Sous-vide maple mocha pots de creme
Rich, sweet and incredibly silky, these chocolatey mocha and maple pots de creme couldn’t be easier when given the sous vide treatment. It’s basically restaurant-grade pudding made at home.
I made a lot of custards in culinary school. Sweet, savory, simple, fancy—you name it. The idea was to learn the art of tempering.
Slowly, with the patience of a saint, I had to bring the cream to a boil, add an egg at a time and whisk until the texture was just right. A step too far and my silky custard would become a clumpy mess.
While custard is extraordinarily easy to make, it’s also surprisingly easy to mess up. But if you want it to be foolproof, there’s no better way to make it than sous vide.
Flipping through the pages of Issue 3 of Sous Vide Magazine, I came upon the recipe for mocha pot de creme, which is nothing more than a fancy-sounding chocolate custard with espresso. The recipe calls for cooking the chocolate in a standard sous-vide pouch. However, an article in the previous issues of the magazine made the case for cooking more things sous vide in a jar.
Pot de creme is a perfect jar candidate for sous vide, since it makes cleanup a breeze and cuts out the plating step. It also makes this chocolate treat perfectly giftable.
The recipe from Sous Vide Magazine was pretty straightforward and easy to follow. I tweaked a few things here and there and added a little strawberry sauce for color.
The recipe calls for serving the chocolate chilled. However, at room temp this dessert is rich and silky, which is how I like it. Cold straight out of the fridge, the mousse is dense and the bitter flavor of dark chocolate is pretty pronounced. It’s delicious either way, and the strawberry gives it a hit of acidity and sweetness. A sprinkle of salt at the end is non-negotiable.
The sous vide water bath takes a long time to get up to temp, so make sure that it’s the first thing you do before starting the recipe. Also, it’s a good idea to put the mason jars in the water as it heats up. That way the glass can come to temperature with the water, which will keep it from breaking.
MAKES 4 8-ounce portions
PREP TIME: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes
½ cup espresso
¾ cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
6 egg yolks
½ cup maple syrup
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons honey
Fleur de sel, for sprinkling
- Set the water bath to 180°F/82°C.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the espresso, milk, and heavy cream. As soon as it reaches a boil, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla until combined. Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl and whisk until smooth.
- For easy pouring, transfer the liquid to a liquid measuring cup or pitcher.
- Pour the chocolate liquid evenly between the mason jars. Tightly place the lids on the jars.
- Gently place the jars into the pot, making sure they are touching the bottom.
- When the water gets to temperature, cook the chocolate for 30 minutes.
- While that’s cooking, make the strawberry sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the strawberries, honey and 1/2 cup water until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer until the strawberries are cooked down and all the liquid is reduced, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
- Once the chocolate is done, use tongs to remove the jars from the water and let cool slightly. Transfer to the fridge to chill at least 1 hour.
- Serve from the jar. Top with strawberry sauce and a pinch of fleur de sel.