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Easy Chocolate Pot de Creme

The Creme should have an accent over the first e, but just ask me if I know how to do that. This was a recipe I’d pulled out of my America’s Test Kitchen magazine in 2008. That was before I even got married! I love that about food – this recipe is just as relevant today as it was then. It’s easy, it’s gluten free, and it’s a show-stopper.

For a little background, I made this on a Friday – second Friday in a row that we were housebound due to illness (the kids, not me). I rarely let food go to waste, especially a treat like this, and luckily I have the best neighbor in the world who puts up with my cooking endeavors. She was having guests over and I asked her if she’d take a few “pots” for her dessert. She said they loved it, and at our “Friday night in” at my house, the remaining desserts vanished before 8 o’clock. For the 15 minutes of work this dessert takes, I’d say it was more than worth it.

It’s “make ahead” up to 72 hours, which is amazing, though I wouldn’t top it with whipped cream until a few hours before. I learned how to stabilize whipped cream using gelatin but that’s not needed here – it takes less than five minutes to whip the cream so if serving to guests, top the pots with the whipped cream and chocolate shavings right before they arrive- will hold fine in the fridge (uncovered) until it’s time for dessert. How do you make chocolate shavings? Use your vegetable peeler to “peel” a chocolate bar. I used Hershey’s since we had some leftover from s’mores.

Easy Chocolate Pots do Creme

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, serves 8

10 oz. (about two cups) Ghirardelli Bittersweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 c. heavy cream

3/4 c. half and half

5 large egg yolks

5 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder mixed with 1 tbsp. water

Whipped cream

1/2 c. heavy cream, chilled

2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Chocolate shavings or cocoa powder for garnish (optional)

  1. Place chocolate in glass mixing bowl. Set a fine-mesh sieve over top of bowl.
  2. Whisk heavy cream, half and half, yolks, sugar, and salt together in a medium saucepan set over medium low heat.
  3. Whisk constantly, scraping bottom of the pan as it cooks until mixture thickens slightly and reads on an instant meat thermometer 175 to 180 degrees.
  4. Immediately pour into sieve over chocolate, pressing through with a rubber spatula as necessary. Let sit 5 minutes.
  5. Stir or whisk until smooth. Add in vanilla and espresso mixture.
  6. Pour into 8 ramekins or small glass bowls. Cover and let set 4 hours (or up to 72 hours). Let stand 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
  7. To whip cream, beat place cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bottom of a bowl. Beat with whisk attachment on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Place 1-2 tbsp. cream on each pot and top with optional cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.