This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie was selected by Christine of Black Cat Cooking: chocolate pots de creme. I’d never had pots de creme, but instinctively I was pretty sure we were dealing with a chocolate pudding-like treat. Dorie was kind enough to explain the difference – pudding is cooked on the stove top and thickened with cornstarch while pots de creme are baked in the oven with eggs providing the stability. I also learned that pot de creme not only refers to the dessert, but also a small cup with a lid that is used to make this dessert. A very educational week indeed 🙂
We have a case of dessert overload here after the weekend, so I scaled way back and made 1/4 of the recipe. The chocolate pots de creme are made with chocolate, heavy cream, milk, eggs, sugar and salt. The only ingredient that was slightly tricky to scale was the eggs – the recipe calls for 1 whole egg and 5 yolks, so (on the advice of some Twitter friends) I went with 2 yolks. You can safely assume since I didn’t know about a pot de creme cup, I don’t own any, so I used ramekins. Dorie suggested 4-oz ramekins, but for some reason very few of my ramekins are labeled with their sizes so I always end up pouring in water to figure it out (one of these days I’ll get smart and add little labels to the bottoms). The ramekins I wanted to use measured just under 4 oz and my 1/4 recipe filled 3 of them.
The pots de creme are baked, covered (I used foil rather than the plastic wrap suggested) and in a water bath, at a relatively low temperature (300 F). For reasons I can’t explain, all of the water in my pan evaporated before the end of the cooking period and my ramekins baked more slowly than expected. They passed the jiggle test so I pulled them eventually, let them cool then refrigerated for a few hours. The surface was definitely set, but inside the texture was a bit more loose than I envisioned – definitely not as thick as any pudding I’ve had. Since I’ve never had pots de creme I can’t say for certain, but I suspect mine were underbaked. This was one error that worked in my favor though – I don’t like pudding, but I really enjoyed these pots de creme. They reminded me of soft serve chocolate ice cream and that is a VERY good thing in my book!