Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vanilla Pots de Crème with Salted Coffee Caramel Sauce for #baketogether

Frozen Vanilla Pot de Crème with Salted Coffee Caramel Sauce

Never turn your back on pots de crème. Don't step into the living room to catch a few minutes of an English Premier League soccer game to see a winning goal scored in the 90th minute.

You’ll be distracted, remember the custards too late and have to start all over, as I did.

And because I started over and was now invested to the tune of 10 eggs and four pints of half-and-half, I decided not to risk another baking error. So I baked two custards (successfully) and froze the rest as ice cream, which tasted amazing. What I like about the custard itself is that it doesn’t call for very much sugar — just 1/4 cup per 12 ounces of half and half.

These lovely little custards are for the February #baketogether run by Abby Dodge. Pots de crèmes are velvety smooth and these are indeed rich with vanilla. As it turns out, I had used my last vanilla bean to make homemade vanilla extract, so instead of fishing out that vanilla bean infusing in vodka, I decided to use my newly made extract. While rummaging in the cabinets was delighted to find some little packets of vanilla sugar that I had brought home from France. These added an extra level of flavor
Traditional baked Pot de Crème with Salted Coffee Caramel Sauce.

As Abby had requested, I studiously avoiding the use of chocolate for this #baketogether. Still, I wanted an assertive complement to the vanilla custards. I had planned a straight0up coffee sauce, but I came across this recipe for a coffee and salted caramel sauce over at The Kitchn, and it was simply perfect.

I’m rather glad I curdled the first batch because I likely would not have tried a frozen version. Two dessert options emerge from one recipe, thanks to distractions. 
Vanilla pots de Creme
 adapted from

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or paste
1 3/4 cup half and half
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup vanilla sugar (if you have it) or granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt

Measure the half and half in a 2-cup glass measure.

Position the oven rack in the middle. Heat the oven to 325°F. Arrange four 6-ounce ramekins in a baking pan with 2-inch high sides.

In a small saucepan, whisk the yolks, sugar and salt until well blended. Slowly pour the half and half into the yolk mixture. Whisk until well blended. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a spoon or heat-proof spatula, until thickened and coats the back of a spoon or spatula (170-172°F on an instant read or candy thermometer), about 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in vanilla extract or paste.

To make ice cream:
Chill the mixture and proceed according to your ice cream maker’s directions. Serve ice cream in small cups drizzled with the Salted Coffee Caramel Sauce. Garnish with coffee beans.

To bake the custards:
Pour the custard into the ramekins. Carefully fill the baking pan with hot tap water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins and cover the pan loosely with foil.

Bake until the pot de crèmes wiggle when nudged, 35 to 45 minutes depending how thick the walls are on your ramekins. Transfer the baking pan to a rack let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 2 days before serving.

To serve, spoon a little of the custard out  of the center  and pour some of the Salted Coffee Caramel Sauce in the middle. Serve with remaining sauce on the side, if you like.

Salted Coffee Caramel Sauce
adapted from The Kitchn
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, in small pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a combination of dark brown and raw organic sugar)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons Trablit coffee extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar, cream, coffee extract and salt, whisking until everything is incorporated. Carefully bring the mixture to a slow boil, whisking constantly. Turn the heat to low and simmer while stirring for about 3 more minutes until thickens.

Remove caramel sauce from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature, or pour into a glass jar and refrigerate for later use.

The caramel sauce thickens as it cools. To warm the sauce, put in the microwave on low and zap in brief increments of 10 seconds until its warm.


1 comment:

  1. Vanilla Pots de Crème with Salted Coffee Caramel Sauce is delicious. I think it will be superlative for my birthday this month. Thanks for wonderful post


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