Chocolate pots de crème are deeply chocolaty with luxurious texture. This recipe adds a note of woodsy pine with the addition of rosemary.
I recently mentioned how much I value make-ahead desserts during the holiday season. This is yet another that I love. Like most French desserts, it is rich and decadent. This version has a note of pine that seems so fitting for winter.
Traditionally, pots de crème are baked in a water bath. This recipe is made on the stove top and skips baking entirely, which speeds up the process but doesn’t compromise any of the texture or flavor this dessert is known for.
The very first thing you’ll do is steep a length of rosemary in cream. You can omit this step for a purely chocolate pot de crème, if you prefer. After some time infusing, the cream is added to the rest of the ingredients in top of a double boiler (or a bowl over a saucepan, as I do). The mixture is whisked over simmering water until 160°F registers on an instant read thermometer. Now it’s ready to portion into cups.
After a quick chill, they’re ready to be garnished and enjoyed. If you’ve never had this dessert, you may be expecting a firm custard, but what you’ll find is something more pudding-like, but silkier and rich.
These look so elegant lined up on a pretty serving tray. They’re not a lot of work and feel a bit fancy, which I consider the sweet spot for holiday entertaining.
These could be served in 4 oz. ramekins, which will yield less servings, but I recommend demitasse cups or the little 2.3 oz. lion head cups pictured here. These may seem tiny, but they’re good options for such a rich dessert.
Chocolate-Rosemary Pots de Crème
- 1 cup 240 ml half-and-half or 2% milk
- 1 cup 240 ml heavy cream
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary 6 inches
- 1/2 cup 100g granulated sugar
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1/4 cup 32g unsweetened cocoa
- 8 oz. semisweet fine quality chocolate finely chopped
- 3/4 cup 180 ml heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
- Red sugar pearls and rosemary sprigs optional
- In a saucepan, heat the half-and-half and cream over medium heat until steaming but not boiling. Bruise the rosemary leaves with your fingers and add to the hot cream. Remove from the heat and steep 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Set a saucepan filled 1/3 full with water over heat and bring to a simmer. Rest a stainless or heat-proof mixing bowl on top of the saucepan (or use a bain marie). Place the rosemary cream, sugar, eggs, espresso powder, cocoa and chocolate in the bowl and whisk constantly. Bring mixture to 160°F, and remove from heat. The mixture will be slightly thickened.
- Spoon or pour chocolate into demitasse cups, chocolate pots, or ramekins. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving. Garnish with the whipped cream, sugar pearls, and rosemary sprigs, if using.