ounces in each.
Put the baking dish with the ramekins in the oven. Rinse out the measuring cup and fill with hot tap water. Carefully pour the water into the baking dish until water reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the dish loosely with foil.
Bake until the edges are set and the middle is jiggly, between 35 and 45 minutes. The internal temperature should be around 170 F. Remove the baking dish from the oven and let the ramekins cool in the water bath for 15 minutes.
Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes.
Cover each pot de crème with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and set, about 3 hours.
Spoon whipped cream or crème fraîche on top to serve.
Glass Bakeware Warning
Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat-resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.
- To ensure the pots de crème custard isn't gritty, make sure to whisk the chocolate and cream until fully incorporated and smooth. Chopping the chocolate small helps, as does letting the chocolate sit in the hot cream for a minute before whisking.
- Pots de crème are baked until firm around the edges with a jiggle in the center. Check for doneness by tapping on the ramekins with a wooden spoon. If the center of the custard waves and looks liquidy, then continue baking. Remove once the center no longer sloshes but still has a gelatin-like jiggle and the custard has an internal temperature of about 170 F. It will firm as it chills but may be runny if underbaked and not given at least three hours in the refrigerator.
- Leaving the pots de crème to partially cool in a water bath leads to a creamier texture.
- Overcooking also affects the texture, so keep an eye on the pots de crème while baking.
Chocolate Pots de Crème with Caramel and Port is a simple variation of the chocolate recipe.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce on the bottom of each ramekin.
- Add 3 tablespoons of ruby port to the pot with hot cream and chocolate and whisk to thoroughly combine and then continue the recipe as written.
The finished custard will have a slight port flavor and a spoonable caramel layer at the bottom of the dish.
How to Store
- Once the pots de crème have cooled on the cooling rack, cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours. Store covered pots de crème for up to three days in the refrigerator.
- Top with whipped cream before serving, and store leftover whipped cream separately.
What is pots de crème vs. crème brûlée?
Pots de crème and crème brûlée are both rich custards that hail from France, are baked in a water bath, and are served chilled. The main difference between the two is that a crème brûlée is sprinkled with sugar and caramelized using a kitchen torch to make a crunchy topping right before serving. Crème brûlée is most commonly flavored with vanilla instead of the common chocolate flavored pots de crème.