White Chocolate Pots De Creme And Hibiscus Flowers
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.
Lesley November 2, 2007 um 2:36 am
Sur la Table and Trader Joes…two of my favorite places (must buy TJ’s new frozen pain au chocolat…closest thing to France I’ve tasted in a box!)
Your cremes are gorgeous. I’ve only ever tried dark chocolate. I might have to try these too!!!
Sabra November 2, 2007 um 2:55 am
What a lovely comment you posted – you made my day!
Elle November 2, 2007 um 3:01 am
You are so right…they do photograph well. I’ll have to go by the Trader Joe’s near here to check that out…dried cranberry flavored tea sounds yummy.
Kalyn Denny November 2, 2007 um 3:42 am
Amy November 2, 2007 um 5:40 am
I love love love those little spoons! Soooo cute! I’ll have to go get some from TJ’s too, they sound yummy.
Brittany November 2, 2007 um 6:30 am
Beautiful! I MUST try this combo. Like you, I only like white chocolate when it’s paired with something else- especially floral notes (orange and lavender are usually my favorites). I love hibiscus, but I didn’t it was available @ Sur La Table! Was it expensive?
Cassoulet Cafe November 2, 2007 um 7:06 am
Julie November 2, 2007 um 7:42 am
Oh wow, I love chocolate pots de creme, but this looks like a fantastic version, too! Mmmmm, this will give me happy dreams tonight!
Anonymous November 2, 2007 um 8:27 am
Yummy! I love white chocolate any way…but straight up only in combination with lots of tea. Not hibiscus tea though…yuk! But I’d try the dried sweetened one though if it tastes like dried cranberries. Your pots de creme look very pretty!
Evelin November 2, 2007 um 9:03 am
Elegant-looking dessert, definitely!:)
There’s nothing wrong with loving white chocolate. As long as you’re able to name your favourite quality white chocolates and where they’re made and…well…as long as you sound professional, no stones will be thrown in your direction:D
Rosa's Yummy Yums November 2, 2007 um 9:11 am
Those "Pots De Crème" look really lovely! A delicate treat…
Meeta K. Wolff November 2, 2007 um 9:34 am
Oh you are a show off – not only for those ramekins and hibiscus flowers but also for creating such a sweet sensation. I love it! I miss you and hope you are doing well!
Pille November 2, 2007 um 11:18 am
Beautiful dessert! Are those just dried hibiscus flowers, or have they been soaked in sugar syrup or such like? I’ve got some at home (used them to macerate strawberries earlier this year), but they look much drier than the ones on your photo..
Anonymous November 2, 2007 um 11:29 am
What a great idea! I’m suprised to hear that the flowers taste like dried cranberries! What agreat dish!
Anonymous November 2, 2007 um 12:43 pm
I *love* white chocolate in desserts. But I’ve never tried hibiscus flowers. I have a TJ’s by my house — I’ll have to pick some up!
April November 2, 2007 um 1:03 pm
I wish that I had a Trader Joe’s near me! I love white chocolate too!
.vivian. November 2, 2007 um 2:12 pm
wow, that looks so delicious. and i’ll have to say that we drink a lot of 'agua de jamaica' which is a drink from dried hibiscus flowers. yum it is so delicious.. i’ve really gotta get me some ramikens!
Aimée November 2, 2007 um 2:22 pm
Really beautiful pots, Helen. This would make such a lovely Christmas dessert with the striking contrast of white and red.
Helene November 2, 2007 um 2:29 pm
Pille: the flower does not need to get soaked, it’s very much like dried cherried, dried cranberries.
Brittany: I found the hibiscus at Trader Joes and the ramequins at Sur La Table.
Anonymous November 2, 2007 um 2:34 pm
I saw a picture of the beautiful German chocolate cake you made on La Mia Cucina’s blog and wondered if you could post the recipe?
Deborah November 2, 2007 um 3:07 pm
What a beautiful and elegant dessert!
LizNoVeggieGirl November 2, 2007 um 8:26 pm
wow, this latest culinary creation of yours is so elegant!! Hibiscus flowers certainly are photogenic :0)
Helene, I do hope that the stress you’re experiencing will diminish quickly!!
Abby November 2, 2007 um 9:02 pm
I, too, love white chocolate. And I, too, love Trader Joe’s, but we don’t have one, either! It might be time to pester the chamber of commerce…
Those dried flowers are gorgeous – I’m curious now about their taste since you described it as fruity! I have to admit, the flower tastes you sometimes get with those kind of ingredients turn me off. Nice to know there are dried alternatives with the same visual effect!
Good luck with the job/life changes. You can do it! You’re totally fab. 😉
Anonymous November 2, 2007 um 10:11 pm
You are bordering on ridiculousness with your amazing talent. Those hibiscus flowers are beautiful and it sounds like the flavor of this gorgeous concoction is to die for.
