Pot de crème tends to get short shrift in comparison to its flashy cousin, Crème Brûlée.  That’s unfortunate because it certainly isn’t any more difficult to make.  So I spiced it up to give it a chance to shine in its own right.  I also reduced the sugar a bit to let the spicy notes stand out more.  Trust me:  the flavor combination rolls across your palate in a way that may let you see dessert in a whole new way.


Serves 4

8 ounces milk (preferably whole)

8 ounces heavy cream

1” piece of ginger, peeled, cut into 4 slices

4 pods green cardamom, crushed

1 stick cinnamon

1 chile de arbol, broken

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt

4 ounces milk chocolate

1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate with cayenne

Whipped cream for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Set a pan containing a quart of water on the stove to heat.
  2. Pour milk and cream into a stainless steel saucepan.  Add ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and the chile de arbol.  Stir, then set over medium heat.  Bring to a scald (tiny, uniform bubbles will appear all around the perimeter), then remove from heat and put a lid on the pot.  Let spices steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Whisk egg yolks together in a mixing bowl.  Add the salt to the sugar, and add them to the yolks  in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously.
  4. Break milk chocolate into pieces and place in a separate mixing bowl.  Set a strainer over the bowl.  Strain the milk and cream mixture into this bowl and let sit for one minute for the chocolate to melt.  Discard spices.  Stir mixture with a spatula to completely incorporate melted chocolate.
  5. Temper chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar by pouring in a slow, steady stream, and whisking all the while.
  6. Divide among 4 ramekins.  Break the piece of cayenne-chocolate into 4 sections.  Drop one into each of the ramekins.
  7. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet with 4 sides.  Set the baking sheet in the oven.  Pour the hot water into a large measuring cup or pitcher.  Use that to pour hot water into the baking sheet so that it comes almost to the lip.
  8. Bake custards for 25-30 minutes.  When done, they should still be a bit jiggly.
  9. Cool before serving.  Top with a splosh of whipped cream.

About thesolitarycook

I'm a chef, a cook, a teacher, a reader, a writer, a bike-rider, a dog- and cat-woman
This entry was posted in Desserts, RECIPES and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Mmmmm… chocolate pot de creme is so delicious. I would love to have one of those right now.

  2. I don’t have chocolate with cayenne, I do have semi sweet chocolate. How much cayenne would I add?

  3. Kathy Whittenberger says:

    Is that Cinq fleurs?

  4. Hannah says:

    I love your flavors here and the reduced sweetness. I have such a weakness for custards. I made baked tapioca over the weekend and was just pondering what to do with with the whole milk and cream leftover in my fridge…now I know!

    • Oh, me too, Hannah. I love custards. My son especially loves tapioca and I miss making it for him. If you make this one, or a variation of your own, please let me know what you think.

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