So I posted a few weeks ago that I really wanted to try Sous Vide Everything’s Pots de Creme recipe once I was home from Christmas vacation. Well, I finally did, and I have ZERO regrets.
I also learned a very important lesson that I already knew, but in my excitement to make this happen completely didn’t think of until the bad thing happened.
Hot glass and a bucket of snow don’t mix. Yes, of course I used snow for my ice bath. It’s January in Northwestern Ontario. It’s LITERALLY everywhere for hundreds of miles, it’s free, and it takes up zero freezer space like ice cubes do.
I did modify his recipe slightly (see below) – and my way does save you some time, effort, and dishes to wash. I’m always a fan of fewer dishes, fewer steps, and delicious results.
Now, my wife is a bigger fan of sugar than I am – and much less of a bitter dark chocolate fan than I am. She found these to be too dark and not sweet enough for her tastes. For me? Heavenly! So I’m going to try a batch with milk chocolate instead of the 70% dark. And MAYBE bump up the sugar slightly.
The sheer master stroke in this recipe though is DEFINITELY the Chocolate Cherry Bailey’s Irish Cream!! Oh man, does a few little tablespoons of the stuff turn into a flavour bomb!
If you’re averse to alcohol in your desserts, yes, you can absolutely leave it out. But I don’t recommend it.
I’d say if you’re looking for a chocolate-cherry flavour without the Bailey’s part, you could try adding a splash of grenadine syrup to your mixture. Maybe some maraschino cherry juice? Go ahead and experiment! That’s what cooking is about.
Anyway, on to the recipe!
Chocolate Cherry Bailey’s Pots de Creme
- Digital kitchen scale
- Measuring cups
- Instant read thermometer (or a candy thermometer that can read temps below 160°)
- Anova Nano Precision Cooker (or similar sous vide appliance)
- Sous vide container
- 250mL wide mouth Mason jars with lids
- Kitchen towel
- Ice bath large enough to hold jars
- 100 grams egg yolks (7 large)
- 550 grams heavy/whipping cream (33% milk fat)
- 175 grams 70% dark chocolate chips
- 115 grams granulated sugar
- 4 grams salt
- 3 tbsp Chocolate Cherry Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur
- Separate 7 large eggs into bowls. If you want the accuracy, you can measure the yolks by weight. Smaller eggs may take 8, extra large maybe only 6. Be super careful not to break the yolks before they're in the yolk bowl. A) You'll end up shorting yourself on yolk. B) You'll ruin any chance of using the egg whites for fun things like meringue or macarons if they're tainted with yolk. I'd put the whites straight into a storage container and then refrigerate for later use – and the yolks into a measuring cup or something easy to pour them out of slowly.
- Measure out your ingredients – the cream, chocolate, sugar, and salt. It's much easier to have everything ready and waiting to add to the pot when the time comes. Mise en place!!
- Get your sous vide container set up and filled with water.
- Put your pot on the stove over low heat. But not the absolute lowest. If low is 1 and high is 10, try for a solid 2.5 or 3 here. Of course, your stove may vary. I'm on an old electric range. Gas is its own thing, as are the fancy new induction stove tops. YMMV.
- Add the whipping cream to the pot.
- Stir steadily and constantly with the whisk until the cream reaches 158°. Your thermometer is your friend here. If you hit 160, your kitchen will NOT spontaneously combust. Just lower the heat to where it maintains without going higher. Breathe. It's all good.
- Add the chocolate and stir until it's fully melted and well combined. Give it a minute or two for the heat to do its job. Be patient. Hotter/faster isn't better for this.
- When the chocolate is fully melted and incorporated with the cream, turn off the stove and add everything else. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time, then whisk in the sugar, the salt, and finally the Chocolate Cherry Bailey's.
- Make sure the pot/mixture is off the heat. Residual heat is a real thing with electric ranges. It can mess you up.
- Set your Anova (or equivalent stick) to 167° for one hour and get that heating up.
- Get your jars out and ready. Take off the lids and set them aside. Set them up where it's easy to fill them, etc.
- Now fill your Mason jars with chocolate goo! (See notes below.)
- If you have any air bubbles in the top of your jars, hit them quickly with a blow torch. Any butane culinary torch will work, a wind-proof BBQ lighter with a torch flame, or even a trusty old propane torch that you'd use at camp or for soldering plumbing works just fine too. Say it with me … flames are fun!
- Put the lids on your jars finger tight. Don't snug them up. Just go until they start to resist and let them go.
Drop Carefully place your jars in the water bath and let them cook at 167° for one hour.
- Have an hour long epic dance party in your kitchen. The joy of what you are making should inspire this naturally. Alternately, do nothing. I don't control you.
When Cooking is Complete
- When you've decided that they're done cooking (it's sous vide … if you dance away an extra half hour, it's okay.), remove your jars to a kitchen towel to cool down slightly.
- Failure to do that last step can result in shattered dreams, crushed spirits, tears, cursing, and worst of all, broken glass and the loss of your precious chocolatey goo. (See photo.) YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
- After a few minutes, carefully and gently transfer your jars into an ice bath to chill out. I would suggest starting with room temperature water and adding ice once the jars are in it. Placing hot jars straight into a bucket of snow WILL result in catastrophic failure of your glass vessels!! Trust me on this. #experience
- Once things have cooled down, I went about 15 minutes, rescue your jars from their polar plunge, dry them off, thank them for their service, and stick them in the fridge for at least the next four hours.
- Curse the hands of time for not moving faster … like spirit fingers. Then remember these get better with time, like cheesecake. Doing this all close to bed time is great … so you can sleep through the hard part.
- Pop a top and enjoy! And OH will you enjoy! Eat the first bites really slowly. Savour it. It's worth the wait.