Almond & Chocolate Pots de Creme

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I love the fancy name of this dessert. It almost sounds like you have to be a certified French pastry chef to give it a try. Bonsoir, aujourd’hui, nous améliorerons chocolat pots de crème. Oh la la!  (Apologies for my poor French.)

Well, regardless of cooking skill (or place of birth), this is definitely something you can and should try at home folks. It’s actually surprisingly simple to make. It only takes about 10 minutes to prepare and an hour in the fridge for it to get the right consistency. It’s bittersweet, chocolaty and slightly similar to a mousse with a silky creamy texture. And it is madly popular in our house at the moment. It’s great because you can make it in advance, hide it deep inside the fridge and “forget” it for a couple of days. And then you have a nice chocolate surprise waiting for you when you least expect it.

Most versions of this custard are made on cream, our version is dairy-free and instead made on almond milk with a touch of almond butter for extra flavor. It goes down a treat.

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If you prefer a vegan chocolate mousse, you can try this simple raw chocolate mousse recipe instead. It’s very different but also very delicious.

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I should probably add that when we baked these for the photo-shoot, I had accidentally set the oven on too high temperature, which made them puff up slightly. Almost like a chocolate fondant. But they still tasted amazing and were creamy inside. Normally when we make them they have a smoother surface. I offered to run to the store and get more chocolate so we could bake them again, but Luise claimed that it was dangerous to have 12 cups of creamy chocolate dessert in the fridge …

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Almond & Chocolate Pots de Creme
Makes 6 small cups

Depending on how sweet or bitter your chocolate is you might want to adjust the amount of maple syrup. If you follow the recipe it will turn out bittersweet, which is exactly how we prefer it.

1 cup / 240 ml unsweetened almond milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
2 tbsp almond butter
2 organic egg yolks, room tempered
2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 pinch sea salt
3 1/2 oz / 100 g organic fair-trade dark chocolate (minimum 70%), coarsely chopped

Serve with
1/2 cup / 120 ml Turkish yogurt

10 fresh raspberries of any seasonal fruit 
1 small handful pistachio nuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C. In a small saucepan, gently heat almond milk, vanilla bean and almond butter to a low simmer. Stir a few times to make sure the almond butter dissolves. Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks, maple syrup and sea salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Remove the milk from the heat and discard (or save for another batch) the vanilla bean. Add dark chocolate and stir to make sure it melts into the milk. Now slowly pour the molten chocolate mixture over the eggs while constantly whisking. This is important to prevent the eggs from coagulating. If you want a completely smooth dessert you can strain it through a sieve. We however prefer ours with crunch from the almond butter, so we skip this step. Place 6 oven-proof small ramekins, glasses or cups inside a deep baking pan and fill the pan up with hot water. Pour the custard into the cups and carefully place the baking pan on a rack inside the oven. Bake until the center is almost set, about 30 minutes (custards will firm as they cool). Let cool completely and then refrigerate for about an hour before serving. Top with a dollop of Turkish yogurt, some fresh berries and pistachio nuts.