The Tartine Cookbook, Bite By Bite

Baking our way through the Tartine cookbook!

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Chocolate Pots de Crème

Posted by bakingtartine on August 16, 2009

So, I whipped these little guys up at 4:30 AM on Friday. No big deal.

Wait, what?!? See, we get up pretty early around here. Alex starts work at 5 AM. I get up when he does because I like being productive in the mornings before I go to work and sit around at my desk all day. Which meant that on Friday, as soon as I closed the door behind him, I was tearing the wrapper from a chocolate bar and getting to work. This recipe is a total cinch to make. It was less than an hour from unwrapping chocolate to cooling the little pots de crème.

The Tartine cookbook gives a recipe for 8 servings, which is too much for the two of us but it is easily cut in half. I scored some ramekins for a dollar each last week so I was ready to go. First I poured water in a baking dish and set it in the oven while it preheated. Next I melted the chocolate in a makeshift double boiler while heating cream, sugar and salt in another pot until almost boiling.

Hazy early morning chocolate

I poured the cream mixture into the chocolate, stirring to make a liquid that reminded me of poor Augustus Gloop from Willy Wonka. I kind of wanted to dive in. But it wasn’t enough to swim around in, plus it was really hot from being on the stove, so I just continued with the recipe. I’ll pretend to be Augustus another time. Four egg yolks (Yes, that’s a yolk per dish and yes, I still am creeped out by eggs. I pretended this step didn’t exist.) were whisked as I slowly poured the hot creamy chocolate into them. The book notes that, when cooking eggs and cream, you don’t have to worry about curdling as you would with milk. It’s due to the high amount of butterfat. I had no idea that was the case but I was happy to have no curdles. After all, it wasn’t even 5AM yet! Too early to be dealing with the hassle of curdles.

One yolk for each dish

After everything was mixed, I poured it through a strainer to make it extra smooth. The strained mixture was then poured into the four ramekins, and the ramekins were placed carefully into the hot baking dish with the hot water and everything was really hot and liquidy and it was so early in the morning and my eyes were still a little bleary and I’m proud to say that there were no spills, sloshes or burns. They baked for 20 minutes, which was exactly enough time to wash dishes and get the kitchen back to order. I took them out of the oven and, using tongs, removed the ramekins from the waterbath. They cooled while I got ready for work and by the time I had to leave, they were ready to cover and store in the refrigerator.

Carefully removing hot dishes from hot water with tongs

We tried them Friday night with a little bit of lightly sweetened whipped cream on top. WOW. They are fancy. FYI: I’m very bad at hosting dinner parties. Not that I host bad dinner parties, but I never quite get it together enough to actually plan and execute a dinner party. So it’s always “If we have a dinner party, we should…” and never, “Remember at our last dinner party, when…” BUT, the point is, whenever I get around to hosting a dinner party, I’m serving these. They are very chocolately, despite the addition of cream. They are smooth as velvet. I need the additional whipped cream on top, as chocolate is usually too rich for me, but the flavor is awesome. I am a person who prefers fruit desserts to chocolate desserts, but there are three more of these in the refrigerator and I haven’t had lunch yet today…

Next: Mixed-Berry Shortcakes With Berry-Caramel Sauce!

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