“Pots de creme is just a fancy way of saying pudding”.
No. Just stop right there. Please, just, no.
I feel like this is the moment when everyone says to themselves, “well here’s a pretentious foodie if I ever saw one”. Truthfully, I don’t mean to sound pretentious but really, the two are completely different things. When the lines blur I feel like that is when things are forgotten and if somewhere down the line pots de creme becomes non-existent and all we have is pudding, well… That just sounds awful to me. Pots de creme is about 100 times better than pudding.
So what is the difference? I’m glad you asked.
Pudding and pots de creme are both creamy and usually served cold. They look somewhat similar though? Here is where they differ. Pudding is milk/cream flavored and uses a thickening agent to help thicken it, i.e cornstarch, arrowroot, eggs, tapioca. This is all done on the stove-top. Heating of the milk and combining with the thickener then whisked on a hot stove until thickened.
Now, pots de creme is made with milk/cream and flavorings with eggs, and is baked. You make a liaison with the cream/milk and eggs mix it together then bake the custard until it is set.
Now another question is, what’s the difference between pots de creme and creme brulee? Sugar. That is the only difference between the two. Creme brulee is simply a pots de creme sprinkled with extra sugar that is bruleed on top. So if you make pots de creme and you want to be extra fancy, just brulee and it make it creme brulee! Easy as that.
And please, don’t get me started on mousse. Mousse is so far from both of these it’s ridiculous! Just go make this recipe and indulge in the rich decadency that will put you in a food coma.
Chocolate Pot De Creme
(Recipe adapted from Callebaut)
300 g whole milk
700 g heavy cream
12 large egg yolks
110 g sugar
140 g callebaut (or any other good quality chocolate) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 200F.
Heat the milk and cream in a large saucepan until just simmering.
Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until ribbons appear and color pales. Slowly whisk some of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks to temper, then combine all of the egg yolk mixture with all of the cream.
Place the chocolate in a large stainless steel bowl and pour the still hot cream and egg mixture overtop. Whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth then use an immersion blender to help emulsify it.
Pour into small ramekins and bake for about 40 minutes or until barely set and the middle is still somewhat loose.
Chill and serve with whipped cream.