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When I think of the ultimate sensuous desserts, chocolate pot de creme just about tops my list. Rich and supple, the chocolate-laden custard envelops your mouth in a way that a chocolate cake just can't.
It's also not just another chocolate pudding. And here's my decidedly unsexy explanation: though similar in flavor and texture to a pudding, a pot de creme is technically a different beast. Both are custards, so it all comes down to the thickener and the method used to set the custard. A pudding is classified as a "stirred" custard and thickened with a starch (generally cornstarch), while a pot de creme is baked and only relies on the eggs to gently set it.
Which do I prefer? As a die hard chocoholic I'm hard pressed to choose. Pudding has its creamy merits (and I do make puddings a heck more often than pot de cremes), but since a starch can tend to mask flavor, I'll have to go with a pot du creme for having the truest chocolate flavor. This time of year couldn't be a more perfect time to bake up a batch of these decadent little "pots". And by decadent, I mean decadent. With a blend of milk, heavy cream, and yolks, these dangerously potent pot de cremes do not mess around. And by swapping in a deep dark 70% bittersweet chocolate, these custards are decidedly more chocolate than sweet. Cuddle up under a blanket and slowly savor every spoonful.
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of the new cookbook One Bowl Baking: Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (Running Press, October 2013), and available at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell's, The Book Depository. Watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. Follow her Chocoholic, Chicken Dinners, Singapore Stories and Let Them Eat Cake columns on Serious Eats. Follow Yvonne on Twitter as she explores Singapore.