This classic gets a bit of a twist from the addition of espresso powder which intensifies the chocolate flavor in this creamy, decadent dessert!
I'm sure many of you have heard of Stephanie Izard, she was on Iron Chef in 2012 and she has three restaurants in Chicago, with Duck Duck Goat being the newest. One spring evening a few years ago I dinner plans with some friends and one of my co-workers mentioned that she had reservations at The Girl & The Goat for that evening. She said wasn't going to be able to use them and asked if I was interested. So my friends and I decided to go there instead of our originally planned location. I hadn't been in a while and was happy that it was as fabulous as always!
This dessert is inspired by a very similar dish on their menu, though the original was much fancier - topped with an amazing sesame foam. I decided sesame foam might be something that most of us, me included, might not want to attempt at home, so I stuck with a bit more traditional topping and added a little bit of flaked salt for extra flavor. I've had this on my list to make ever since that evening!
Even if you're not a mocha-lover, once you try it you'll embrace the idea of adding espresso powder to chocolate desserts because espresso greatly enhances the flavor of chocolate and adds a depth that you simply can't get from chocolate alone.
Tips for Making Pot de Cremè
Pot de Cremè is a lightly set, baked custard that has its origins in France. It's a dessert that many people don't make at home because they think it's complicated but it's really not. A couple of key steps will help ensure your custard comes out perfectly!
- Don't use high heat when boiling the milk. Keep it a medium-low or medium if your cooktop tends towards lower heat.
- While you want to whisk the milk mixture well don't be too vigorous. Too much air in the mixture will result in a less than smooth custard.
- Make sure all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth before you move on to the next step. This is one dessert where you don't want chunks of chocolate.
- Make sure the water for the water bath is very warm when you add it to the baking pan. Think very hot tap water! This helps to keep the custard at a consistent temperature while moving from your stovetop to your oven.
things you may want for this recipe
Espresso Powder - If you are into baking this should be a pantry staple. You can use it in any chocolate dessert, including chocolate chip cookies and frosting! It really does make a difference when it come to bringing out the flavor of chocolate.
Whisk - A smaller whisk works best for this recipe since you don't want to incorporate too much air into the mixture.
Ramekins - These are another great kitchen staple. I use them for everything from individual desserts like this to storing small amounts of leftovers to a dish to portion out small snacks.
Espresso Pot de Creme
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Whipped cream, shaved chocolate and sea salt flakes for serving
- Preheat oven to 325°F
- In a small saucepan combine the milk and cream. Whisk in the espresso powder until fully combined. Bring to a low boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Small bubbles will start to form at the edges of the pan.
- While the milk mixture is cooking, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a small bowl.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until smooth and the chocolate is completely melted.
- Add a small amount of the chocolate mixture to the eggs. Whisk until combined. Add the egg mixture to the remaining chocolate mixture in the pan. Whisk well.
- Divide the mixture between 3 or 4 oven-safe ramekins. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking dish and fill the baking dish with very warm water until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to splash water into the chocolate.
- Carefully place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is set but still slightly jiggly in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Refrigerate the custards for at least three hours before serving. Top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate and sea salt to serve.