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Duo-Tone Chocolate Pots de Creme

Serves: Makes 6 servings


  • Custard:
  • 7 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1¼ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1¼ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup sugar

  • Ganache
  • 1½ ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (up to 64 percent cacao)
  • 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Softly Whipped Cream and milk or dark chocolate curls for serving


Milk Chocolate is often overlooked in the quest for the newest and darkest offerings, but it’s still a favorite—with kids and adults alike. Its presence is a surprise in this recipe, as the luscious milk chocolate custard is hidden under a thin layer of warm chocolate ganache. So although the spoon dips into a dark surface, it comes out with a lighter custard full of the malty, caramel-like qualities of milk chocolate. The interplay of cool, milky sweetness against warm, dark richness is sublime.

Preheat the oven to 325°F and position an oven rack in the center.

Make the custard: Place the chopped chocolate in the medium bowl. Combine the egg and egg yolks in the small bowl. Heat the cream, milk, and sugar in the medium saucepan over medium heat until just before the mixture boils. Immediately pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute, then whisk gently but thoroughly to completely blend the mixture. Add the whole egg and yolks, whisking to incorporate thoroughly.

Strain and bake the custard: Pour the custard through the strainer into the pitcher. Place the custard cups in the large roasting pan, making sure they don’t touch, and divide the warm custard among them. Pull out the oven rack and place the pan on the rack; then remove one of the cups, pour enough hot tap water (not boiling) into that area to come halfway up the sides of the cups, and replace the cup. Cut a piece of foil large enough to fit just inside the edges of the pan, then lay the foil across the top of the cups, making sure it doesn’t touch the custard. You may need to smooth and flatten the foil on the counter if any wrinkles touch the custard. Gently push the rack back into the oven, shut the oven door, and bake the custards for 50 to 60 minutes, just until the edges of the custards are set—there should still be a dime-size liquid area in the very center of the custard (test by gently tapping the side of the pan).

Remove the foil and then the pan from the oven, being careful not to tilt the pan and splash water on top of the custards. Set the pan on a heatproof surface. Use the tongs (or your hand protected by a kitchen towel) to immediately remove the cups from the water bath and place them on a rack to cool to room temperature, about 40 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Add the ganache layer: Place the chopped semisweet chocolate in the cleaned small bowl. Heat the cream in the small saucepan over medium heat just until it begins to simmer (do not allow the cream to boil and evaporate). Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for 1 minute, then gently stir with the spatula until thoroughly blended and smooth. Spoon a tablespoon of ganache onto the surface of each custard, then gently swirl each cup until the dark chocolate completely covers the custard. (If the ganache seems too thick to spread easily, heat another tablespoon of cream and add it to the mixture).

Serve the custards immediately, while the ganache is still warm, or refrigerate up to 1 hour. As the ganache chills, it begins to harden and pull away from the sides of the cup, losing its silken texture and exposing the custard beneath, thereby spoiling the surprise. Serve each with a spoonful of whipped cream, topped with a scattering of chocolate curls if you like.

by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

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