Oct 18 2010

Chocolate Pots de Creme

Yes, chocolate pots. Silky chocolate served in ramekins.  Perfection.

Here's how I usually approach a dessert menu at a restaurant: if the dessert selection lists creme brulee, chocolate pudding or chocolate mousse as an option, everything else on the menu is ignored. And if I'm supposed to be sharing this dessert with a certain someone, it's nearly impossible for me to compromise!

These chocolate pots eliminate the need for compromising or finding a happy medium:  the recipe yields enough for 6 people. Last night, there were 2 of us. 3 pots a piece?  Actually, I made four ramekins and watched sadly as I poured the remaining chocolate mixture down the sink.

As fate (or the dessert gods) would have it, making 4 ramekins was not gluttonous, but rather fortuitous. Our current apartment's oven is uneven at best. This recipe calls for the chocolate pots to bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Our ramekins baked in the oven for 60 minutes before they were done...and though we didn't know this until we started eating dessert, ultimately only 2 ramekins were completely done. 6 ramekins, down to 4 ramekins, down to 2. At least, I didn't have to share!

The first bite of these pots de creme was both dense and bitter. The next bite yielded an intense richness that was almost overwhelming: a veritable chocolate coma!  So-- this dessert is best enjoyed in small bites (and perhaps paired with hot tea). Ultimately the pots that did cook properly were smooth and completely satisfying.

Chocolate Pots de Creme

Recipe Source: Harvest to Heat; Maria Hines of Tilth

Serves 6


3 cups milk

4 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into two piece

9 ounces dark chocolate

6 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1) Heat the milk in a saucepan; add the ginger pieces. Remove from the pot from the heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes. Remove the ginger pieces and heat the milk until just simmering.

2) Put the chocolate in large bowl; pour the hot milk over the chocolate in three batches, stirring and smoothing the chocolate.

3) Whisk the yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the milk/chocolate mixture in three batches, whisking constantly. Stir in the vanilla.

4) Pour the mixture into 4-6 ramekins and place them in a baking pan. Add enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins, creating a water bath.

5) Bake on the center rack for 25 minutes (or as long as it takes) until the tops of the pots are set, but still quiver a little when jiggled. Let the ramekins cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.