It has been one day short of three months since we made Chocolate Pots de Creme for the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group. I must have been living under some sort of rock, because until that time pots de creme had been totally under my radar. After discovering the magic of pots de creme, however, I embarked, along with my partner-in-creme, daughter JDE, on a quest to try as many flavors of this creamy dessert as possible. And in the past few weeks, despite four out-of-town trips and weekly baking for TWD, we managed to try - and enjoy - two other pots de creme recipes (which will make an appearance in this space in due time.)
And that brings us to the excitement that is this week's Tuesdays With Dorie selection: Caramel Pots de Creme - an opportunity to try yet another flavor of luscious rich custardy heaven, while simultaneously crossing off another in the dwindling list of unbaked recipes in Dorie Greenspan's delightful book Baking: From My Home to Yours.
- This recipe calls for a couple of previously-tricky steps that I can now tackle with relative ease, although I'm not above holding my breath when making caramel, and I always, always keep a bowl of ice water on hand in case of molten sugar contact. That stuff burns wickedly.
- Some of the sugar in the recipe is caramelized and some is reserved in granulated form to be added to the eggs. I used golden palm sugar, which has a naturally caramel-like flavor, for the reserved sugar, and white sugar for making the caramel.
- Too late I realized that I should have added a pinch of salt to the recipe.
- I lowered the baking temperature to 285 degrees, and took the pots out of the oven in 33 minutes' time.
- The technique of sealing the pots + roasting pan they bake in with plastic wrap is very useful to know. The wrap doesn't melt at those low temperatures, and you can see through the plastic to check the jiggliness of the custard without uncovering it.
A full recipe of pots de creme is always welcome at our house, and this flavor variation was no exception. Eight teacups split between two people makes for a very nice math problem indeed!
These pots de cream were not quite as unctuous as others I've made. They were a tiny bit spongy when warm from the oven, and while they compacted when chilled, they didn't have the silkiness of the chocolate pots de creme we made in March. The flavor was excellent, however; a subtle, but unmistakeable smokiness of caramel in each creamy, rich spoonful.