I love when a recipe calls for stuff I would never have thought of, and it really adds a mysterious and subtle complexity to the dish. I mean, anyone can figure out that peanut butter and chocolate might go well together in a dessert (although bless you, whoever did it first!) but to combine chocolate, orange zest, basil, and pepper is something I would not have come up with on my own.
Fortunately, the author of Speed Vegan did, in this recipe for Chocolate Pots De Crème – and man, it’s so cool! It’s definitely something I’d call unique, so maybe don’t serve it to your pickiest friends, but if you enjoy things that are slightly different (while still being creamy, chocolatey, sweet, and decadent) you should give this one a whirl. If nothing else, it definitely lives up to the premise of being quick to prepare – it does have to set in the fridge for a couple hours, but the prep time is super short. Took me five minutes, tops.
And now for a complete non-sequitur: once, several years ago, when my little brother was about 12 or so, he and I and my husband were hanging out at my parents’ house but they weren’t home – they’d gone out shopping or something, with no particular return time set. My mom gets a phone call and my brother answers it. The person asks how long until my mom gets back and my brother says “Two minutes, tops.”
Maybe you had to be there, but it seriously busted us up. What kind of estimate is that? Two minutes? TOPS? No way are they possibly going to take longer than two minutes to get home, that would be crazy! Now whenever I hear someone use the expression “five minutes, tops,” it always makes me laugh.
But back to the recipe at hand. As promised, it’s very easy (two minutes, tops!). Just heat a can of coconut milk on the stove until it’s simmering, and while it’s doing that chop up a few ounces of chocolate.
His recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, but I have featured a couple of recipes calling for dark chocolate and it seems to be tough for a lot of people to find solid bar chocolates without refined sugar or soy lecithin, so from now on I’m going to try to start with 100% baking chocolate and include sweeteners and such in the recipe. For those of you who don’t particularly care about avoiding sugar and soy lecithin, I’ll point out how to do it with regular chocolate too.
Add your chocolate to a blender or food processor and then pour the hot coconut milk over it. Add some agave nectar, vanilla, basil, orange zest, and a bit of freshly ground pepper and blend until smooth.
You’ll notice the sides of my food processor are super messy – this is because I can never remember that hot things like to explode out of the blender. Use caution and make sure you’ve got your top on nice and tight before you blend!
Pour the blended chocolate into 2-4 small cups (I used 2 ramekins and got them pretty full – this is super rich so you really could get away with 4 smaller bowls) The original recipe suggests straining this through a fine mesh sieve before putting it in the bowls – I skipped this step because…well, because I’m lazy. There were some very small flecks of basil and orange zest that didn’t bother me but if you want it to be perfectly smooth go ahead and strain it first.
Let the bowls sit in the fridge for about 3 hours or until the chocolate is nice and firm and enjoy! The texture is so luxurious, it’s like a nice thick mousse. If the idea of basil and pepper in your chocolate doesn’t excite you, go ahead and skip it – the chocolate crème works great without it. The orange zest alone is a lot of fun, or you could add whiskey if you want to make it really decadent. A bit of mint would also be great – I suspect this recipe is really flexible so be creative!
So, does anyone have any funny stories of stuff their family did when you were younger?
Chocolate Pots De Crème (Vegan, Gluten Free)
- 1 14 oz can regular coconut milk
- 5 oz bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped (I used about 4.5 oz of 100% baking chocolate - if you want to do this, add an additional Tablespoon of agave and an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract)
- ½ cup basil leaves coarsely torn (I used about 1/4 cup)
- 2 Tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon crushed peppercorns I just used a few turns of black pepper from the pepper grinder
- Put the coconut milk in a small pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Put the chocolate in a blender or food processor and pour the hot coconut milk over it. Add basil, agave, orange zest, vanilla extract, and pepper and blend until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve (I skipped this step but did have small flecks of basil in the final dish so you may want to strain yours to make it super smooth.) Divide among four small cups. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.
20 thoughts on “Chocolate Pots De Crème (Vegan, Gluten Free)”
Thank you so much for your prompt answer — I want to make this for visiting relatives Jan 2 — I’ll run out and get some “real” coconut milk! It is astonishingly yummy!
I made it and it was delicious!!! The only problem I had was that it never solidified — the top 1/8 inch got mousse-y but it was still liquid underneath. I used “So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut milk beverage” instead of canned milk — are they different? Do you think this is my problem? thanks…
Yes, I think that was almost definitely your problem – that coconut milk is more of a liquid beverage, like soy milk or almond milk, whereas the stuff they sell in cans is actually just the “milk” from coconuts, and is mostly solid at room temperature or colder (so it would solidify in the fridge for sure). It would be nice if they would give them different names, people get confused about that all the time!
Needed a gluten, dairy, egg free dessert for Christmas due to SIL’s allergies. OMG this is so delicious. I left out the agave completely using 65% chocolate. This is now a regular part of the dessert rotation. And parve so we can eat it with kosher friends as well.
Can one use the coconut milk that is refrigerated, not the can? I.. Almond milk/coconut , made by Silk or other companies.
It’s chilling in the fridge now! I made a double batch and ate what was left out of the measuring cup with a spoon. So good!
upping the egg yolks can help create that mouth feel that is missing without the coconut milk
Wow, I would have never thought about those combination of flavors either! Can’t wait to try something like this!
absolutely divine 🙂
Awesome! I had a bumper crop of basil last year… we’ll see.
I really like this recipe Jessica. It proves that a vegan, healthy dessert can also be so delicious! I will make it, for sure! 🙂
I make my own version of this using about 6 oz of chocolate and we just love it. I did want to note that it gets aerated much better in the blender. Just take a kitchen towel, fold and press down over the top of the blender to make sure the lid stays on and you don’t get burned. It’s a wonderful recipe. Thank you for sharing it. Oh, and to Laurel, I think you need actual chocolate because the cacao butter also helps to keep it solidified. Try it though. It’s marvelous.
I work at a decidedly not vegan restaurant which serves delightful pots de creme, which made my vegan transition difficult. This recipe is extra exciting to me for that very reason! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Visit http://www.food-like.com and enjoy The Vegan Food-Like Blog for more about my journey and adventures in the vegan world.
Wow, this sounds amazing. I would have never thought to combine basil + chocolate, although the combo sounds delicious! I agree with you on chocolate and peanut butter. My favorite combo of foods is probably almond and maple right now, but it does change every couple months! This is my first time here (from foodgawker) + I love your blog!
These looks heavenly!
Would it be possible to use soymilk instead of coconut milk? Also, I wonder if it’d be possible to make this same recipe with cocoa powder, but I’m not sure if that is pushing it…. You see I am caesin intolerant so I need recipes that are vegan, and this is wonderous! 🙂
I don’t think you could replace the coconut milk – the fact that it turns solid in the fridge is what gives the creme texture. If you used soy milk you’d just end up with chocolate milk 🙂
Maaaaaybe you could use cocoa powder but I think it would lose some of the silkiness and texture there as well.
I’m glad my recipes are helpful for your diet, it’s so much easier to live with food restrictions once you learn to work with different ingredients!
This looks delish! I would never in my life put this combo together so I can’t wait to give this a try.
This looks amazing! I can’t wait to make this at some point!
Well hello there… Holy YUM! Seriously, why did I just read this post at nearly 8PM – there is no way I can make this and eat it tonight. Guess I will just have to deal with a serious craving until tomorrow.
See you in my dreams lovely pots de creme!