I’m having some serious caramel cravings. I would love to put caramel everywhere these days, not just on ice-cream and of all the caramel desserts I could have made, I chose to make caramel pots de crème for two reasons.
First, I definitely did not have time this week to whip up any complicated dessert. Hmmm, I did not even have time or strength to make simple stuff like scones actually.
Second, during the holidays, in one of our “discovery downtown Oakland” walks, Wally and I found a very cute bookstore that sells only used books and cds. It has a tiny tiny cooking and baking section, where I found a book titled “Stars Desserts”. The book, written by Emily Luchetti, is a collection of the most famous and beloved desserts made at Stars, which was a landmark restaurant in San Francisco from 1984 to 1999 (Emily Luchetti was the pastry chef at Stars for a few years). I don’t own many cookbooks because I simply cannot afford them. But this one was used, hence cheap, and had some desserts that were really appealing to me. So I bought it and I promised myself I was really going to try to make some of the recipes in the book and not just skim through the pages, drool over pictures, and the let the dust hide it from my sight.
So I did. In this busy week I chose the very first recipe: Caramel Pot de Crème. I made only 2 servings because I know that Wally is not a big lover of this type of desserts and I did not want to end up eating 6 pots de crème by myself in 2 days! I really loved it! Totally a keeper for one of my next dinners with friends.
Caramel Pots De Crème
Ingredients for 6
6 large egg yolks
200 gr (1 cup) sugar
60 ml (2 fl oz or ¼ cup) water
240 ml (8 fl oz or 1 cup) milk
470 ml (16 fl oz or 2 cups) heavy whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 300F degrees.
Put the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and lightly whisk them. Set aside.
Make the caramel:
1. Dissolve the sugar in the water over low heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. Increase to high heat and cook the sugar until it is golden amber color.
2. While the sugar is cooking, pour the milk and cream in another pot. Scald the mixture over medium-high heat.
3. When the sugar is golden amber in color, turn off the stove and slowly pour the hot cream and milk mixture into it. Be careful! The caramel will bubble a lot at the beginning. Stir until the cream-milk mixture is well incorporated.
Whisk the caramel into the egg yolks. Strain and refrigerate the cream until cool.
When the cream is cool, pour it into 6 ramekins.
Place the ramekins in an ovenproof pan. Fill the pan one-third to one-half full of hot water. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Bake the pots de crème for about 50 minutes. They are ready if, when gently shaken, they will appear set around the edges and yet a little area in the center will not be completely firm.
Refrigerate for several hours to overnight before serving.
Note: I honestly felt it was not necessary to cover the pan with the aluminum foil. It seems to me it just retarded the baking process as it took my pots de crème much longer than 50 minutes to bake.
Have a sweet day!
Source: Emily Luchetti, “Stars Desserts”