Maple Chocolate Pots with Olive Oil Thyme Crumble

44 Comments

Chocolate Pots

Hands up if you’re the person who always orders the chocolate option for dessert in a restaurant?

Until recently, that was me. In fact I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t seriously consider something chocolate based if you took me out for dinner tomorrow. But as I’ve got older, I’ve started to appreciate other flavours on my plate, subtle sweetness, spice and seasonal ingredients like this simple honey almond cake with strawberries.

Maple Chocolate Pots with Olive Oil Thyme Crumble

I appreciate that this is a slightly odd opening given that today’s post is a chocolate dessert. But my argument is that if you’re going to eat chocolate, make it count. Ditch the dry cake or mousse made with too much cream (that leaves your mouth tasting more of fat than chocolate) and indulge in something deeply, deliciously chocolaty.

These little pots can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Make them with milk chocolate for a party of children, add a little alcohol for grown ups, replace the maple syrup with sugar or leave it out altogether for a truly truffly dark dessert.

Maple Chocolate Pots with Olive Oil Thyme Crumble

What’s also exciting about this dessert is the crunchy crumble topping. The original recipe comes from my well thumbed copy of Sara Forte’s Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook where it sits atop a silken tofu lemon cream. I’m not yet convinced about tofu for dessert but loved the idea of sweet crisp oats and a hint of herb. Thyme and chocolate are perfect partners and replacing Sara’s coconut with olive oil creates a marriage of flavours that I’ll definitely make again.

Maple Chocolate Pots with Olive Oil Thyme Crumble

In terms of ratio, I like to add a generous dollop of cream and sprinkling of crumble on top of each pot. The custards are rich and the cream and crumble cut through, allowing you to eat just a little more than you probably should.

Next time you eat out in a restaurant, consider options other than the chocolaty dessert. After all, if you can make something like this at home, can anywhere else compete?

Maple Chocolate Pots with Olive Oil Thyme Crumble

Maple Chocolate Pots with Olive Oil Thyme Crumble

(makes 6)

*The crumble can go in the oven at the same time as your chocolate pots so prepare it first, make the pots then pop them both in together, keeping a good eye on your timings*

Ingredients:

For the olive oil thyme crumble (adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook)
3 tbsp olive oil
15ml maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
Large pinch salt
Heaped tbsp fresh thyme leaves, picked
65g large rolled oats
40g flaked almonds

For the chocolate pots (adapted from Ready for Dessert)
200g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
500ml single cream
40ml maple syrup
Pinch salt
6 large free range egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

To assemble
200ml double cream
Seeds from half a vanilla pod
Thyme flowers to decorate, optional

Method:

For the olive oil thyme crumble
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla paste and salt. Rub the thyme leaves between your fingers to release the scent then combine with the wet mixture, oats and almonds. Spread on the baking sheet and set aside while you make your chocolate pots. 

When it comes to baking the crumble, it will take about 20 minutes but keep an eye on it as the ingredients can catch and go from golden to burnt pretty quickly.

For the chocolate pots
Place six ramekins in a roasting tin or deep baking dish (mine were on the large side, around 125ml capacity would be ideal so they look generously full).

Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, maple syrup and salt until hot to the touch (but not boiling) and the maple syrup has dissolved. Pour the hot cream mixture over your chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

When the chocolate mixture is tepid, whisk in the eggs and vanilla. If it looks at all grainy, blitz the mixture in a blender or whisk well until completely smooth. Divide the mixture between the six ramekins.

Fill the baking dish with warm water so that it reaches about half way up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the whole thing with tin foil and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the outside of each custard is set but there’s still a little wobble in the middle.

Remove the custards carefully from the water bath and allow to cool on a wire rack.

To assemble
Whip the cream until soft peaks form then fold in the vanilla seeds. Place a dollop of cream on each chocolate pot and scatter with the crumble. Decorate with a few thyme leaves, if you like.

The pots are best served at room temperature. If you’re not going to eat them straight away, refrigerate then take them out about 15 minutes before you want to eat, adding the cream and crumble at the last minute.


44 RESPONSES TO Maple Chocolate Pots with Olive Oil Thyme Crumble

  1. These look and sound quite special. Like you, my tastes have evolved, and I now much prefer savoury over sweet. But a small ramekin of this would be a lovely treat. I have Sara’s book but haven’t really explored explored it (bad Amazon habit!). I think I need to find time to do so. Thanks for these recipes.

    • Oh, you must give some of her recipes a go – I haven’t cooked so much from a recipe book in ages! I’ve mostly tried the savoury stuff, but the almond cake and cookies are both fab too :-)

  2. Marion -

    This sounds wonderfully decadent. The topping sounds wonderful. I’m planning a supper party for friends on Friday and I think this will now be my dessert option. Thank you!

  3. This looks fantastic! However, if there’s is no lemon tart on the menu, dessert is always something chocolaty!

  4. Oh my goodness. That looks delicious! It’s morning where I am, so I’ve only just had breakfast – not the best time of day to be getting a chocolate craving ;) haha. I honestly haven’t eaten out in so long, I’ve forgotten what I usually get for dessert, but anything with caramel or maple syrup is usually a winner for me!

    • Nothing wrong with a chocolate craving at breakfast time… ;-)

      • Kate -

        Georgia: You’re not alone, my chocolate cravings mean I quite often eat Milk Chocolate Alpen Bars if I need an on-the-go breakfast – they contain more cereal than chocolate, but boy does that chocolate make a difference and set me up for the day.

        Kate: I’m so glad you publish your posts on Monday mornings; they are a delight to wake up to and mean my week’s always start off on good, happy notes – thank you! :)

        • Ah, thank you! I’m so happy to be a part of the start of your week!

