Chocolate. Spice. Cream. This is one indulgent Cinco de Mayo dessert. Known in Britain as baked custard, but sounding much prettier with their French name, pots de creme, these are little pots of heaven.
Chocolate pots de crème are a sumptuous and indulgent French dessert. They are also among the best chocolate desserts worldwide. The origins of this dessert can be traced back to France in the 17th century. “Pots de crème” literally translates to “pots of cream,” which accurately describes the dessert’s primary ingredients – cream, eggs, and sugar. Over time, variations emerged, with chocolate being added to create the beloved chocolate crème de pot version that we know today.
But rather than having a sweet, European flavor, my dark and spicy chocolate pot de crème recipe is distinctly Mexican.
As an avid traveler, I think there is nothing quite as decadent and sultry as chocolate in its Aztec form – dark, spicy, and molten. Which is what I have tried to recreate with these chocolate pots de crème.
I have a bit of a love affair with custard – it’s almost alchemy the way that egg yolks, sugar, cream, and milk come together to form such silken desserts.
To these basic ingredients, I added a good whack of Peruvian dark chocolate (Mexican wasn’t available, so that was the closest I could get) and a sprinkling of ginger and crushed dried chilies. And somehow, with just a warm oven and a bain marie, all those things just came together perfectly.
Baking using a bain marie can make it sound a little technical, but it is incredibly simple: just a bit of hot water in a roasting tin. It helps custards to bake evenly. Hey presto, you have a dessert fit for a dinner party.
If you like chocolate, you will fall in love with this dessert. No wonder the Aztecs believed chocolate was a gift from god. This is how to make chocolate pot de crème.
Dark and Spicy Chocolate Pots de Crème
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 300 ml double cream reserve 50ml for cream topping
- 125 ml milk
- 75 g quality dark chocolate minimum 70% cocoa solids
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground dried chillies
- 1 tbsp icing sugar for cream topping
- Preheat the oven to 150oC and have ready 4 ramekins and a roasting tin.
- Sift caster sugar and whisk together with the egg yolks until frothy.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a saucepan with 250ml of the cream, all the milk and the spices. Set over a low heat and stir continuously until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is warmed through. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Boil the kettle.
- Give the egg mixture another whisk, then pour in a small amount of the cream mixture, whisking all the time. Slowly add the rest of the cream mixture, continuing to whisk.
- Pour the mixture into a jug, then fill each ramekin.
- Place ramekins into the roasting tin and carefully pour the hot, just boiled water from the kettle into the tin around the ramekins. Fill to about halfway up the ramekins – this will ensure an even bake.
- Put into the center of the oven and bake for about 45 mins, or until the custards are set but still with a jiggle. The centers will continue to set as they cool.
- Remove from oven and transfer ramekins onto a wire rack to cool.
- Place in fridge to chill and set completely for 1-2 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, make the cream topping by whipping the remaining 50ml of cream with 1 tbsp of icing sugar.
- Spoon onto the custards, then sprinkle with ginger and finely chopped flakes of dark chocolate.
- Grab a spoon – or if you have great restraint, save until after the main course.