It's a rare night that I don't crave a little bit of chocolate after dinner. But it's an even rarer event that I actually proceed to prepare a chocolatey dessert. I was recently feeling unusually ambitious and decided to finally give Martha Stewart's Chocolate Pots de Creme recipe a try. I'd been salivating over the photo of her smooth and dainty teacups of chocolate custard topped with fresh whipped cream for quite some time.
Though my pots de creme didn't turn out quite as pretty, I amped up the dish by switching out the espresso powder for a little bit of cinnamon - reminiscent of the flavors found in mexican hot chocolate - and a topping of peanut butter whipped cream. The subtle warmth of the cinnamon makes for an interesting flavor combination and will fill your whole kitchen with the most temptingly delicious aroma while baking.
Of course you can never go wrong with the chocolate-peanut butter combination. And your extra peanut butter whipped cream is great for topping hot chocolate or as a dip for all sorts of sweets (Oreos, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies are all made even more scrumptious with a a little spread of peanut butter whipped cream on top!).
Though the two small pots of fluffy chocolate custard may not look very substantial, they're rich and filling. All the heavy cream in these gorgeous desserts quickly adds up, but using the individual custard cups serve as an excellent portion control measure.
These are an elegant but super simple dessert to make. Though the recipe recommends letting the custards cool on wire racks for one hour and then refrigerating them for another four, I enjoyed them at room temperature after an hour-long cooling and they were perfectly delightful. And the recipe which follows is for just two custards but it can easily be increased to four or more for a dinner party.
Cinnamon Chocolate Pots de Creme
adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine, February 2012
- 3/4 cups heavy creams
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 ounces (1/4 cup) bittersweet chocolate (70%), finely chopped
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp sugar
- Coarse salt
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bring 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream, the cinnamon, and vanilla to a simmer; pour over chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Let sit for three minutes (this is important so you don't get scrambled eggs in the next step!); whisk until smooth.
2. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg yolk, sugar, and a pinch of coarse salt; add warm chocolate mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Strain custard through a fine sieve into a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
3. Place 2 teacups in the center of a baking dish. Divide custard between cups, and fill pan with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the teacups. Cover tightly with foil; poke several holes in the foil. Bake until custard is set around edges but wobbly in the center, about 25 minutes.
4. Remove cups from water bath, and let custards cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days. Before serving, whisk remaining 2 tablespoons cream to soft peaks, folding in melted peanut butter just before serving. Dollop peanut butter whipped cream over pots de creme.