Pot de crème is the French answer to American pudding. And this no-bake version whips up in minutes-literally-with the help of a trusty blender.
My friend Sarah is a fabulous cook, but she maintains that when it comes to a dinner party, the only thing that matters is the dessert. One evening, Sarah served these “petits pots” for dessert, and I found their velvety texture addictive. For those fearful of eating uncooked egg yolks, this recipe doesn’t use them, and the texture doesn’t suffer as a result.
Chocolate and rum provide the key flavors in this pudding. Sarah pairs Mount Gay rum with Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate (available in my grocery store). Sometimes I splurge and buy Valrhona bittersweet and Myers’s dark rum, a combination that always receives raves.
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules (any type, even decaf, will do)
2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Have ready 4 small ramekins or classic pot de crème pots (those are the little cups with the lids) just slightly larger than ½ cup each. (The vessels do not need to be ovenproof, as this is a no-bake recipe. You can even use teacups, so use your prettiest options.)
2. In a small saucepan or the microwave, heat the cream just until boiling. Meanwhile, dump the chopped chocolate, sugar, and espresso powder or coffee granules into a blender. When the cream is just boiling, pour it into the blender. Pop the lid on and blend on medium-high speed until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is frothy and smooth. Add the liqueur and vanilla and process until blended, about 10 seconds.
3. Using a spoon, skim off the foam from the top of the custard and discard. Pour the chocolate cream into the cups or ramekins, dividing it evenly. Top with lids (if you’re using proper porcelain pots de crème pots) or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a few chocolate shavings, if desired.
Substitute an equal amount of bourbon or dark rum for the coffee liqueur. You can also substitute a licorice-, orange-, or raspberry-flavored liqueur, but make sure to omit the instant espresso powder or coffee granules when you use these.
Storage: Cover the cups with plastic wrap (no need to press the plastic directly onto the pudding; they won’t form a skin) or lids and refrigerate for up to 3 days.