Chocolate Pots de Crème
The sign of well-made pots de crème is texture: every spoonful of the custard should be creamy and rich. To protect the custard from overheating and curdling, recipes often call for baking the pots in a water bath. In this recipe, the pots are steamed in a Cuisinart steam oven, which provides the same gentle heat but eliminates the need for the water bath.
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream until small bubbles appear around the edges. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Add a spoonful of the chocolate cream and whisk until fully incorporated. Slowly stir in the remaining chocolate cream, then stir in the vanilla and salt.
Place four 5-oz. ramekins on the baking tray of a Cuisinart steam oven. Strain the chocolate mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large heatproof liquid measuring cup, then pour into the ramekins, dividing evenly. Cover the ramekins with aluminum foil.
Position a rack in the lower rung of the steam oven. Transfer the tray to the oven. Turn the oven to the bake/steam setting at 170°F according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and turn the oven to bake/steam at 180°F. Bake for 20 minutes more. If the custard has set around the edges but is still soft in the center, the pots de crème are done.
Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days before serving. Serves 4.