These sweet individual puddings may look innocent, but they pack a nicely spicy punch from the addition of ancho chile to the custard base. They are a perfect make-ahead dessert for celebrating National Chocolate Day. Serve them topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of chile powder.
Slow-Cooker Chocolate-Chile Pots de Crème
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) half-and-half
- 3 Tbs. sugar
- 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 ancho chile, torn into a few pieces
- 3 oz. (90 g) good-quality semisweet chocolate (60 percent cacao), chopped
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- Whipped cream for serving
- Ancho chile powder for garnish
1. Have ready 4 custard cups or ramekins, each about 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml), that will fit in your slow cooker in a single layer.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the half-and-half, sugar and salt until the mixture is steaming and the sugar has dissolved. Add the ancho chile, cover, and set aside to steep for 30 minutes.
3. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Remove and discard the chile from the half-and-half. Add the chocolate to the half-and-half mixture and stir until the chocolate melts, then stir in the vanilla. In a large measuring pitcher, whisk the egg yolks just to break them up. Whisking constantly, pour the chocolate mixture into the yolks, stirring until well combined.
4. Pour the chocolate mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the custard cups, dividing it evenly. Place the cups in the slow cooker. Pour boiling water into the slow cooker to reach about halfway up the sides of the cups, being careful not to splash any water on the custards. Wrap the slow cooker lid with a clean kitchen towel, cover the cooker (making sure the kitchen towel is pulled taut), and cook on the low setting for 1 hour. The custards should be set but still a little jiggly in the center when the cups are shaken.
5. Carefully transfer the custards to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cover the cups tightly with plastic wrap, making sure it doesn’t touch the tops of the custards. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
6. Serve the custards with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of chile powder. Serves 4.
Discover the secrets to making the most of your slow cooker with
Everyday Slow Cooking, by Kim Laidlaw.