Can you be anything but happy looking at this scrumptious treat? It tastes even better than it looks! This simple recipe makes it easy to enjoy this french dessert known as "pots de crème" - AKA pot of cream or custard - any time you have a chocolate craving.
Expect a deep, rich chocolate flavor from this little cup of love. The texture is thicker than a pudding, and firmer than a traditional mousse. The bonus is that it also has less fat and calories because you don't use heavy cream and can opt for low-fat or fat-free milk. In fact, you may already have the ingredients in your kitchen to whip a batch up tonight!
1 egg yolk
1½ Tbs. sugar
1/3 cup milk - regular or low-fat (I could not detect any difference between the two milks in taste or texture, so go with low-fat and save the calories)
1 5oz. can of evaporated milk - it can be regular, low-fat, or fat-free
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips - semisweet are fine, too, but higher cocoa content in dark chocolate provides antioxidant benefits
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract - you can also substitute the Vanilla with Almond or Mint extract to change the subtle, underlying flavor
1/4 tsp. cinnamon - add more if you really like it, but leave out if you use Mint extract
Pinch of salt
optional: Whipped Cream & Cherries for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Use the center rack.
2. Set up for a Bain-marie (water bath): Boil a small pot or tea kettle of water. Put 5 or 6 small ramekins into a roasting pan. Do NOT add the hot water yet. TIP: Put a paper towel on the bottom to prevent the cups from sliding around when the water is added.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg and egg yolk; set aside.
4. Mix the milks together in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil; stir this often so it doesn't scorch. At the first sign of a boil, remove the milk from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir in and return to heat. Whisking continuously, bring to a simmer for about 1 minute, be sure the chocolate is melted.
5. Using a ladle in one hand & a whisk in the other, scoop up a small amount of the melted chocolate mixture and slowly whisk into the eggs. TIP: You don't want to cook the eggs from the heat of the chocolate mixture, so whisk continuously throughout this process until all the chocolate is incorporated evenly.
6. Whisk in the Extract of your choice, cinnamon (if using), and pinch of salt.
7. Pour the chocolate mixture into the ramekins in even amounts. Tip: To avoid spilling, do not fill to the top. From the picture above, you can see that I filled 2/3 of the ramekin - just below the fill line.
8. Pull out middle oven rack, and place the roasting pan securely. Fill with the hot water until the ramekins are immersed - approx. 2/3 up the sides. Carefully slide the rack into the oven. Bake 25 - 30 minutes until set - they should be tight in the cups like a thick custard.
9. Leave the roaster in the oven, and carefully remove the ramekins with tongs, place on a wire rack to cool. NOTE: Be sure to wear a water resistant oven mitt when transferring the pots de crème.
10. Allow at least an hour or so to cool on the wire rack. Chill in fridge.
To serve, add whipped cream and a cherry. Voilà! A rich creamy, chocolate dessert that delights the chocolate lovers palette! Try all three extract versions and see which is your favorite. All are very good - I did a lot of testing before I would share this recipe... It was hard work but someone had to do it!! Enjoy!
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