Custards are traditionally thickened with eggs and range in flavor and consistency, from a pourable crème anglaise sauce to a thick and rich crème brûlée. This custard recipe is a nontraditional take on pots de crème (pronounced poh-de-krem), which is a fancy shmancy French word for a custard made with milk and cream and baked in a water bath. Together, you and I are going to fake our way through this one with my faux de creme recipe, which is just as sumptuous as the original with significantly less effort. C’est magnifique!
Recipe makes 8 small ramekins, or 20 mini party cups as shown below.
2 cups (340 grams) chopped semisweet chocolate (preferably Valrhona Manjari or Callebaut Semisweet) OR 1 cup of Ghirardelli Bittersweet chocolate chips and 1 cup of Ghirardelli Milk chocolate chips
2 large eggs (preferably organic)
1 ¼ cup (10 oz) whole milk (preferably organic)
1 teaspoon instant espresso
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (85 grams) chopped white chocolate, melted (optional for garnish)
2 cups (1 pint) fresh raspberries (optional for garnish)
How to use them:
You first want to melt the chocolate. As noted above, if you do not have either Valrhona or Callebaut chocolate available, you can substitute 1 cup of Ghirardelli Bittersweet chocolate chips and 1 cup of Ghirardelli Milk chocolate chips (I use a combination of the two as I find most semisweet chocolate chips have an odd flavor). Melt the chocolate by placing it in a heat safe bowl over a bain-marie, a pot of shallow, gently simmering water. Do not allow any of the simmering water to touch the bottom of the bowl. You may also melt the chocolate in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 15 seconds until it is almost completely melted. After you remove it from the microwave, continue to stir to allow the residual heat to melt the chocolate completely. Be careful if using the microwave to melt the chocolate as it scorches easily. Crack the eggs and set aside. An important technique when cracking eggs is to always crack them separately into a measuring cup. This method allows you to check the eggs to make certain they are fresh and that there are no stray shells. The measuring cups is also a mess free way pour in the eggs.Heat the milk on medium low heat until it is heated through with small bubbles forming around the edge of the pan, do not allow it to boil. Take the milk mixture off the heat and whisk in the espresso and salt until combined. Now it’s time combine all of the ingredients. Pour the melted chocolate in a blender.Add the eggs and blend on the blender’s lowest setting for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the blender and blend for another 30 seconds until combined.While the blender is still on, gently pour in the hot milk in a slow and steady stream. Blend for an additional minute until completely smooth and slightly frothy. The heat from the milk will cook the eggs, while the simultaneously running blender will not allow them to curdle like scrambled eggs. Exactly the outcome we want!Pour into serving cups. While I use these small glass cups, you may use any ramekin, cup, glass, etc. Make certain however, that you choose a vessel that is small as this is a rich dessert.Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. I garnished mine with melted white chocolate piped in a decorative manner and topped with fresh raspberries. The fresh tartness of the raspberry balances the sweetness of the chocolate as well as visually brightens the presentation.The Before: the anticipation of when you lift up that first blissful bite.The After: the moment it has touched your lips and all of your senses are firing all at once as you delight in that initial taste.This recipe is also perfect for parties. For my daughter’s American Girl theme party, I used these small plastic party cups and spoons, they are the perfect size and make for an adorable presentation.