This pot au crème, or pot de lait d'amande au chocolat is pareve and excellent for a Passover seder or any large festive holiday festive meal where cooking is prohibited, since it can be made a day or two in advance (it needs at least 12 hours of setting time) and still served to plenty of oohs and aahs.
- Prep Time
- 2 vanilla beans
- 3 1/2 cups sweetened vanilla almond milk (homemade or storebought)
- 12 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons potato starch
- 1 teaspoon real almond extract
- 12 ounces dark, bittersweet, or semi-sweet chocolate,chopped into pieces no bigger than 1/2 inch or in chips (1 2/3 cup)
1. Set up large bowl filled with ice water, big enough for a tall saucepan to sit in. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and reserve both the seeds and pods separately.
2. Line a strainer with a layer of cheesecloth. Pour the almond milk through it into a tall saucepan and set the pan over medium heat. Add both vanilla bean pods and bring to a gentle boil. Discard the cheesecloth, wash the strainer. Set aside. Prepare a bowl, preferably one with a spout.
3. While the vanilla is coming to a boil, mix the egg yolks, reserved vanilla bean seeds, brown sugar and potato starch and whisk until thoroughly combined. It will be a heavy mixture. While whisking, gently drizzle the hot almond milk into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously, until it is all incorporated. (See kitchen tip) Add the mixture back to the pot and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a large spoon, for about 1 minute, until it is thickened and easily coats the back of the spoon. Be careful not to let it boil or the eggs will scramble. (If they do just a bit, don’t throw the mixture away; you can salvage it in the next step, when you strain; you might not have quite as much, though and if I lot is curdled, try again.)
4. Remove from the heat, and quickly add the chocolate and stir to incorporate as the chocolate melts. Set the clean fine-mesh strainer over the prepared bowl, and use the spoon to stir and gently push the mixture through the sieve into the bowl. Quickly place the mixture in the ice bath, continuing to stir for about 1 to 2 minutes. This will help keep it creamy while it comes to room temperature.
5. Quickly pour the mixture in 8 small ramekins or decorative bowls for serving. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure not to touch the top of the mixture. Refrigerate until fully chilled at least 12 hours. It will firm up quickly as it cools. It will keep, refrigerated, for 2 days.
- Dairy milk and nut milks have different nutritional components and react differently in puddings, flan or any custard--cooked baked or otherwise--so unfortunately you can’t make substitutions. When using almond milk, avoid a lumpy mess by adding a secondary binding thickener such as potato starch when necessary. Keep in mind that it will cook faster nad be more temperamental. Make sure you strain before allowing it to cool in the ramekins.
- This recipe is easy to scale back to serve to 4 - simply cut it in half.
- When pouring an ingredient into your mixture and whisking at the same time, you won’t have a hand left to steady the bowl. If it wobbles, make a “nest” out of a slightly damp dish towel, set the bowl into it and whisk away. Or, you can always ask someone to hold the bowl.