Nothing much going on in the kitchen right now as my work life as taken a somewhat unexpected turn. Well, ok, I knew changes were coming, I was not sure of the timing so it’s been a pretty stressful week to say the least. I did fulfill the orders I had for cakes and other desserts but that’s about it. What I did find time to do was those little ramequins of white chocolate pots de creme (cream pots, literally) adorned with dried hibiscus flowers.
When I visited Lisa a couple of weeks ago, I asked her (ok, begged) to take me back to Sur La Table and Trader Joe’s to get the few things I had noticed from my previous trip there. Among the items I was coveting were those little ramequins (about 3 inches long and 1.5 inch wide) and dried sweetened hibiscus flowers. Why? Because both were pretty ad would photograph well, and I was curious to the taste of the dried fruit. B, brought back a large supply of the dried buds to make tea from a previous trip to Egypt and I fell in love with the deep red/pink color as well as its slight tart taste. Turns out the flowers taste just like dried cranberries….yum!
For more elaborated posts (and because no one tells a story like Lisa) about Mary's and my trip, go to Lisa’s blog where you will get the full report of our adventures.
One evening last weekend, while we had company over ( and boy, did we have fun), I was craving the comfort of white chocolate. Yes, I admit it, and chocolate purists can throw a stone at me, I like white chocolate. Can’t stand to eat it on its own, but I love incorporating it into desserts. The guys had plenty to munch on, brownies, cake….but I needed white chocolate…I needed soft and creamy and I needed a perk of flavor and tartness. So while the boys were grilling, I started the creams and by the time we were getting cozy on the patio with coffee, the creams were ready! While a little on the rich side, the ramequins are small enough to provide the perfect 4 bites serving. Wait until serving time to set the dried hibiscus flowers on top or they will start to bleed after a couple of days in the fridge. The verdict? Well, we fought over the last one…that should tell you something!
White Chocolate Pots de Creme, adapted from Death by Chocolate, by Marcel Desaulniers:
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
12 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
6 egg yolks
Combine the cream and milk in a heavy bottom, 2 quart saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Bring the water in a double boiler to a simmer. Place the chocolate in the top half and stir with a rubber spatula until melted. Whisk the egg yolks into the melted chocolate. Slowly pour the boiling cream mixture into the chocolate, whisking constantly. Bring to a temperature of 160 degrees, about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a stainless steel bowl. Cool in an ice bath, stirring constantly with a wire whisk to a temperature of 90 degrees F., about 4 to 5 minutes. Evenly divide the mixture into 8 small pot de creme forms or glass custard cups. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to set before serving.