Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme


My mother was never much of a baker. Growing up, she would occasionally mix up a batch of cookies, brownies, or cake, but that was as adventurous as she ever went. As far as my younger self was concerned, no other desserts existed. My sugary world was small and narrow and I never knew any better. That is, until now.

My first taste of cheesecake was at the ripe age of 16. Croissants at 18. Tiramisu, creme brulee, and Italian gelato (moment of silence) would wait until I was 20. You could say I'm a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to discovering proper sweets. In fact, quite a few of the recipes on this blog I made simply because I had no idea what the taste and texture was like (such as this panna cotta or this bread pudding). A woman's got to know her desserts.

These chocolate espresso pots de creme are no exception. I imagined them to be a cross between creme brulee and a chocolate pudding and they are just that. The chocolate is rich, dense, and thick and the espresso adds just the right flair to keep it interesting. If you love a good custard, look no further.

Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme
Adapted from Batter & Beat

Yields 8 servings

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup milk (I used 1%)
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons white sugar
Whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Place chocolate in a heat-proof mixing bowl.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream, milk, espresso powder, and salt to almost a boil, stirring until the espresso powder is dissolved. Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add the warm chocolate slowly, stirring constantly. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and cool completely, stirring occasionally. This will take about 15 minutes.

Divide the custard evenly between the ramekins. In a large baking pan, place the ramekins and fill the baking pan with enough boiling water to come up halfway on the ramekins. Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil, poking a few holes to let out the steam. Bake the custards in the hot water bath for 30 to 35 minutes, or until custards are set around the edges but still jiggle in the centers.

Transfer ramekins to a cooling rack and cool completely, uncovered, for about 1 hour. The custards will continue to set as they cool. Then, cover the ramekins and chill until cold, at least 3 hours.

Serve chilled, with a dollop of whipped cream.