Tarah at Genesis of a Cook November 3, 2007 um 12:14 am
Mmm, that looks delicious!
I love white chocolate!
Cynthia November 3, 2007 um 12:29 am
This is such a cool discovery! The hibiscus flowers you used, we call sorrel! and we use it especially to make a drink that is a must have at Christmas time.
Graeme November 3, 2007 um 1:59 am
I just spent 4 hours photographing in the kitchen of the Citiy’s most popular Italian restaurant – Cream, melted cheese, flames and over 300 customers…
You’ve calmed me down in 4 seconds, Tartelette. Thank you, they are beautiful.
test it comm November 3, 2007 um 2:15 am
Those look really good. White chocolate is one of my favorite flavours. Bookmarked
Susan @ SGCC November 3, 2007 um 2:52 am
What beautiful and elegant little parcels! I love pots de creme and yours look gorgeous. I wish I could find dried hibiscus flowers around here. I have several hibiscus bushes in my yard. I wonder if I could find a way to dry them myself. Hmm……..
Anonymous November 3, 2007 um 4:30 am
Looks beautiful. I saw this picture o n tastespotting and was very impressed.I’ve never made these little deserts, I should.
Brilynn November 3, 2007 um 5:04 am
Gorgeous photos! I’m always somewhat on the fence about white chocolate, some days I love it and others I can’t stand it… I’m fickle.
Katie November 3, 2007 um 7:50 am
Wow those flowers made the dessert look stunning and I love the shape of the ramekins.
Peabody November 3, 2007 um 8:10 am
FoodieFroggy November 3, 2007 um 1:24 pm
They look amazing, and I really want to taste them, même si je ne suis pas une inconditionnelle du chocolat blanc !!
monica November 3, 2007 um 9:06 pm
yum this sounds delicious! i am with you in loving white chocolate desserts. and your pots de cremes are gorgeous!
Nora B. November 3, 2007 um 11:59 pm
Hi Helen, I also like white choc in desserts, liek white choc cheesecake… yummm. Your choc pots look very pretty. I enjoy preserved hibiscus flowers (they sell that in a jar in Australia) in a glass of champagne. It looks very pretty.
defientchef November 4, 2007 um 2:53 am
I’m a fan of white chocolate myself. It makes ice creams and custards so creamy and tasty. yummy yummy
Anonymous November 4, 2007 um 5:44 pm
I love the presentation. I can only imagine how delicious this tastes. Thanks for stopping by my blog. ;-0
Jenny November 4, 2007 um 6:08 pm
Anonymous November 4, 2007 um 10:50 pm
Update — I just bought some dried hibiscus flowers from Trader Joe’s, and you’re right, they taste just like dried cranberries!! Now I just need to make the pots de creme to go with them 🙂
MyKitchenInHalfCups November 5, 2007 um 5:30 am
Oh yes those are right over the top. Save only by the perfect serving size of the dish!
So I can’t find the hibiscus anything in Dallas, maybe when I’m back in Seattle where the Trader Joe’s is just up the street.
These look like rare gems. (Just as you.)
Brittany November 5, 2007 um 8:27 am
Derf! I knew you got em at TJ’s, for some reason I chose to type sur la table…must stop commenting on posts at 2am 😉
I work right around the corner from trader joes- I’m gonna have to check those babies out. They are so Beautiful!
DDgirl November 5, 2007 um 9:11 am
this looks delicious!
Could you give me some advice about where to find those dried flowers in France?
Anita November 5, 2007 um 4:30 pm
Such pretty colors – I would have been fighting over them too!
Cheryl November 5, 2007 um 7:48 pm
Oh those are so beautiful and so are the ramekins and little spoons. Just an elegant looking dessert.
Anonymous November 6, 2007 um 10:48 am
I love white chocolate too:) Your pots of cream are calling to me!
Big Boys Oven November 7, 2007 um 9:22 am
Katy November 9, 2007 um 7:41 pm
Henson Ray November 9, 2007 um 11:31 pm
Great website. Love all the backstories behind the recipes. I’ve always made the dark chocolate pots de creme. It’s great to serve at dinner parties, because people think it took so long to make. I will have to try your version though. Looks very interesting. Keep up the good work.
Anonymous November 10, 2007 um 5:19 am
Wow. I didn’t know about these dried hibiscus flowers – and you found them at Trader Joes? I will have to look out for them next time I’m there. Thank for highlighting such an interesting ingredient.
Annemarie November 10, 2007 um 1:52 pm
White chocolate is usually too sweet for me, I find, but those beautiful hibiscus flowers would make me want to grab a spoon and start eating.
Anonymous November 18, 2007 um 3:17 pm
How beautiful these look! I just put your link on my blog. I always really enjoy reading your posts.
Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 2:00 pm
It realy good!