  5. Gorgeous! I love the photos, and the idea of this combination is mouthwatering. I totally agree on making chocolate count. I always go for fruit-based desserts rather than chocolate, but every now and again I eat something that reminds me how good chocolate can be – this looks like one of those things!

    • Thanks Ellie. As I’ve got older my tastes have definitely moved towards more interesting desserts and fruity options, but it’s always important to have a few fab chocolate recipes to fall back on :-)

  6. This sounds absolutely fantastic, especially the olive oil thyme crumble, it’s so unusual. As for desserts at restaurants, as much as I love chocolate, I usually find chocolate desserts at restaurants a bit too sweet (I like mine on the bitter side) so I tend to go for fruit based desserts….unless of course the chocolate includes salted caramel :)

    By the way, I love the photos on this post. Have you been experimenting with your photography style?

    • Thanks Jennifer, that means a lot to me coming from someone who takes such fabulous food photos! I took these pics quite late in the afternoon (loving the long British summer days) and dragged our kitchen table over to the window to make the most of the light…so glad it worked!

  7. If there’s one thing I bloody love, it’s a chocolate pots. With maple? Amaze.

  8. I love the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook as well – it’s been on our kitchen table for weeks now as I invariably pick it up to look for some dinner inspiration! And yes,
    I totally agree with what you are saying about making it count – much better to seek out the treats that are worth it than be left unsatisfied after a poor imitation. And these chocolate pots? They sound wonderful – familiar yet so different thanks to the thyme crumble. I remember reading about the lemon pots made with tofu and
    I can imagine the crumble would be wonderful on these little pots or maybe even on some ice cream!

  9. Wow those chocolate pots look absolutely decadent and I love the sound of the thyme crumble on top!

  10. These little pots look delicious! I’m not a dessert person, in fact I usually opt for cheese but I would give these a go in heartbeat. Chocolate is something I wished I was addicted too, I’m just not that very fond of it. And that coming from a Belgian girl,… maybe that is why!
    Nice pictures!

    • I love chocolate in desserts but don’t ever really eat it by the bar. I think if I was in Belgium I’d find it hard to resist though :-)

  11. Oh this sounds so lovely! I really like the chocolate and maple combination and when you throw in some of my other favourites (olive oil! thyme!), I’m completely sold.

  12. amyjonesuk -

    Nice! I really prefer chocolate, but like you said — restaurant chocolate options can really besmirch the good name of chocolate! Something intense like this is much better.

  13. I love the crumble. It’s an unusual combination of flavours that I haven’t seen before. I look forward to trying this.

    In the past I have always opted for the chocolate dessert but I now try other dishes. I love anything with nuts in it.

  14. These chocolate pots look absolutely delicious! I love the look of the topping!

  15. oh this looks really interesting. And I need an excuse to break out my good olive oil that I got at the Olive Oil Convention last month :)

  16. I never thought of thyme and chocolate, but savory crumbles are very in right now and this sounds fab! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Erin -

    These look like such a good chocolate fix! I am definitely the person who always orders to most chocolate loaded item off the menu for dessert. :)

  18. Ooh, these guys look great! I’m especially excited to try that beautiful almondy, herby crumble. :)

  19. My Kitchen Stories -

    I love the way you have adapted this recipe. Deep chocolate and maple with crunchy bites sounds perfect. Thyme does love a dessert too and this is a thrilling addition, …lovely

  20. maple and chocolate and crumble are some of my favourite things! looks utterly delicious.

  21. Amy -

    I remember seeing this thyme oat crumble in the sprouted kitchen cookbook. I’m actually really intrigued by the whole silken lemon tofu creme bit, and I kinda want to try it out on my more hippie-ish, experimental sister. :D It is nice to know it pairs well here, though, and nice job of adapting it into something so delicious.

    • Ha, if you try it out on your hippie sister let me know how you get on ;-)

  22. I love that there is a HINT of chocolate in these, but so many other great flavors. The thyme crumble makes me especially happy…I love herbs in my sweets!

  23. Is this dessert amazing or what?! Love everything in this recipe Kate! I usually want a few tablespoons of a chocolate dessert only if it´s very dark chocolate in flavor. Otherwise I want something unusual or no dessert at all.

  24. how gorgeous! Thanks for the kind words, sweet girl. I love it on top of the chocolate here. I too, always choose the chocolate option! Glad you are enjoying the book and I LOVE the post. xo

    • Thanks Sara. I’ve honestly not cooked so many recipes from one book in a long time – it’s fab :-)

  25. I love herbs and chocolate together. I don’t always go for chocolate, but when I do, I tend to like it rich and deep, like this. I think I need this combination in my life!

  26. Oooh I love this idea. Thyme works so well with chocolate too. This is going on the weekend list!

  27. Pretty damn fine. I’m all for making chocolate count. Though I have never been known to turn away a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, or a packet of milk chocolate buttons. I hope there’s room also for these aberrations. Great post. Sophie

  28. Desserts have to come in the form of chocolate, especially when in a restaurant? Uhm yes, that would be me!

  29. Hey Kate! I just love your wonderful ideas in recipes and lovely photos! That was me too, always the chocolate option but I can’t quite remember when it all changed and now I like light and fruity desserts…unless like you said it’s truly something very chocolaty. I love a dark chocolate mousse or molten chocolate in a pot. Followed by a latte ;-)

    • Thanks Jaim! I don’t when fruit started to creep up on me…I adore it in desserts now, although I’ll probably always be a chocolate ice cream girl at heart :-)

  30. I love chocolate pots – such a good pud to make en masse, in advance. But always looking for a twist on the classic choccy pud, so this is a definite one to add to my ‘to do’ list….

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