One of my favorite things about cooking is learning more and more about which flavors complement each other. Sure, I love lemon for it’s bright flavor that can shine on its own, but the main reason I love lemon is that the acid from a hit of lemon juice or lemon zest here and there can make the other flavors in your dish taste even better. It’s very much the same for chocolate and vanilla.
While it’s easy to think of chocolate and vanilla as opposites, I like to think of them as best friends. Vanilla is actually the perfect accompaniment to rich chocolate flavor. Just a spoonful of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract brings the flavor of chocolate to life.
With Valentine’s Day coming up soon, it’s the perfect time to indulge in these Chocolate Pots de Crème with Vanilla Bean Brittle. What is a pot de crème? It’s a fancy way of saying pudding. That’s it. This is homemade chocolate pudding, friends. It’s made with a combination of bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate + cocoa + vanilla extract for the deepest, richest taste possible.
As if chocolate pudding isn’t enough on it’s own (it is, but let’s just go for it), I went ahead and made a quick vanilla bean brittle using Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. I wish I could have photographed these better so that you could see the little flecks of vanilla bean running all through this brittle. But, it turns out that that is really hard to capture on camera, so you’ll just have to trust me!
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Chocolate Pots de Crème with Vanilla Bean Brittle
For the Chocolate Pots de Crème:
- 1-1/4 cups whole milk
- 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
- 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- Pinch of sea salt
For the Vanilla Bean Brittle:
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
- Whipped cream
- Make the Chocolate Pots de Crème: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In medium saucepan, heat milk and cream over medium heat until mixture comes just to a simmer. Remove from heat; add bittersweet chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk egg yolks, vanilla, cocoa powder and salt until well combined. Whisk milk mixture until chocolate is incorporated and mixture is smooth, then gradually whisk milk mixture into egg mixture. Pour mixture through fine mesh strainer set over large liquid measuring cup.
- Place 6 small (at least 4 ounces each) oven-proof cups, jars or ramekins in large roasting pan. Divide mixture between cups. Pour hot tap water into pan until it reaches halfway up sides of cups.
- Transfer to oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until custards are almost set in centers (they will continue to set as they cool). Remove cups from roasting pan and transfer to wire rack. Let stand 30 minutes. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator at least 4 hours or up to 2 days before serving.
- Make the Vanilla Bean Brittle: Lightly spray small rimmed baking pan with cooking spray. Place sugar and corn syrup in small saucepan and heat to boiling over medium heat. Do NOT stir. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture turns golden brown, swirling pan occasionally and brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush occasionally to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla bean paste. Pour onto prepared baking pan; do not spread. Let cool completely, then break into pieces.
- Serve Chocolate Pots de Crème topped with whipped cream and Vanilla Bean Brittle.
Home Chef Tip: Don't skip the end of Step #2 where you strain the custard mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. If you don't have a strainer, I *highly* recommend investing in one. I find myself using mine almost daily. It's imperative to strain custard mixtures to get out any tiny pieces of cooked egg that will prevent you from having a silky smooth finished product.
Disclosure: This was a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nielsen-Massey. Sponsored posts help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.