Confession time: oftentimes I’ve never tasted the dishes that I post on Girl Cooks World before I make it myself. Of course this make it slightly hard (OK, impossible) to know whether what I’ve made is authentic.
On the other hand, it frees me from preconceived notions as to how a dish should look or taste. That said, I do sort of automatically assume that all French food, desserts in particular, will look beautiful or have an understated elegance to them.
So when I took these sorry-looking, pockmarked pots de crème out of the oven, I was just the slightest bit disappointed. Thankfully that disappointment didn’t last past the first bite.
Underneath the homely surface you’ve got a light, luscious coffee-flavored custard that’s impossibly rich and creamy. Think panna cotta, but slightly softer-set. You’re welcome to infuse these with a hint of booze. Kahlua and Amaretto come to mind, but Frangelico or just about any other dessert-y liqueur would also be great.
And since we’ve got the substance/taste more than covered, we just need to work a bit on style. Top these with some softly whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder and you’ve got the whole package- understated elegance included.
Coffee Pots de Crème
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40
Total Time: 4+ hours
* 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1/2 cup very strong coffee
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 6 egg yolks
* 2 teaspoons Kahlua or Amaretto (optional)
* whipped cream (optional)
* unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bring the heavy cream and coffee to a boil in a medium saucepan and then immediately remove from heat.
In a medium bowl combine the sugar and egg yolks. Use an electric hand mixer to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Pour in the Kahlua or Amaretto, if using.
While the electric mixer is running, slowly pour the coffee and cream mixture into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve back into the saucepan.
Place a double layer of paper towels on the bottom of a baking dish (this will help the ramekins of baking cups from sliding around). Fill 6 ramekins, pot de crème cups, or other small oven-safe dishes with the strained mixture. Set on top of the paper towels and then pour boiling water into the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of whatever baking dish you're using.
Bake until just set, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least three hours, or overnight. Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder, if desired.
Adapted from French Food at Home