Earl Grey Chocolate Pots de Creme
Serves 6 to 8 | start to finish: about 1 hour, 15 minutes (plus chilling time)
Pots De Creme:
1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons Earl Grey tea leaves
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Earl Grey Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Earl Grey tea leaves
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons caramelized cocoa nibs (to garnish)
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven.
For the Pots de Créme:
Scald the heavy cream and whole milk with the tea leaves in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Remove pan from the heat and steep tea uncovered for 10 minutes.
Place the chocolate in a large bowl. Strain the warm Earl Grey cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over the chocolate, pressing down on the tea leaves with a spatula to extract as much flavor as possible. Whisk the chocolate until completely smooth.
In another large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and sea salt. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the yolks. Divide the mixture among espresso cups or small ramekins. Place the filled cups in a large baking dish. Carefully fill the baking dish with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Cover the baking dish with foil and prick a few holes in the foil with a fork. Bake in the center of the oven until the custards are just barely set in the center, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the cups to a rack to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours. Serve topped with Earl Grey whipped cream and caramelized cocoa nibs.
For the Whipped Cream:
Scald the heavy cream with the tea leaves in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Remove pan from the heat and steep tea in the cream uncovered for 5 minutes. Strain the Earl Grey cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing down on the tea leaves with a spatula to extract as much flavor as possible. Let the cream cool to room temperature, and then cover with plastic wrap, so it does not develop a film. Refrigerate until completely chilled, then whip to desired consistency with the confectioners sugar.