This classic French dessert is essentially the perfect adult chocolate pudding. These smooth-as-silk baked custards are rich and well balanced with a deep chocolate flavor that is complemented by earthy cardamom. Topped with a cloud of sweet cardamom whipped cream and boozy maraschino cherries, these individual indulgences could easily be the final course in an elegant dinner or just a sweet treat after family supper. They’ll also keep in the fridge for a few days, so it’s a great dessert to make ahead or have on hand for those late-night cravings.
TIPS & TRICKS
Don’t have or can’t find Luxardo cherries? Try Tillen Farms Bada Bing cherries. Remove the stems from the cherries before using.
Since Bada Bing cherries are larger than Luxardo, increase the syrup and liqueur to 1 tablespoon each.
Use a good quality chocolate. Since these custards are low on sugar, the flavor of the chocolate is front and center, and a lower- quality chocolate may be too bitter. If you prefer a sweeter custard, use a chocolate with a lower percentage of cocoa or even milk chocolate.
You can use baking bars or your favorite specialty chocolate bar. Do not use choco- late chips or morsels as they usually contain an anti-melting agent to help them keep their shape. These can result in a mixture that isn’t smooth or is gooey.
Chocolate-Cardamom Pot de Crème
For the Boozy Cherries
- 15 Luxardo cherries
- 2 teaspoons Luxardo cherry syrup
- 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
For the Pot de Crème
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups (480ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4 ounces (116g) semisweet chocolate bars, chopped
MAKE THE BOOZY CHERRIES
- In a glass jar, combine the cherries, syrup, and orange liqueur. Cover and let stand for at least 3 hours or store at room temperature for up to 1 month.
MAKE THE POT DE CRÈME
- Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Place five (6- to 8-ounce) ramekins in a large casserole dish.
- In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and salt until combined. Set aside.
- Place a fine mesh sieve over a large glass measuring cup or other heat-proof pouring vessel and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1½ cups of the cream, the milk, espresso powder, and ½ teaspoon of the cardamom. Whisk occasionally, just until the milk starts to simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until smooth.
- While whisking, slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. Strain the mixture through the sieve and divide the strained batter among the ramekins.
- Carefully pour hot tap water into the pan until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan tightly with foil and poke several holes in the top with a fork. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven.
- Bake until the edges look set but the centers jiggle when shaken, about 35 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and remove the foil. Transfer the ramekins to a wire cooling rack and let cool until slightly warm, about an hour. Or cool completely, cover, and chill until ready to serve, up to 3 days.
- When ready to serve, make the whipped cream. In a medium bowl with a whisk, beat together the remaining ½ cup of cream, remaining tablespoon of sugar, and remaining ⅛ teaspoon of cardamom until soft peaks form. Dollop over the custard and top with the Boozy Cherries.