Chocolate Hazelnut Pot de Crème

Je ne veux pas travailler, je ne veux pas dejeuner, je veux seulement l'oublier et puis je fume. A simple song covered by Pink Martini. The sound is light and playful, but the words not so much. Love the simplicity, even a weak French speaker like myself gets the gist. I can see myself at a lil corner cafe, sipping espresso, eating a pot de crème, and trying to let the stress melt.

Pot de crème is just what it sounds like- a pot of cream. It's a lot like mousse- thick and rich, but not heavy. You can make a pot de creme with just about anything. They're easy, use some imagination!

I went with chocolate and hazelnut, inspired by Cannelle et Vanille. Not very crazy but hey- I likes what I like. Instead of regular milk, I went with coconut milk cuz it makes everything taste better! Add some vanilla bean to the mix and you're in for a happy day. Next round will be this version by Pioneer Woman or even this by La Tartine Gourmande.

Key: make sure the eggs are at room temperature, the chocolate completely melts, and the mix is super well blended. You want it smooth. The hazelnut butter sneaks in there a little bit so don't fret. They taste good even when they're not perfect!

Make sure you set the sheet pan IN the oven with the ramekins, THEN pour the boiling water for the water bath. If you don't... you're looking at a very precarious moving job. Please, don't burn yourself.

Don't have ramekins? ME NEITHER! I used some sturdy, thick bowls I had laying around the cupboard. This will effect the cooking time. I cannot give you a time, every ramekin is different! Just keep an eye on it. Don't stress. They wont catch on fire.

Ha... that reminds me of my cousin Stefanie. She once said, 'i can't cook! i could burn water!' So please never doubt yourself... just think of her burning water and take comfort.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pot de Crème

225 grams coconut milk
225 grams heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
40 grams sugar
85 grams room temperature egg yolks
160 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
*60 grams hazelnut butter (store bought or home-made) or hazelnut extract
dollop of nutella and hazelnuts to garnish (optional)

*home made hazelnut butter: toast 1/2 cup hazelnuts, cool, and blend until very fine in a food processor. Add a teaspoon veggie oil to help smooth. If you can find hazelnuts without the skin- use them! The skin makes the nutty flavor bold- which is fine if you like that

*want to keep it silky smooth? don't use the hazelnuts, a teaspoon or 2 of extract can fix that

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a medium sauce pan, bring the coconut milk, cream, vanilla bean, hazelnut butter, and half of the sugar to a boil. Pour this over the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks (about 2.5 yolks) and the other half of the sugar. Temper the hot chocolate mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Strain the custard through a fine sieve.

Pour the custard into ramekins. If you want, sprinkle in a few chocolate chips or hazelnuts. Place the ramekins on a sheetpan and place in preheated oven. Pour hot water in the sheetpan. Bake the pot de creme in the water bath until center is set. Refrigerate until completely cooled.