Salted Caramel Pot de Crème
I love caramel. To me, heaven is a salted caramel pot de crème. Each bite is velvety and rich. I dotted this pot de crème with a soft Australian River Salt that melts in your mouth. The salt was delicate and flaky and perfectly complimented the buttery caramel. This dessert is the embodiment of simplicity.
Recipe from Bon Appetite January 1998
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
6 large egg yolks
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Place six 2/3-cup soufflé dishes or 3/4-cup custard cups in large roasting pan. Combine sugar and water in heavy large saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until deep amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 6 minutes. Gradually whisk in 1 1/2 cups cream and milk (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until caramel dissolves, about 2 minutes.
Beat yolks in large bowl until foamy. Gradually whisk in warm caramel. Strain into 4-cup glass measuring cup. Divide among dishes. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of dishes. Cover pan with foil. Bake until custard is just set at edges but still moves in center when shaken gently, about 1 hour. Remove from water; cool on rack. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.)
Beat 1/4 cup cream in small bowl until soft peaks form. Spoon cream into pastry bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe 1 rosette in center of each custard. Serve chilled.
Café Au Lait Pudding
If you love coffee like I do, this Café Au Lait pudding is for you. It is tantalizing and creamy. Not cloyingly sweet like some puddings tend to be, this pudding is just dreamy. The delicate coffee flavors linger on the palate. Milky, rich and understated, it is everything a pudding should be.
Recipe from Gourmet November 2009
2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon or nutmeg for sprinkling
Whisk together milk, coffee granules, cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar, and a small pinch of salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Transfer to a metal bowl set in an ice bath and cool, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Pour into cups or ramekins and chill, uncovered, 20 minutes.
Beat cream with vanilla and remaining 2 tablespoon sugar using an electric mixer just until soft peaks form. Spoon whipped cream onto puddings and dust cream lightly with cinnamon.
Panna Cotta with Citrus Compote
Panna cotta is so simple to make, I can’t believe I have never made it before. It takes only five minutes to cook the cream and mix it with the gelatin. The mixture sets in the refrigerator for about four hours and the panna cotta is ready to be served. It is silky and lush. It has a delicate vanilla flavor that pairs harmoniously with a number of toppings. Since citrus is abundant at local farmers markets right now, I decided to make a citrus compote with mandarins and blood oranges. The contrast of sweetness from the mandarins and a nice zesty tang from the blood oranges was the perfect accompaniment to the panna cotta. This dessert is a dense mouthful of bright luscious flavors. Snuggle up, dig down, scoop up and savor each bite.
4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean
2 packets powdered gelatin
6 tablespoons cold water
1. Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan or microwave. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.(If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream and add the bean pod. Cover, and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean then rewarm the mixture before continuing.)
2. Lightly oil eight custard cups with a neutral-tasting oil.
3. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
5. Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them until firm, which will take at least two hours but I let them stand at least four hours.
6. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each Panna Cotta and unmold each onto a serving plate, and garnish as desired.