On my first trip to Paris, I made the short journey to Versailles Palace to see where the royal family of Louis XIV & Marie Antoinette once lived. It was as magical as I could have ever imagined. Gold paneled walls, silk fabrics, immaculate gardens…opulence at its finest. I was just as excited when I came across an adorable boutique nestled in the palace’s gardens: la boutique des jardins. It was here that I found a small recipe book for French chocolate desserts. I’ve found the French unmatched in their talent for brilliant desserts, and this recipe for pots de creme au chocolat is no exception.
Pot de creme is a type of French custard that’s baked in a water bath and then cooled in the fridge. It’s called “pot” (pronounced ‘poh’) de creme because it’s usually made in individual, porcelain pots, such as ramekins. The surface layer and edges bake into a thick, cake-like consistency, whereas the center stays pudding-like and smooth. Aside from this gratifying difference in texture, the actual pots de creme au chocolat are rich in flavor, making it a decadent treat. I’ve posted the recipe for salted caramel pots de creme on my blog before here, but I created a video for this chocolate variation so that you can understand the main concept behind pot de creme and learn how to make them at home. Note that some of the recipe amounts below are in European standard measurements, but that’s because I obtained the recipe from a French source and converting them to American units of measurement gives you some odd amounts.
- 550 ml of heavy cream
- 200 ml of whole milk
- 120 g of chocolate chips, bittersweet or dark
- 110 g sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- whipped cream for topping
- strawberries for garnishing
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Warm up a kettle full of water until the water is boiling.
- Meanwhile, begin by heating heavy cream and whole milk in a medium saucepan. Allow the mixture to come to a slight boil, then remove from heat. Place your chocolate chips in a large heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream and milk over the chocolate; whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside to slightly cool.
- In a separate bowl (or your stand mixer), pour 6 egg yolks and the sugar in. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for approximately 2 minutes, until mixture is pale yellow and thick.
- Pour the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Divide this batter among ramekins, or some other kind of oven-safe individual containers. Place the ramekins into a large pyrex dish or casserole dish, then fill the dish with the hot water from the kettle until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Do this very carefully so as not to pour any hot water into the actual custard cups.
- Bake the pots de creme for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, or until the centers are slightly jiggly and the sides are firm. Remove the pots de creme from the pan and let them either come to room temperature or refrigerate until chilled. Enjoy with whipped cream and strawberries