Salted chocolate. Could there be anything more delicious? It’s highly debatable, if you ask me.
While there are several desserts that set my heart aflutter, there is nothing quite like indulging in high-quality, dark chocolate topped with a hearty sprinkling of flaky morsels of salt. If you haven’t tried this famous combo, here’s your chance.
For today’s recipe, I’m surrendering to my chocolate cravings by putting an extra special spin on a tried and true classic — the chocolate pot de crème. In place of a lighter chocolate, I chose to use an intensely dark, 75% cocoa variety, which is then ever-so-lightly sweetened so that the chocolate’s deep, earthy bitterness comes through in every bite.
A sprinkle of Maldon salt atop each custard serves as the perfect compliment, tempering the richness and bringing out the chocolate’s natural coffee undertones. Additionally, Maldon’s characteristic large, fat flakes form pyramid-shaped crystals that can be seen by the naked eye, adding an extra element of elegance to any confection, not to mention just the right amount of texture and crunch.
The resulting dessert is an indulgent, special-occasion custard that doesn’t take hours in the kitchen but will absolutely blow you away with its silky smooth, lusciously creamy texture and deep chocolate flavor.
This pairing, and this post, wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t take time to honor chocolate’s other best friend — red wine.
A dessert as rich and special as this one deserves to be paired with the best, which is why I served mine alongside Kendall-Jackson’s Jackson Estate Hawkeye Cabernet Sauvignon. This beautiful Cabernet has an incredibly deep ruby-purple color with bold flavors and an intriguing complexity that makes it the perfect match for dark chocolate. Rather than competing, these two standouts balance each other splendidly, bringing together all of the elements needed for a deliciously memorable finish to a meal. Enjoy!
- 8 oz. 75% dark chocolate
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- maldon salt, for sprinkling
- Chop the dark chocolate and place in a medium, heat-proof bowl. Set a fine mesh sieve over the top and aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks until pale. Add the heavy cream, whole milk and salt and stir to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken and has reached 175F on a kitchen thermometer, about 8-10 minutes.
- Stir in the vanilla then pour the custard through the strainer over the chocolate. Let sit for 1-2 minutes to melt the chocolate then stir until smooth.
- Divide the mixture evenly among 8, 5-oz ramekins. Gently rap the ramekins on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Let stand at room temperature until cooled, then transfer to the refrigerator to thoroughly chill, at least 4 hours, up to 72.
- To serve, sprinkle with maldon salt and top with a touch of unsweetened whipped cream.
For more recipes like this one, come by and see me at my blog, Butterlust.
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