Petits Pots de Crème

Vanilla, Chocolate and Coffee Custards


Flavoured custards, traditionally baked and served in small, decorative porcelain pots, differ from moulded custards such as the Crème Renversée au Caramel in that they are not turned out, but rather served in the pots in which they are baked. Like other custards, they must be cooked in a bain-marie and allowed to cool completely before serving.

750 ml (1.33 pints) milk
150 g (5 oz) sugar
Few drops vanilla essence
5 ml(1 tsp) instant coffee
30 ml (2 tbsp) cocoa powder
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

EQUIPMENT: 12 pots de crème or ramekins

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F) mark 6.

Combine the milk sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, remove from the heat.

Put the instant coffee, the cocoa powder and a few drops of vanilla essence in separate heatproof bowls.

Combine the whole eggs and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to blend. Whisk in the hot milk. Strain and divide the mixture equally between the 3 bowls. Whisk to dissolve the flavourings. Fill 4 of the pots de crème or ramekins with the coffee mixture, 4 with the chocolate, and the remaining 4 with the vanilla. Skim off any bubbles or froth on the surface with a spoon.

Line the bottom of a roasting tin with baking parchment. Set the pots de crème or ramekins in the roasting tin without touching one another. Pour hot water into the tin to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bring the water to simmering point over medium heat and transfer the tin to the oven. Reduce the oven heat to 190 C (375 F) mark 5 and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the blade of a knife or wooden cocktail stick inserted in the centre of the custards comes out clean. Remove from the roasting tin. Leave to cool, then refrigerate. Serve chilled.

copyright (c) 1991 Le Cordon Blue