I made this recipe last week to celebrate Bastille Day. Since making it there has been a tragedy in Nice, France. My heart and prayers goes out to all the victims and their families.

The first time I made chocolate pot de crème was for Luke and I in 2012. It was our first Christmas together and he had to work during the day. We were living in Durham, NC without our families’ but had recently found one another. Blushing… We were still newly dating and I wanted to impress him with a gourmet dinner for two when he got off of work.

That morning I woke at 5 am, as I always do on Christmas, elated and eager to celebrate the holiday. I seriously am like a 4 year old on Christmas morning. Is Santa real?! My enthusiasm for the day is through the roof and I usually start calling and texting friends and family. Unfortunately I was on the East Coast. It was 2 am in California and Washington.

Around 7 when the sun came up I decided to go for a 10 mile run. It was the perfect distraction from being alone and away from family and friends on Christmas. It was a beautiful, crisp morning and as I ran around Durham, alone with my thoughts, I mentally began to prepare for the dinner I was going to create once I arrived home. Thinking through the list of ingredients, I suddenly realized I had forgotten to purchase eggs. No problem. I’ll run to the grocery store. Ha ha. Yaaaa it’s not Safeway in SF. It’s Krogers in Durham and it was closed. I panicked. Do I call my friend Don Ball and request to borrow some eggs? I had just ran by the Washington Duke Inn to say hello as he was also working on Christmas Day. Perhaps the kitchen at the Wa Duke could lend me some eggs?! I certainly didn’t want to inquire.

I continued running, hoping for an alternative and fortunately ran by a gas station that was open. Bingo! Eggs!

When I arrived home, I quickly got to work. Chocolate pot de crème isn’t a complicated recipe however it requires time. The custards must chill for a few hours before serving. If you’ve never experienced chocolate pot de crème (or even if you have), I urge you to head to the store, obtain the ingredients, and make it as soon as possible. It doesn’t have to be Christmas. It doesn’t have to be Bastille Day. It merely has to be a day that you are alive on this planet wanting to taste something decadent and phenomenal. Bon Appetite!

2 c half & half
½ c whole milk
6 oz 63% or higher dark chocolate
1 tb cinnamon
1 ts chili powder
¼ ts salt
½ ts vanilla
6 large egg yolks
1/3 c sugar

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees
-Bring the half & half and milk to a simmer on medium to high heat
-Once it is about to boil, remove from heat
-Add chopped chocolate
-Add cinnamon, chili powder, salt, and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly incorporated
-Whisk egg yolk and sugar in a separate large bowl
-Gradually add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture
-Cover and let cool for five minutes
-Divide custard among 6 ramekins or custard cups
-Cover each with foil
-Place ramekins into a large baking dish that is filled with 1” of water
-Bake for 50-55 minutes until custards are set but slightly soft
-Remove foil
-Refrigerate for 3-4 hours covered with plastic wrap
-Garnish with a strawberry rose, berries, or fresh whipped cream