Little Pots of Chai Vanilla Custard Heaven.
These adorable little Pots de Creme, infused with the flavors of chai and vanilla, are impossibly smooth, silky, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
My whole family is currently obsessed with Chai Vanilla Pots de Creme. Why? Because it’s AMAZING. On the surface, this dessert doesn’t look like anything special. It’s rather plain looking. Unassuming. But, I dare you to take a bite without closing your eyes and luxuriating in its impossibly silky texture and rich chai vanilla deliciousness. It’s ok to moan.
Chai Vanilla Pots de Creme is the kind of dessert that makes you want to slow down and savor the experience, letting each small bite melt on your tongue, in order to make it last as long as possible. Does that seem over the top? A bit overdramatic, perhaps? We are, after all, just talking about custard. Nothing more than eggs, sugar, milk, and cream. And yet…. the transformation of these humble ingredients into something so delightful makes me want to wax eloquent. I just can’t help it.
They’re a little like vanilla creme brûlée and your favorite chai latte got together and had babies.
Also, you get to serve chai pots de creme in these adorable little pots, which happen to hold the perfect individual size serving. I love these little pots. They make me wish I spoke French. Actually, they make me wish I was eating pots de creme and sipping coffee at a cafe IN France. No speaking required. Just eating.
To top it all off, chai pots de creme is incredibly easy to make. You basically heat up some milk and cream, pour it into whipped egg yolks, and let it cool in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. The baked pots de creme will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Although, I dare you to try and wait that long to eat it. (I really don’t know why I keep daring you to do things in this post.
Chai Pots de Creme is delicious on it’s own, which is mostly how we eat it around my house. But it’s even better when served with Gingerbread Biscotti. In fact, it’s Gingerbread Biscotti that made me want to make a chai version of pots de creme in the first place. The crunchy texture and spicy chocolate flavor of the gingerbread biscotti is a delicious compliment to the creamy smoothness of the chai custard.
This recipe makes 8 individual pots de creme servings, but the unbaked custard keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week, so you can bake just a few at a time, if you like. Until last week, I only owned 4 pots de creme pots, allowing me to bake 4 servings early in the week and 4 more later on. Believe me, no one in my family complained about eating chai pots de creme twice in one week. I did finally cave and order 4 more pots in preparation for a dinner party. But, on a regular basis, I’ll probably keep baking them a few at a time. Mostly so that we aren’t tempted to eat more than one at a time. 🙂
- Combine the cream, milk, 5 tbsp sugar, and powdered chai mix in a large saucepan. Whisk to combine and heat over medium high heat until little bubbles appear around the edge of the pan.
- Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the remaining ¼ cup sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- With the mixer running, slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks in a thin, steady stream. If you pour it in too fast it will cause the eggs to scramble. Beating it into the eggs slowly tempers the yolks, creating a smooth custard. Stir in the vanilla.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher or a large measuring cup. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, and up to 1 week.
- To bake, put a rack in the center of your oven and heat to 300 degrees. Set a 9x13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish on a baking sheet. This provides extra insulation so that the pots de creme cooks slowly and evenly. Gently stir the custard and pour into pots de creme pots, filing each to ½ inch of the top. Cover each pot with their lid. Fill the glass baking dish with warm water, allowing the water to come about ⅔ of the way up the sides of the pots de creme pots.
- Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes. You'll know that the pots de creme is done if you remove one of the lids and shake the pot gently. The custard should be set, but jiggle slightly, like jell-o.
- Remove the pots from the hot water. (Tip: It can be tricky getting these little pots out of the hot water without burning yourself. I like to use a heavy duty rubber glove - the kind used for dishes and cleaning.)
- Allow the custard to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving, and up to 3 days.