Pots de crème is a traditional French dessert that became popular back in the 17th century. The name means “pot of custard” or “pot of cream”. It is simply a custard baked in a water bath, much like a flan or what we Americans call pudding. Pot de Crème is traditionally served in small ceramic pots but you can use ramekins or even espresso cups.
Pots de crème — especially this chocolate variety — are wonderfully rich and satisfying when you have a craving for sweets after dinner.
And pots de crème fancy enough for dinner guests. Plus it’s gluten- and grain-free. Best of all, it’s so easy to make. And it can be made ahead the day before or in the morning.
This recipe is based on the recipe from the Balthazar Cookbook (which I highly, highly recommend — every recipe — from the French fries to the chicken liver mousse has come out delicious).
Balthazar is one of my favorite restaurants. It’s a brasserie in SoHo and they have a fabulous raw seafood bar. If you’re ever in Manhattan, drop by for a plate of oysters and a glass of wine. You can even get a traditional English breakfast there. But I digress…
I adapted the recipe by using a healthy sweetener, Sucanat, instead of refined white sugar. sucanat contains all the vitamins and minerals in unrefined sugar — like in blackstrap molasses. You can find it in health food stores. I found sucanat at a local restaurant supply store. I swear there is absolutely no difference — this tasted just as good as if it were made with white sugar!
I also used grass-fed cream and grass-fed whole milk. It is not essential to use raw milk because this recipe involves boiling. But do try to use milk and cream from grass-fed cows on pasture, and eggs from pastured chickens. It makes this dessert so much healthier.
You can serve the pots de crème (or pot au crème) with whipped cream if you like (just whip a little cream with a little maple syrup to make it slightly sweet). But this dessert is heavenly — whipping cream or no whipping cream.
Equipment Needed for This Recipe
Ramekins or espresso cups