With a name almost too fitting for a pastry chef, Ginger Elizabeth Hahn is well-versed in every form of the pastry arts. While Ginger can’t name any one dessert as her favorite, she says these Chocolate Pots de Crème rank in her top three. That means a lot coming from a prestigious pastry chef and bakery owner, who is constantly testing hundreds of different confections and pastries. It is a long-term staple in her shops, available every day throughout every season.
A pot de crème is a custard dessert prepared and served in a cup, ramekin, or jar. There is something so simple yet elegant about the unassuming container. And the contents can be any flavor whether it be spiced, fruity, or chocolate like this recipe. Pots de crème are easily stored and transported, as they can be sealed and refrigerated for several days without compromising the texture, humidity, or taste of the dessert. This recipe works exceptionally well for picnics, Holiday potlucks, and even gifts, which any chocolate lovers in your life will be immensely grateful to receive!
Heat the cream, milk, sugar, salt in a medium saucepan. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise to expose the seeds. Scrape the seeds out and add the bean and seeds to the milk and vanilla mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat. Remove the vanilla bean and pour over the chocolate.
Wait 5 minutes for the chocolate to melt and blend with an immersion blender. Temper the egg yolks by adding 1/3 of the hot chocolate mixture into the yolks and whisking until homogenous. Follow with another 1/3 of the mixture, and remaining third. Strain the mixture to remove any clumps or particles.
Pour the mixture into the ramekins (or jars) 2/3 full. Set the ramekins into a deep baking pan. Pour the hot water into the pan until it reaches halfway up the outside of the ramekins. This will ensure the pots de crème bake evenly.
Bake for 30-50 minutes, depending on the size of the ramekins. Rotate the pan every 15 minutes or so to account for any uneven heating in the oven.
Finish baking until the center is fully set and the center of each ramekin jiggles when shaken. It should have an internal temperature of 180°F (82°C).
Remove the ramekins and cool at room temperature for 1 hour.
Prepare the Baked Sour Cream
While the pots de crème are baking, whisk the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla together and keep in a warm place. Whisk every 10 minutes until the sugar is fully dissolved and the chocolate custards are cool.
Using a piping bag with a star tip, pipe around 1/4-inch into the ramekins of the cooled chocolate custard.
Bake the pots de crème at 325°F (163°C) for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate them overnight.
Published with permission from Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates. Photography courtesy of Francisco Chavira.