Thursday, September 17, 2015

Chocolate pots de crème (William Sonoma)

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new - Albert Einstein


To me, it is always fun and challenging baking-along with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Frozen wings. Every recipe and theme that we chose is different and I know that I'm always learning something new...

For this bake along, we are baking chocolate pots de crème from the book, William Sonoma Baking Book or here

Pots de crème??? According to Wikipedia, pots de crème are French custard desserts which also refer to the porcelain cups in which the dessert is served. Typically, pots de crème are made with egg yolks, cream, milk, and a flavor, often vanilla or chocolate. The milk and cream are heated and flavoured, then mixed into the whisked egg yolks. The mixture is strained and poured into cups, which are then baked in a water bath at low heat. This description is exactly the same as the recipe that we are baking here and these are the chocolate pots de crème that I have baked...

chocolate pots de crème William Sonoma
Chocolate pots de crème (William Sonoma)

Just heat, whisk, mix and bake... Sounds easy? I thought so BUT wait till you see my first Chocolate pots de crème...

My exploded chocolate pots de crème!!!
This was me... OMG!!! when I saw these exploded desserts! LOL!
What happened??? Are these the mistakes that I have made???

Learning from my hypothetical mistakes, I'm baking another batch of chocolate pots de crème again and so I gathered the ingredients...

The egg yolks
The light cream that I used.
The decaf coffee
The good quality dark chocolate and sugar
First, I whisked the egg yolks and sugar until combined.
Here's the heating and mixing.
More mixing...

These are the things I did to avoid making the same mistakes.

To remove the bubbles and foam in the custard mixture.
To avoid any overflowing of over-rising custard.
My oven might be too hot for the custard baking.
And so I baked these chocolate pots de crème with 10°C lower than the recommended temperature.
It works!
I don't know which are the actual mistakes I made but the improvements worked!!! 
Happy that I have these chocolate pots de crème to enjoy with my strawberries!
chocolate pots de crème William Sonoma
Happy that the Chocolate pots de crème are so heavenly smooth and velvety...

I'm glad that I'm one of those who made mistakes and had tried something new. Agree?

Here's the recipe from the book, William Sonoma Baking Book or here
(with my slight modification in blue)

Serves 6 (or 3-4)
1 1/3 cups (340ml) heavy cream (half = 170ml)
1 1/3 cups (340ml) whole milk (half = 170ml)
185g (6oz) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped – I used 95g Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 70% cocoa
1 tbsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder – I used 1/2 tbsp decaff instant coffee powder
6 large egg yolks (half = 3)
1/4 cup (50g) sugar (half = 25g raw caster sugar)

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F. Have ready 6 (4) size 3/4-cup (180ml) ramekins and a shallow roasting pan.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cream, milk, chopped chocolate and espresso powder and cook, whisking frequently, until the chocolate is melted and the liquid is hot – do not allow to boil. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well blended. While whisking constantly, gradually pour the hot chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture. Pour the custard through a sieve place over a 4-cup (1L) glass measuring pitcher (or directly into the ramekins). Using a large spoon, skim off any foam and bubbles from the top.

Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins. Place the ramekins in the roasting pan and pour very hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Cover the pan with foil.

Bake the custards until they are set but the centers still jiggle slightly when a cup is gently shaken, 55-60 mins. Note: Mine is ready at 55 mins. I must admit it is difficult to gauge if the custards have been cooked or not because they are all covered with foil. I just removed them on their 55th minutes of bake and saw that they are fully cooked. That's it.

Remove the pan from the oven and leave the ramekins in the water until cool enough to handle. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hrs or up to overnight. Serve chilled... and with strawberries!

Happy Baking
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Please note that the linky tool for bake-along is no longer available.


  1. Yumyum, so nice.. Looks very high class, like some French dessert chocolate pudding.. Anna Olsen likes to bake desserts like this.. I always watch Bake With Anna Olsen, all her desserts look very elegant.. The ingredients look simple, I can eat 10 ramekins !

  2. Zoe, your second batch is perfection! So smooth and no explosions hah..hah... It's ok to make mistakes, we always learn from it :)

  3. Your red cocottes are so cute, and rhe creme looks divine!!!

  4. Looks so great! It would take me 100 tries to make something similar I guess :D

  5. Yumm yumm....always my favorite..... cute food styling..... beautiful ramekins and spoon.... :)

  6. They look so lovely...I would love to have one...Ur choice of props to go with it in pics is it

  7. Oh yes, I learned from mistakes too.
    Lovely chocolate pots de crème you've made ... nice to serve with strawberries too !

  8. Hi Zoe, I love chocolate and this is definitely on my baking list! :D

  9. Oh my goodness! I would also be so shocked at those exploded desserts! But your second batch looks too good!

  10. Hi Zoe,
    I wonder why your first ones exploded! Maybe the foil was covered too tightly? I covered mine loosely.
    Your second batch works out beautifully creamy! We enjoyed it too, and my niece even asked for the recipe! haha!

  11. morning zoe! that was really scary looking at that exploded pots de creme..hahaha! my face could be like that emoticon too!! i love the smoothness of the custard, i think i might make this in future for those make ahead desserts. Sorry for coming by late, was out of town earlier!

  12. Finally, I have time to visit one of my favorite blogger! How the weather like down there? This looks fabulous and I'm a chocoholic! This will certainly calm my addiction.