It seems like from October onward our kitchen is constantly rotating through butter. From baking apple and blackberry pies for one of our three Thanksgivings to autumn vegetable galettes, the holiday season is ripe with flaky, buttery recipes that require hours of hands-on work. Instead, I invite you to consider a classic French chocolate pots de creme – a custardy dessert dating to the 17th century. Served in individual ramekins (these are my favorite), pots de creme are deceptively beautiful – meaning they are impressive to guests but require less than fifteen minutes of hands-on cooking time. Just a note, when you take them out of the oven they will still be completely watery and that is ok – they will set once they cool in the refrigerator.
INGREDIENTS (serves four to six)
Chocolate Pots de Creme (recipe via NY Times)
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (plus shavings for topping)
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh Whipped Cream
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Step 1: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a heavy saucepan, bring cream and milk to a boil. Remove from heat; whisk in chopped chocolate until smooth.
Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and salt. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot chocolate into yolks. Strain through a very fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl.
Step 3: Divide mixture among small ramekins. Set filled cups in a large roasting pan that has been positioned on center rack of oven. Add hot tap water to pan, halfway up sides of cups. Cover pan with foil; use a fork to prick holes in foil.
Step 4: Bake until edges are lightly set (lifting foil to check) but center is still watery — it will set as it cools — 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer cups to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.
Step 5: Five minutes before serving, make whipped cream. With a whisk or an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream and sugar to nearly stiff peaks, about 3 to 4 minutes, making sure not to over beat.
Step 6: Top with chocolate shavings. Bon appétit!