Pots de creme are an elegant French dessert, a custard that is somewhere between pudding and creme brulee in texture. Traditionally, the recipes call for cooking the custard in a water bath in the oven to ensure a smooth, silky texture. The water bath is what causes many people to skip making this lovely dessert altogether, as the can be a bit of a hassle to work with (getting a water-filled pan in and out of the oven can be tough!). This recipe is unusual in that it does not require an oven – and it comes together in just about 5 minutes! This means that you should put these Dark Chocolate Pots de Creme on your must-try list right away.
The dessert uses all the same components that you would find in a traditional pots de creme recipe: milk, heavy cream, egg yolks, sugar and dark chocolate. I added a little bit of vanilla extract, espresso powder and a pinch of salt to enhance the dark chocolate. The milk and cream are brought to a boil on the stovetop, while the other ingredients are combined in a blender. A food processor could also be used, but they can sometimes leak when a lot of liquid is added (depending on the model), so the blender is my preferred tool here. The chocolate, eggs and sugar are combined before the hot cream is added, but melt and cook as it is streamed in. The mixture will thicken into a creamy, pudding-like custard as it cools. It will thicken even more after being refrigerated, so it must be chilled before serving.
The pots de creme are rich and silky smooth, with a deep dark chocolate flavor accented with a hint of coffee and vanilla. You’ll be impressed by how delicious they are, given they were so simple to make! The pots de creme can be served with a small dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream, which offers a nice contrast to the chocolate in each bite, though you can also enjoy them as-is. The custards will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days after they are prepared.
Blender Dark Chocolate Pots de Creme
6 oz dark chocolate (pref 53-60% cacao), coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/8 tsp (pinch) salt
1 cup milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
In the blender, combine dark chocolate, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, instant espresso powder and salt. Blend until chocolate is finely chopped and mixture is well combined.
In a medium saucepan, bring milk and heavy cream to a boil. Remove from heat and CAREFULLY stream into the blender via the opening on the top of the lid. Work in small increments with the blender running to prevent splashing. Mix, scraping the sides if necessary, until custard is a uniform color. Allow mixture to sit for 3-4 minutes to thicken slightly.
Take out four 4-6 oz ramekins and divide mixture evenly into prepared ramekins. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.
Top with a little Lightly Sweetened Whipped Cream to serve.