Pots de Crème – Easy Vanilla and Dark Chocolate Layered Dessert

08.27.19 - BY Nona Raybern

It’s not often you see the word “easy” in front of a recipe for pots de crème. This classic French dessert normally requires a water bath and some super long setting times. But because we’re doing a layered version today, we may do a little cheating in the process. And by cheating we mean we’ll just be cooking these on the stove top instead of in the oven.

This layered version of pots de crème is perfect for any special occasion, mainly because it looks so dang pretty. From Valentine’s Day to the holidays, people will think you spent days making this dessert. Truth told, you only need one afternoon that will also include a couple naps if you want it while each layer sets.

First things first, you need the right kind of jar. Some people make these layered versions by using a complicated balancing process, but we don’t believe in complicated. That’s why using an angled spice jar, like the Glass Spice Ball, works incredibly well. These jars have the ability to tip forward or rest upright, which makes the perfect angled layer for our pots de crème.

The most difficult part of this recipe comes from tempering the egg yolks. If you’re not familiar with tempering egg yolks or making custards, then this may seem daunting to you. Don’t even worry about it. Tempering egg yolks basically requires a quick whisk and slow drizzle of hot liquid. Once you have that down, making these little desserts will be so incredibly easy.

A quick tutorial on tempering egg yolks:

  1. Separate egg yolks into a medium bowl
  2. Whisk until slightly lighter in color using a small whick
  3. Heat liquid in a sauce pan
  4. Take about 1 cup of the liquid and, while whisking the egg yolks rapidly, very slowly drizzle the hot liquid into the yolks
  5. This will cook the egg yolks while keep them in a liquid state (instead of weird sweet scrambled eggs)
  6. Once you have this whisked, slowly drizzle this mixture back into the remaining hot liquid on the stove top, whisking rapidly

 

Now you have tempered your egg yolks! So easy! Congratulations, you can now make custard, ice cream, curds, and most importantly, this pots de crème recipe.

Okay, once you create your chocolate mixture, pour them into your Glass Spice Balls while at an angle. Place them in the refrigerator and allow them to set for an hour.

About 15 minutes before your chocolate mixture is done setting, start preparing the vanilla portion. The mixture will be done right as soon as you’re pulling out your chocolate from chilling. Place the jars in the upright position and pour the vanilla directly into the jar to the top. Don’t worry about the heat from the vanilla melting the chocolate. Since it’s chilled, it’ll retain that lovely little diagonal line just fine. Chill for another 2-3 hours and it’s ready to serve. The great thing about this dessert is you can make it a few days in advance, as it keeps in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

This pots de crème dessert may look complicated, but will be one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever create. And the payoff when you wow your dinner guests with how visually stunning it is will be well worth any work you put in.

Layered Vanilla & Dark Chocolate Pots de Crème

Decadent layers of vanilla and chocolate custard with a mousse-like texture.

Course

Dessert
Cuisine

French
Keyword

Pots de Crème

Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 3 hours

Servings 6 people

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Layer

  • 1
    Cup
    Heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2
    Cup
    Whole milk
  • 4
    Large egg yolks
  • 8
    oz
    Dark chocolate bar
    chopped
  • 1/4
    Cup
    Granulated sugar
  • Pinch
    Sea salt
  • 1
    tsp
    Vanilla

For the Vanilla Layer

  • 1
    Cup
    Half & Half
  • 1
    Cup
    Heavy whipping cream
  • 2
    tsp
    Vanilla
  • 1/2
    Cup
    Granulated sugar
  • Pinch
    Sea salt
  • 6
    Large egg yolks

Instructions

For the Chocolate Layer

  1. Whisk egg yolks in medium bowl until slightly lighter in yellow color.

  2. Heat heavy cream and milk over medium heat until scalding.

  3. Slowly drizzle 1 cup of hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking rapidly to temper the egg yolks.

  4. Return the egg yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture in sauce pan, whisking rapidly. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until chocolate and sugar are fully melted.

  5. Tilt glass spice ball jars forward at angle. Pour chocolate mixture until half full. Set in refrigerator for one hour.

For the Vanilla Layer

  1. Whisk egg yolks in medium bowl until slightly lighter in yellow color.

  2. Heat heavy cream and milk over medium heat until scalding.

  3. Return the egg yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture in sauce pan, whisking rapidly. Add remaining ingredients and stir for 10 minutes over low heat until mixture coats back of spoon.

  4. Remove jars from refrigerator and turn upright. Pour vanilla mixture to the top and place back in the refrigerator to set for additional 2-3 hours.

  5. Serve chilled with optional whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top.

 

Recipes adapted from Boulder Locavore and Alexandra Cooks