Chocolate custard (or pots de creme au chocolat) is a simple blend of chocolate, egg yolks, sugar and cream that transforms into something entirely different. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Zbigniew Bzdak

The healthy eater charges through the kitchen, dropping detritus. A fine spray of protein powder, half-drowned cubes of tofu, the scorched remains of lentils. Also egg yolks, forbidden on her healthy lips.

You admire the healthy eater, her devotion to protein powder, tofu and lentils. You admire her daily workouts, her fierce determination, her curious green concoctions. You do not admire detritus. And while you point, tight-lipped, to the sponge and mop, you cannot urge her to toss the yolks. Waste not.

And so you melt together chocolate and sugar and cream and whisk in the golden globes. You strain the custard into small glasses and line the fridge with these gleaming beauties. You’ve done right by the remaindered eggs. And righted some cosmic imbalance.


Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Wait: 2 hours

Makes: 6 servings

The French call these little cuties pots de creme au chocolat, but why complicate things?

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 percent cacao)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, recipe follows

1. Melt: Break up chocolate into the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. Pour in cream. Cook, stirring, until chocolate has melted and cream is hot. Stir in sugar and salt.

2. Temper: Whisk a few tablespoons of the hot chocolate into the yolks, then whisk the yolks back into the chocolate. Cook, whisking, until very hot and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes. Whisk in vanilla.

3. Chill: Strain custard into a Pyrex measuring cup. Pour into 4 small (2-ounce) cups, leaving some headroom. Chill until cold and set, at least 2 hours.

4. Gild: Top each custard with whipped cream.

Whipped cream: Whisk ½ cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to soft peaks.

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