Egg Free Chocolate Pots de Crème – An Easy, No-Bake Dessert
In my books, it’s almost always a good time for chocolate but if there had to be a season for chocolate then it seems like it would be Valentine’s Day! As I’ve mentioned on this blog more than quite a few times, I don’t subscribe to the commerce that seems to drive every celebration these days. Get on the internet and every other food site or blog has something strawberry or chocolate or heart shaped to ‘share” with you, and before you know it, you’re thinking about chocolate!
Which reminded me that I had a chocolate post waiting to be posted, the Chocolate Pots de Crème I had made a couple of months back. Usually, when I'm irregular with my posts, one of the reasons is that I have some form of blogger's block or a photography block. This time around, I have a a lot of photographs and the raw material for my posts, and its just about sitting down and getting it written up that's not happening.
A Pot de Crème (plural : Pots de Crème) meaning “pot of cream” ( where Crème refers to custard) is a French dessert custard that is a lightly set baked custard that is softer/ looser than custards like Crème Caramel or Crème Brûlée. Apparently the "traditional" egg to liquid for a Pot de Crème is one whole egg to every five egg yolks for 2 1/2 to 3 cups of liquid!
This dessert has its origins somewhere in the 17th century and is made with eggs, egg yolks, cream, milk, and the traditional flavouring was vanilla though chocolate and other flavours are more often used these days. The Pots de Crème are then baked in a water bath at low heat which allows the egg custard to cook evenly.
Pots de Crème also refers to the small lidded pots this dessert is served in. In the 18thcentury, special cups were made of porcelain to serve the Pots de Crème (dessert). Many of them featured either a single handle and lid or two handles and a lid, and are collectors’ items to day.
Whether you eat chocolate for the sake of love or for the love of chocolate, you can’t go wrong with these Pots de Crème. They’re made without eggs, are creamy and intensely chocolate-y. They’re also a little less rich though you wouldn’t know it from the taste, take very little time or effort and are a lovely “make ahead” dessert. Since they don’t contain eggs, they don’t need to be baked and just require less than 10 minutes of cooking on the stove top.
- Put the cream, milk, sugar and salt in a pan, and bring it to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Turn the heat off and add all the chopped chocolate to the milk-cream mixture. Keep stirring till the chocolate has melted completely and the mixture is smooth.
- Put the pan back on the stove, on medium heat. Mix together the vanilla extract, corn starch and instant coffee powder in 1/4 cup milk and add to the pan while stirring constantly. Turn down the heat a little and keep stirring making sure no lumps form. Once the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of your ladle, take it off the heat.
- Let it cool to room temperature. Keep stirring on and off to prevent a skin from forming while it cools. Once cool divide the “custard” equally between 6 cups or “pots”, depending on the serving size you want.
- Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve with a little whipped cream and crunchy cookies on the side.