Tartine Baking Project: Recipe #20 Chocolate pots de Crème

The first time I had such a delicacy, I was in San Francisco at the restaurant Starbelly on a lady date with my BFF, Emily.  We sprung for salted caramel pot de crème for dessert, which sent us into a Meg Ryan-esque upheaval of emotions and loud complimentary noises and words.  It was uncontrollable, and I’m surprised we weren’t asked to leave.  Our server did acknowledge our joy with an understanding nod and a sincere agreement of, “I know.”  It’s hard to believe this was three or four years ago!  Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess.  Or getting old.  Meh.  I don’t feel old, so I’m going with the former.

I’ve been on quite the unintentional chocolate kick lately – devil’s food layer cake, chocolate pudding, and these adorable pots de crème. 

Lots of cream, chocolate and egg yolks.

The steady hand of my helper, commanding the sieve with balance and strength.

I went with these quilted Ball jars for a few reasons: 1.) They’re incredibly cute, 2.) The Starbelly pots de crème were served in jars, and that just may affect the taste, and 3.) A 12-pack of these is much cheaper than buying eight ramekins. 

And a dollop of softly whipped cream.  (SO EASY TO WHIP UP!  Have I mentioned this before?!)

When I was plotting out recipes for special occasions at the beginning of this l’il project, I purposefully marked this one to make in celebration of our wedding anniversary – it felt like a real celebratory dessert.  We’ve now been married for four years, together for seven, and what better way to extol such love than making a romantic dessert, right?  Since the recipe makes eight servings, and even I couldn’t indulge in such chocolate gluttony (even if I were to spread it out for a couple of days), we called in friends to celebrate with us by watching the moral drama of living in a world of zombies à la AMC’s The Walking Dead.  (Side note: In no way should this be a metaphor for our marriage.)

Judging from the super clean jars at the end of the evening, I think these were a hit.  I was a bit caught off guard because they were a little creamier than I had remembered.  But, of course, as I’ve mentioned already, the last one I had was a long time ago.  And, these were slightly warm when we ate them, even though the were cooling for nearly an hour.  These little gems were so very rich and chocolately, and even though it doesn’t look like much in the jar, it’s totally plenty for a serving.

It’s impossible to avoid the habit of dissecting people’s comments when they’re eating something I’ve made – especially if I’m going to blog about it.  The weirdest comments of the night:

“It’s really good.  It has this weird dry thing going on, but it’s good.  It’s so good.”

“It’s so rich.  I’m definitely going to have to use the bathroom after I eat this.”

(after a bite) “Hm.  Now what is this?” (She went on to polish off the rest of mine, so I totally think she liked it.)

There were two left over at the end of the night, which I put in the fridge.  We enjoyed them last night, and wow.  A night in the fridge was so good for these guys.  The consistency became a bit thicker, but still creamy and soft, Just as I remember them to be.  Ugh…so good!  I think I want to mix it up and make a different flavor of these every single week.  But that’s a terrible idea for oh so many reasons!