Servings: Serves 4
Ingredients 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate , coarsely chopped3/4 cup heavy cream3/4 cup whole milk2 tablespoons sugar4 egg yolksSplash Cointreau or Frangelico (optional)
Preheat oven to 300°. In the top half of a double boiler, or in a small pan or bowl suspended over, but not touching, simmering water, melt chocolate with 1/2 cup cream, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm remaining 1/4 cup cream, milk and sugar, stirring just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, whisk yolks; slowly stir in warm milk mixture. Pour egg mixture through a strainer set over the melted chocolate; stir to combine. Stir in liqueur, if using.
Divide mixture among four 4- to 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups; place cups at least 1 inch apart in a 9 x 13 x 2 baking pan. Place pan on oven rack and add hot water until it reaches 1/2 inch beneath the lip of the cups.
Bake until custard is just set at the edges but still quite soft in the center, about 45 minutes. Because the eggs will continue to cook after you pull the custards from the oven, and because the chocolate will harden as it cools, begin checking for doneness after 40 minutes. To check, lift a pot and tilt; the center of the custard should bulge.
Remove pots de crème from oven; let cool. Cover each with foil or plastic wrap, making sure the covering doesn't touch the top of the crème, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 3 days—though texture is best just hours from the oven.