This dessert, served chilled in ramekins, is a great dessert when people are coming over since it’s make-ahead and a little bit unusual. You will need more cream than the one cup the recipe calls for as the dessert is very chocolatey and needs accompanying cream to cut the richness.
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (better to use good quality), finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
pinch of salt
extra cream for whipping and sugar to make sweetened whip cream
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325F. Have four 5-ounce ramekins or 6-ounce custard cups and a 9×13 inch baking pan ready. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath.
2. Bring the cream just to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate and vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
3. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a large bowl, breaking up any large lumps of sugar. Add 1/2 cup of the cream mixture and whisk gently (to avoid creating air bubbles) to blend well. Pour in the remaining cream mixture into a 2-cup glass measure or a bowl with a pour spout.
4. Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins. Transfer the ramekins to the baking pan, place it in the oven, and add enough boiling water to the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil to keep a skin from forming over the custards.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the custards are barely set around the edges and still jiggly in the center. Do not overbake; the custards will set further as they cool.
6. Remove the pan from the oven and, with tongs, a wide spatula, or an oven mitt, carefully transfer the ramekins to a wide wire rack. Let cool to room temperature, the refrigerate loosely covered, until thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours, or up to 1 day.
7. Serve the chilled pots de creme in their ramekins with accompanying cream.