Pots de Creme is basically a fancy word for pudding. A rich, delicious, and creamy pud. Just about as easy to make as the powdered variety in a box, and oh so much better! The addition of the eggs makes this pots de creme a bit firmer than the pudding you grew up with, with melt in your mouth decadence.
To chop the chocolate, cut the chocolate into about 1″ chunks. Add to a food processor and chop until fairly fine, set aside. If you don’t have a food processor , use a knife and shave down the chocolate into fine pieces.
In a medium saucepan, combine the half and half, espresso powder, vanilla paste, cinnamon, cayenne, and kosher salt and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat, stirring often.
In a 4- cup glass measuring cup, beat the egg yolks until combined. Slowly whisk in about a 1/2 cup of the hot half and half, then transfer the egg mixture back to the saucepan*. Cook the egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
Quickly but carefully pour the hot mixture* into the food processor with the chopped chocolate. Whiz it around for about 30-45 seconds until smooth and the chocolate is melted. Whiz until the chocolate is completely melted, then quickly (it starts to firm up pretty fast) strain the mixture through a sieve back into the measuring cup (the measuring cup makes it easier to pour into the ramekins) or a bowl.
Pour the mixture into 8 small ramekins (tea/coffee cups or a wine glass work great too) and refrigerate until the pots de crème are set and chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight. Wait until completely cooled to wrap with plastic, so condensation doesn’t form and makes your pots de creme soggy.
Serve the pots de creme with lightly sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings (if desired).
To make ahead: The pots de creme can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
*the reason for the ‘back and forth’ is so the eggs don’t scramble which could happen if added to all the hot liquid at once. Straining the mixture ensures no eggy bits remain.
To whip the cream (for the optional topping) add 1 cup cold whipping cream to a cold bowl, add 1-2 tablespoons sugar (I like to use brown sugar), whip until soft peaks form, not too stiff, because the pot de creme is quite firm, softly whipped cream adds a nice soft contrast.
Keywords: mexican desserts, Mexican chocolate desserts, gluten-free Mexican desserts, cinco de mayo desserts, Mexican desserts, not too sweet desserts, bittersweet chocolate
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