Spice of Life Pots de Crème

Photo by: solitarycook

by solitarycook

about 1 year ago

elbellguttman's Testing Notes:

Solitarycook's pots de crème turn up the volume on a much loved classic. Fresh ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and chile pepper are infused into the custard base then the silky, spiced cream is gently combined with milk chocolate. A cayenne-spiked chocolate piece is dropped into the cream at the last moment and serves as a molten surprise at the table. Note: I found the recipe produced enough custard for 5 ramekins, or 6 if you fill them 3/4 full. The spices were perfectly balanced, but subtle -- you may want to amp up the infusion if you're feeling spice hungry. If you can't find chile de arbol, crushed red pepper flakes make a fine substitute. Substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom for the green cardamom pods if necessary.

Pot de crème tends to get short shrift in comparison to its fancy cousin, Crème Brûlée. That's unfortunate because it certainly isn't any more difficult to make. I spiced it up to give it a chance to shine in its own right. I also reduced the sugar a bit to let the spicy notes stand out more.

Serves 4

  • 8 ounces milk (preferably whole)
  • 8 ounces heavy cream
  • 1” piece of ginger, peeled, cut into 4 slices
  • 4 pods green cardamom, crushed
  • 1 3" stick cinnamon
  • 1 chile de arbol, broken
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate
  • 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate with cayenne
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set a pan containing a quart of water on the stove to heat.
  2. Pour milk and cream into a stainless steel saucepan. Add ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and the chile de arbol. Stir, then set over medium heat. Bring to a scald, then remove from heat and put a lid on the pot. Let spices steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Whisk egg yolks together in a mixing bowl. Add the salt to the sugar, and add them to the yolks in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously.
  4. Break milk chocolate into pieces and place in a separate mixing bowl. Set a strainer over the bowl. Strain the milk and cream mixture into this bowl and let sit for one minute for the chocolate to melt. Discard spices. Stir mixture with a spatula to completely incorporate melted chocolate.
  5. Temper chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar by pouring in a slow, steady stream, and whisking all the while.
  6. Divide mixture evenly among 4 ramekins. Break the piece of cayenne-chocolate into 4 sections. Drop one into each of the ramekins. This is going to put a little surprise down in the middle of your custards.
  7. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet with 4 sides. Set the baking sheet in the oven. Pour the hot water into a large measuring cup or pitcher. Use that to pour hot water into the baking sheet so that it comes almost to the lip. Set a second baking sheet on top of the ramekins. This will prevent the custard from forming a skin on the surface.
  8. Bake custards for 35-40 minutes. When done, they should still be a bit jiggly. I use a canning jar lifter to remove the custards from the oven. Don't try to lift the baking sheet full of hot water out of the oven until the water has cooled. Leave the door ajar, and the water should be cool enough to safely handle within a half hour or so.
  9. Cool before serving, but it need not be refrigerator-cold. The custard will have more flavor if it's closer to room temperature. Top with a splosh of whipped cream.

Nutrition Info:


  • 526 calories
  • 38g total fat
  • 22g saturated fat
  • 274mg cholesterol
  • 223mg sodium
  • 41g carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 34g sugar)
  • 8g protein
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