These black bottom caramel pots de crème is a fancy looking layered chocolate and caramel custard dessert that is surprisingly easy to make.
Pots de crème is a surprisingly easy dessert to make for a dinner party or just as simple treat. I’ve share recipes for mocha pots de creme, salted caramel pots de crème,and chocolate pots de crème with olive oil and candied kumquat. But I’ve never shared this layered black bottom caramel pots de crème, which always impresses people. They’re easier to make than it looks, with just one or two extra more steps, but they look like you bought them at a fancy pastry shop or ordered them from a fine dining restaurant. Make them for your next dinner party, special occasion, or just for a fun dessert anytime.
What is a pot de crème?
A pot de crème is basically a loose baked custard, similar to a pudding. However, most puddings are made with a starch to help thicken it, while the pot de crème is made just with egg yolks, resulting in a more rich dessert. Often pots de crème are smaller servings, because they are so rich, with just a few spoonfuls the ideal amount of dessert.
How do you make these?
Making these black bottom pot de crème starts with making a caramel. First heat cream and milk together in a small saucepan. Then melt and caramelize the white sugar until it’s a brownish red. Drizzle and pour the heated dairy into the caramel, stirring with a whisk to incorporate.
Drizzle the hot caramel into a bowl with egg yolks, whisking the entire time with a balloon whisk. You want to incorporate the hot caramel slowly into the egg yolks to prevent the egg yolks from cooking and scrambling. Whisk in the vanilla and salt.
Pour part of the custard into a glass measuring cup, and then add chopped chocolate to the remaining warm caramel, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Divide the chocolate custard into six different glass or jars, then carefully spoon the reserve caramel custard over the chocolate.
Bake in a water bath and then chill in the oven overnight to set and serve with some flaky sea salt on top.
Tips on making caramel
Making caramel can be a daunting task. But here are a few tips and tricks to help you.
- Use a silver/light colored pan: If you have never made caramel before, using a silver bottomed or light-colored pan will help you judge the color of the caramel. Watch the sugar change color and remove it off the heat once the color starts to darken
- Use a large pan: Once you add the warmed dairy, the caramel will sizzle, sputter, and bubble up. Make sure to use a large enough pan so the caramel won’t sputter jump up and spill on to the stove or onto your hand
- Take off heat early: If you are concerned about burning the caramel, remove the caramel while it is fairly light in color, and let the residual heat continue to cook the caramel. Make sure to watch the caramel once it starts changing color, as it can go from golden brown to burnt black quickly.
- Use a low heat: If you are nervous about burning the caramel, or have never made caramel before, just use a low heat. It will take longer to make the caramel, but the caramel will eventually brown, it just takes longer. A low heat gives you more control over the caramel. You can always use a medium or high heat in the beginning and then reduce the heat to low as the sugar starts to brown. But also feel free to use patience and use a low heat for the entire time.
- Ice Water Bowl: Finally, just in case, have a bowl of ice water next to the stove. If any caramel sputters up or gets on you, you can use the bowl of ice water to stick your hand into it, helping to mitigate any burns. Remember, caramel is hot and will stick to you. So just use common sense and be cautious around the molten sugar.
Make ahead and storage
You can make these pot de crème up to 2 days ahead of time. Just store covered, in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge about an hour before serving to let the custard warm up slightly for optimum flavor.
If you like these Black Bottom Pots de Créme, check out these other caramel and chocolate recipes:
- Miso Caramel Soy Sauce Brownies
- Rye Brownies with Caramel
- Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies
- Salted Caramel Bars with Bourbon Ganache
- Brookie Caramel Bars
Black Bottom Caramel Pot de Crème
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 370 g
- 1/2 cup whole milk 113 g
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar 250 g
- 6 large egg yolks 105 g
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 oz dark chocolate chopped
- Maldon sea salt or another flaky sea salt (optional, but recommended)
- Preheat an oven to 325°F. Boil some water on the stove or in a kettle, then cover and set aside.Combine the cream and milk in a small saucepan and heat until bubbles form on the side of the pan, but don’t let it come to a boil. Cover and remove pan from heat.
- Place sugar in a large pan, skillet or Dutch oven. Cook on medium low heat, until the sugar melts and starts to darken. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, until the sugar has turned a deep golden brown color, about the color of an old copper penny.
- Remove pan from heat and slowly drizzle a little bit of the still warm dairy into the caramelized sugar. The caramel will steam and bubble vigorously. Continue to drizzle and stir the dairy into the caramel, drizzling and whisking a little bit at a time until all the cream has been added. Resist the temptation to pour all the dairy into the pan at once, as the caramel will seize up and form into a huge solid chunk.Once all the cream has been added, if there are solid clumps of sugar in the sauce, gently warm the caramel on the stove over medium heat, stirring until the solid caramel pieces have dissolved.
- Place the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl. Using a balloon whisk, drizzle the still warm caramel sauce into the egg yolks, whisking the yolks as you pour the caramel. A second set of hands might be useful to whisk or pour the caramel if you aren’t super coordinated. Drizzle and whisk the caramel into the yolks, until all the caramel is incorporated. Do this slowly helps prevent the egg yolks from curdling or cooking.
- Once all the caramel is added, stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour about 2/3 of the caramel custard (about 2 cups or 500 grams worth) into a glass measuring cup with a spout. Then add the chopped chocolate to the remaining 1/3 custard, stirring until the chocolate has melted.
- Spoon or pour the chocolate custard evenly into 6 small heat proof jars or ramekins. Then carefully spoon or pour the reserve plain caramel custard over the chocolate custard evenly.Place the jars in a baking pan (the kind you bake brownies in) and place in the hot oven. Then carefully pour the boiling water into the pan until it goes about halfway up the side of the ramekins or jars, making sure not to get any water into the custard jars.Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the center of each ramekin or jar just barely jiggles. Remove from oven, let cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.To serve, remove the pot de crème from the fridge and let sit at room temperature to take some of the chill off. This will improve the flavor of the pots de crème. Sprinkle with a pinch of Maldon sea salt or other sea salt over it or use a dollop of whipped cream on top before serving.