Make Ahead

Spiced Chocolate Pots de Creme with Candied Bacon and Maple Cream

February 20, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

The inspiration for these puddingy pots de creme actually came from the fondue challenge. I submitted a savory fondue, but couldn't stop thinking about what I would make for a sweet one. As someone who typically prefers potato chips over chocolate, I knew it would need a salty element to satisfy my salty-sweet tooth.

I came up with an idea for a fondue with chocolate, chili, bacon, and sea salt but an idea was all it was. Luckily Table9 posted an awesome recipe, "Chocolate and Ancho-Chili Bacon of a Masterpiece," and I commented on how fabulous it was, right up my alley. Table9 really nailed that one.

As soon as this challenge was posted, the ever-supportive hardlikearmour messaged me: "This week's contest made me think about your comment on the chocolate/chile/bacon fondue recipe. How about creating a pudding with chocolate, chile powder, and sea salt?" And like that it came together. I couldn't leave out the bacon though...

I used Dorie Greenspan's pots de creme recipe from "Baking from My Home to Yours" as a jumping off point and made a number of adjustments (dark chocolate instead of bittersweet, less sugar, addition of chile powder and cinnamon). I love the candied bacon from Clinton Street Bakery, but wanted to incorporate some maple flavor so broiled bacon drizzled with maple syrup until crispy.

The spiced pots de creme really are very good on their own. Warm in flavor and feeling, they are both decadent and light. Although there is a generous amount of chile powder, they are spiced, not spicy. If you enjoy them straight out of the oven (after allowing them to cool slightly) they have the texture of pudding beneath the skin. Or, if you allow them to cool in the refrigerator for three hours to overnight, they will firm up slightly. Both are excellent.

I made my maple whipped cream with just a hint of maple, but you can adjust as you like. My original plan was to include the sea salt, and that is how I enjoyed it last night (you can see the salt crystals in my photo), but I actually think the bacon lends enough saltiness to the dish. I leave it up to you. The maple candied bacon would also be good crumbled on top of salads. - kmartinelli —kmartinelli

Test Kitchen Notes

Kmartinelli takes a nice simple chocolate pot de crème and spiffs it up with a wonderful combo of sweet, salty, smoky and spicy. I had some trouble with the plastic wrap melting in the oven, but foil worked well. —Stephanie Bourgeois

What You'll Need
  • Candied Maple Bacon and Maple Whipped Cream
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 3 tablespoons high quality maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Spiced Pots de Creme with Candied Bacon and Maple Cream
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Maple whipped cream (recipe above)
  • Maple Candied Bacon, crumbled (recipe above)
  • Sea salt (optional)
  1. Candied Maple Bacon and Maple Whipped Cream
  2. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the bacon on a Silpat-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup. Broil, flipping once, until crispy and browned. Be careful not to burn. Remove from the broiler and allow to cool. Put in a container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Put the heavy cream and remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup in a bowl. Whisk vigorously until thickened to your liking (my electric whisk made very quick work of this).
  1. Spiced Pots de Creme with Candied Bacon and Maple Cream
  2. Preheat the oven to 325F. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring 1/2 cup of the heavy cream just to a boil. Pour over the chocolate and allow to sit for 1 minute. Gently stir with a rubber spatula until combined and smooth. Set aside.
  3. Combine the milk and remaining 1 cup cream in a small pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar, and salt until well combined and slightly thickened. While whisking, drizzle in a small amount of the hot cream mixture to temper the eggs. Slowly pour in the remaining liquid while whisking.
  5. Slowly whisk the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture until fully incorporated. Stir in the chile powder and cinnamon.
  6. Pour the custard into 6 to 8 ramekins, pots de creme cups, or other small oven-safe vessels. Transfer the ramekins to a roasting or baking pan. Pour in hot water until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, poke two holes in opposite corners, and carefully put in the oven.
  7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the tops are slightly darkened and the pudding jiggles lightly when shaken.
  8. Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Allow to cool, still covered in plastic wrap and in the water bath, for at least 10 minutes. Uncover, remove from the pan, and allow to cool to room temperature. Pots de creme can either be served now or refrigerated for later.
  9. To serve, spoon a dollop of maple whipped cream in the center of the pots de creme. Sprinkle with crumbled maple candied bacon. Garnish with sea salt, if desired. Bon appetit!
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AtHomeGourmet
  • Franca
  • hardlikearmour
  • Aliwaks
  • gingerroot
A native New Yorker, I recently moved to Be'er Sheva, Israel with my husband while he completes medical school. I am a freelance food and travel writer and photographer who is always hungry and reads cookbooks in bed.

22 Reviews

AtHomeGourmet February 29, 2012
I made this recently for a small dinner party and it was a major success! It was even better the next day when the bacon was left overnight in the refrigerator because it became even more caramelized and when you bit into you were really able to savor the crunch, the smoky salty bacon flavor and the sweet maple. The only thing that I found was that the cook time in my oven took well over 40 minutes. Thank you kmartinelli…I think my boyfriend may marry me after this creation!
Franca April 13, 2011
I made this for a dinner party a couple weeks ago. Heavenly! Great job.
kmartinelli April 13, 2011
So glad it came out well! Thanks so much for letting me know :-)
hardlikearmour March 3, 2011
Congrats on EP! Guess I steered you right ;)
kmartinelli March 4, 2011
Thanks! You absolutely did :-) I'll take your advice any time! And congrats on the win!!
Aliwaks February 22, 2011 bacon candy ...loverly.
kmartinelli February 23, 2011
Haha, thanks Aliwaks!
gingerroot February 22, 2011
YUM! This sounds really good and right up my alley...for a friend's birthday, my brother and I made red velvet cupcakes topped with maple bacon dipped in white chocolate. I've also played around with a "bacon eggs and rice" ice cream with clarified butter (for eggy color - a nod and thanks to dymyno's corn ice cream from last summer) maple candied bacon and toasted rice powder.
gingerroot February 22, 2011
Oops, I missed an "n" there...sorry Mary, I meant dymnyno...:)
kmartinelli February 22, 2011
Oh wow - those cupcakes sound insanely good. We definitely have similar taste :-)
TheWimpyVegetarian February 21, 2011
WOW! This sounds fabulous. Coincidentally, a recent houseguest of ours told me about her new favorite snack: chocolate covered bacon. It just sounded so good, and I think your recipe here would give me that same perfect combo!! And with the spices - this has my vote!
kmartinelli February 21, 2011
Oooh chocolate covered bacon sounds just devlish, as is this dessert. Thanks for the vote, encouragement and kind words ChezSuzanne!
drbabs February 21, 2011
This sounds really wonderful. I've made pots de creme (my husband's favorite dessert) with other spices (cardamom, cinnamon, allspice), but never ventured into the chili territory. Great recipe!
kmartinelli February 21, 2011
Thanks drbabs! All those spices sound like great additions as well - I love how much room there is to play here.
Midge February 20, 2011
Sounds like an amazing combo.
kmartinelli February 21, 2011
Thanks Midge!
Table9 February 20, 2011
Thanks so much for the shoutout! This looks beautifully divine.
kmartinelli February 20, 2011
Thank YOU! :-)
hardlikearmour February 20, 2011
This sounds AWESOME! I'm glad it came together for you :)
kmartinelli February 20, 2011
Thanks for the push in the right direction :-)
Sagegreen February 20, 2011 really are able to make candied bacon look beautiful! Love your spices here, the chile and cinnamon with cocoa. Nice work.
kmartinelli February 20, 2011
Thank you Sagegreen! The candied bacon really is like good! Thanks for the nice comments.