Showing posts with label pots de creme. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pots de creme. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pots de crème aka caramel pudding #recipe from @DarylWoodGerber



I tried a new recipe from a Williams-Sonoma cookbook called: GLUTEN-FREE Baking by Kristine Kidd. I love when I find gluten-free books that have exquisite pictures and a wide variety of recipes.


Now when I landed on pots de crème, I though, oh, yum! Must have. By the way, pots of crème are naturally gluten-free, so it’s a bit of a cheat putting them into a book like this. I expect to have recipes that at one time needed to be converted from a regular recipe.

But I won’t quibble, because this recipe was fantastic!!!

I’m giving you the recipe as it stands, but I tweaked and changed, and okay, oops, I  made a BIG mistake. Big.  See below.  But, spoiler alert, these little gems still turned out great, despite my mistake. How’s that for wonderful!


Salted Caramel Pots de Crème

Ingredients:

¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
6 large egg yolks
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (I used ¼ teaspoon)
Fleur de sel or other flaky sea salt for sprinkling (I couldn’t find this!)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place 6 2/3-cup (5 fl oz) or ¾-cup (6 fl oz) custard cups or ramekins in a large roasting pan.



Set a fine-mesh sieve over a large glass measuring cup. [Note: I skipped this step. See below.]

Bring a kettle of water to boil.  (Fill it with about 6 - 8 cups water)

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, stir together the sugar and ¼ cup water until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to medium-high and boil, without stirring, until the mixture turns a deep amber color, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush and swirling the mixture in the pan, about 6 minutes.  (Mine took about 8-9 minutes.)







Gradually whisk in the cream and milk (the mixture will bubble vigorously). THIS IS WHERE I MADE A HUGE MISTAKE. I READ THE PORTION AS 1 CUP OF MILK INSTEAD OF ½ CUP. MY MIXTURE WAS DEFINITELY THIN!  BUT, SEE THE RESULTS BELOW…



Reduce the heat to medium, and stir with a wooden spoon until all the caramel bits dissolve. (My caramel was one big glob, but it eventually dissolved completely, about 3-4 minutes.)

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy.  [Note: set aside your egg whites if you want to make something meringue-y.]  Slowly add the hot caramel mixture, whisking constantly. THIS IS HARD TO DO AND TAKE A PICTURE! IMPOSSIBLE IF THERE’S ONLY ONE COOK.



Stir in the vanilla and kosher salt.  Immediately pour the mixture into the sieve. [Like I said, I skipped this part; didn’t need it – MAYBE because my mixture was too thin, but I had no lumps!]. Divide the mixture among the cups.



Remember the billing pot of water you put on? Use it here. Add enough hot water to the pan to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Cover the pan with foil.



Bake the pots de crème until they’re just set around the edges but still move in the center when gently shaken, about 35 minutes. Carefully remove the cups from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.



Sprinkle with a pinch of fleur de sel [IF YOU CAN FIND IT ANYWHERE!] over each pot de crème and serve cold.



A NOTE FROM THE COOKBOOK STAFF:  “It is safest to caramelize the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan that has a light-colored interior so you can observe the color of the boiling sugar as it browns. The darker the caramel gets, the deeper the flavor will be, but be careful not to burn it.”


AND NOW FOR MY RESULT – ADDING THE EXTRA MILK DIDN’T MAKE A DIFFERENCE. THIS WAS SO TASTY. MY HUSBAND THOUGHT IT MIGHT TASTE SWEETER IF THERE WAS LESS MILK, SO SINCE I’LL BE MAKING THIS AGAIN—PROBABLY WEEKLY!—I’LL TRY IT WITH THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF MILK.

SO YUMMY!!!!!


If you want a printable PDF version of the recipe CLICK HERE.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Classic French Dessert: Chocolate Pots de Crème from Cleo Coyle



For many American kids, pudding is something premade in a plastic cup. If you’re really lucky, you’ll have it homemade for you from a cardboard Jell-O pudding box. This was my experience growing up. Sure, I enjoyed plenty of homemade Italian foods (my mom was born in Italy), but pudding was an American thing; and American things were found in boxes and cans, or wrapped in plastic. 

Cleo Coyle, searching for
new things to cover with
chocolate while writing
her next Coffeehouse
Mystery
When I finally discovered pots de crème, the clouds parted. The sun appeared. I’d found pudding nirvana!

