I’ve never really been into “cutesy” things. I’m not one to redecorate my house in themes for every holiday. And, I never wear sweaters with Rudolph, Cupid or the Easter Bunny plastered across my chest. Whether it be home décor, fashion or food, I tend to prefer uncluttered, elegant and clean lines. That’s just me. Take Valentine’s Day, for instance. Where is it written that every food served has to be bedazzled in pink or red? I mean, it’s fine if a food actually is supposed to be pink or red. Otherwise, I prefer my Valentine treats straight up – hold the gimmicks? Besides, a great recipe made with good quality ingredients speaks for itself – like these divine white and dark chocolate Pots de Crème.
Simply put, a pot de crème is the French equivalent of a custard or pudding. The term literally means “pot of cream”. Leave it to the French to make something so simple, sound so special! Anyway, think of a pot de crème as a crème brûlée, without the brûlée.
Pots de crème are a silky, luxurious and almost sinful indulgence. While dark chocolate is more traditional, I decided to make some of my pots de crème with white chocolate as well. It takes an extra step to make them two ways, but it is so totally worth it. Not that these are in any way difficult to make, because they’re not. Actually, they come together pretty easily.
I found my inspiration for this sweet little Valentine’s Day dessert from Bea over at La Tartine Gourmande. Bea’s blog is one of the first food blogs I ever read, and it is still one of my favorites. She shares the most gorgeous food and makes it seem so effortless.
Bea’s pots de crème recipe calls for whole milk. I swapped out the milk for half and half because, after all, these were meant for Valentine’s Day, so I felt a little extra decadence was in order. Besides, if I had used milk, there wouldn’t have been enough for cereal the next morning - and I didn’t feel like running out to the store again. I also added an extra egg yolk, because I needed the white for another recipe. I hate to waste a good yolk!
I wish I could tell you which version of these pots de crème I liked loved better, but I can’t. They were both so outrageously good. I also wish I could tell you which one Mr. SGCC preferred. But, I can’t do that either, because my sweets-averse spouse wouldn’t touch them. For twenty-five years I’ve been making him decadent treats for Valentine’s Day, and for twenty-five years he hasn’t eaten them. Hey, I’m not complaining. His loss is my gain.
Chocolate Pots de Crème – Two Ways
loosely adapted from Bea at La Tartine Gourmande
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
- 2 ounces (approximately 57 grams) dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces (approximately 57 grams) white chocolate, chopped
- 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 320 F. Put some water on to boil.
- Combine half and half, vanilla pod and seeds together in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. cover and let infuse for 30 minutes.
- Place each chocolate in a small bowl and microwave in increments of 20 seconds until melted.
- In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar together until thoroughly combined. Slowly add the half and half, whisking constantly. Pour half of the mixture into a separate bowl. Mix the dark chocolate and cocoa powder to one bowl and the white chocolate into the other.
- Pour the pots de crème mixtures into in small ramekins, cups or jars and place in a baking dish with at least 3-inch sides. Fill the baking dish with boiling water until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the pots de crème.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until pots de crème are set, but slightly jiggly in their centers. Remove from the baking dish and cool. Store in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap. The crèmes are3 best served the same day, but will keep 2-3 days in the fridge.
Makes 4-6 servings, depending on the size of your containers.