I don’t know which I liked better — this gorgeously rich and smooth chocolate pots de creme or the adorable little china “pots” it came in. This was dessert at a recent cooking class I took in Decatur, Alabama. Cookbook author and former restaurant owner Betty Sims teaches classes in her home each fall. This year she led off with “Celebrating Julia,” a menu based on Julia Child recipes. Betty has stayed at Cooking With Friends in France, http://www.cookingwithfriends.com/, a culinary program in Child’s former Provence chateau, and she has some great stories and photos. And great recipes, like this one for Chocolate Pots de Creme.
Chocolate Pots de Creme
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Warm 2 cups heavy cream, two cups half-and-half and 4 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips in a 2-quart Pyrex cup in microwave for 2 minutes on high. Whisk and microwave 2 minutes more until steam rises and chocolate is melted.
Whisk 6 egg yolks, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and pinch of salt together in a bowl. Add warm chocolate mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and strain into a measuring cup with a pouring spout (to get rid of lumps). Spoon off any foam. Divide mixture among six 3-ounce pot de creme molds or oven-safe ramekins. Cover each mold tightly with a lid or foil (although Betty didn’t do this and said it wasn’t necessary). Arrange molds in a baking dish, being careful not to let molds touch each or sides of dish (again, Betty didn’t do this and said it wasn’t necessary). Transfer dish to oven and add hot water to reach about halfway up outsides of molds.
Bake 35 minutes, then check for doneness. Custard should be just set but still quiver like gelatin. If necessary, bake another 3-5 minutes. When custards are set, remove from water bath and cool for 30 minutes at room temperature. Chill until completely cold, preferably overnight. Garnish with whipped cream.