This classic dessert, which translates from French to English as "pots of cream," is not your grade school cafeteria’s chocolate custard. It’s a rich, smooth, sinfully chocolaty experience. It’s also very easy to make. No special culinary skills needed.



BTW, on the subject of pots of chocolate, my fellow crime-writing cook, Mary Jane Maffini, recently gave us a wonderfully easy, no-bake chocolate mousse recipe. If you missed it, you can check it out by clicking here.

My version of this classic French recipe makes approximately six 6-oz servings. This is a generous portion size for the typical pots de crème, but let’s be real. In America, the home cooks’ main concern is: Did you have enough? Would you like seconds? Which is one reason "palate fatigue" is (happily) a non-starter in most American homes.

If you’d like to learn more about the modern gourmet philosophy of palate fatigue, read my sixth Coffeehouse Mystery: French Pressed. You’ll see I have a strong opinion about it!




Cleo Coyle’s
Chocolate Pots de Crème



To download this recipe in a free PDF that you can print, save, or share, click here.

Servings: This recipe will produce 4 cups of liquid to divide among your ramekins, custard cups, or ovenproof coffee cups. Consequently, depending on the size of your containers, this recipe will give you 6 to 8 servings.

Ingredients:

12 ounces of good quality semisweet chocolate chopped (or chips)
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup milk
6 egg yolks (extra large or jumbo size)
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Step 1: Melt the chocolate - Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Put your chopped chocolate (or chips) in a metal or glass bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and milk until it’s just about to boil, but not yet boiling. Pour this hot liquid over your chocolate and let it sit for about a minute until the chocolate is softened. Then stir this mixture until it’s smooth. The stirring will take one to two minutes.



Step 2: Beat the eggs - Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs well, for about 1 minute. Gradually mix in sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and salt. Now gradually beat the chocolate mixture you made (in Step 1) into these egg yolks.


Step 3: Strain and pour into containers - Strain this custard through a fine-meshed sieve (I use a small metal colander). Pour the strained liquid into a container with a spout. This will make it easier to evenly divide the mixture among containers.


Step 4: Prepare for Baking - Place the cups in a shallow baking pan. Carefully fill the pan with boiling water until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the custard cups (or ramekins or ovenproof coffee cups).


Step 5: Cover and Bake - Cover pan with foil, seal ends, and pierce in several places so that steam can escape. Bake for about 25 - 35 minutes in the center of your 300 degree F. oven until the tops of the pots de crème look solid, but the custard still jiggles slightly when you shake it. Don’t worry; the custard will firm up as it cools.

Note on Cooking Time: The smaller your cups, the quicker your custard will set. The deeper your cups, however, the longer your custard will take to set. If your custard still has a liquid top after 35 minutes, then turn up the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. and bake another 10 minutes. (If you use cool or room temperature water, rather than boiling water for the water bath, the cooking process may take longer, as well.)

Step 6: Chill, baby! - Now carefully remove the hot pots from the oven and the hot pan and let them cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge. After they come to room temperature, make sure to cover these with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. The custards should be chilled at least 3 hours before serving.


VARIATIONS:



Because this is a classic French dessert, many versions exist in cookbooks and on the Internet. For variations on this basic recipe, reduce the vanilla to 2 teaspoons and add 2 tablespoons Kahlúa (or try dark rum, Grand Marnier, or coffee syrup).

Coffee syrup can be bought pre-made. It can also be made from scratch. My recipe can be found by clicking here or turning to the back of the fifth Coffeehouse Mystery Decaffeinated Corpse.


For many more ideas on variations
for French pots de crème,
click here and have fun! There are some wonderful ideas there.



Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



To get more of my recipes, win free coffee,
or find out more about my books, visit me
 at my *virtual* coffeehouse:

 
Click on the book covers above
to learn more about Cleo's culinary mysteries.

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A final, quick note for our mystery reading fans.
The latest Mystery Readers Journal with the theme Hobbies, Crafts, and Special Interests is now available.


The issue, edited by Mystery Fanfare's Janet Rudolph, includes many mystery authors who have guest posted for us over the past year. You can check out the contents by clicking here, which will also give you info on how to purchase a copy (hard or electronic) for yourself.


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