Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pots de Irish Cream

It's a little strange that I am writing a St. Patrick's Day related post.

1. I'm not Irish.
2. I don't like or drink beer. Especially green beer.
3. I hate parades.
4. I hate drunk people at parades.

So...let's just say that it's not really my day. But when I realized that I actually had some Baileys Original Irish Cream, I figured that the least I could do is come up with a use for it.

Pots de crème is also the last thing that, for anyone who knows me, I would ever be found making.

1. I hate pudding/flan/panna cotta.
2. I hate sour cream.
3. I hate mayonnaise.
4. I hate yogurt (unless it's Greek and has lots of granola and honey mixed in).

Are you seeing a pattern here? I have a texture problem. I do enjoy chocolate mousse, but it's chocolate (duh) and it's light and airy. I also enjoy a creme brûlée, but it's a super delicious concoction with a crackly sugar top, creating a textural counterpoint. So why make pots de crème? I don't know, except that making it myself with really good chocolate creates a dense and chocolatey result that I seem to be able to make an exception for. (Hi. My name is Tina and I'm a chocoholic. Thanks, dad!)

I also made my own crème fraîche, something else that I shouldn't like, but I just thought that it was too cool that you can make yourself. (You can totally use it in savory dishes too FYI.) BT Dubs, if after 24 hours your cream isn't thickening, move it to a warmer location. I had mine sitting on the kitchen table and nothing happened, so I moved it closer to the oven and it thickened up right away. I think you ideally need a 70˚F room.

Also, here's a tip when making your custard. When you whisk the tempered egg yolks into the remaining hot cream and then cook over the heat for 4 minutes or so, do not turn the heat up too quickly or your mixture may curdle. Like mine. I did take a photo of it to show for reference, but it looked disgustingly like something else, so I decided that you could just use your imagination. I was also using an enameled covered cast iron pot which perhaps retains heat too well in this scenario, so my mixture heated way too quickly and I scrambled my custard. I started over again and mixed the eggs back into the cream off the heat, then turned the heat back on very low and then very slowly raised it to medium until the mixture thickened. You don't want it to come to a simmer, but just to let off a little steam here and there.

So it might not be corned beef and cabbage, soda bread or Guinness stew, but I bet you wouldn't say no to a little Baileys infused chocolate custard with your green beer. Erin go bragh!

Milk Chocolate Pots de Crème
Adapted from Food & Wine

10 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons Baileys Original Irish Cream (optional)
Crème fraîche or whipped cream and chocolate shavings or cocoa powder, for garnish

1. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the chopped chocolates.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, heavy cream and sugar to a boil, whisking constantly until the sugar is dissolved. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Gradually whisk in half of the hot cream. Whisk the egg-and-cream mixture into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the custard coats the back of the spoon (see below), about 4 minutes. Pour the custard over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes, then add in the Baileys if using, and stir until smooth.

3. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until very smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the mixture into eight 4-ounce ramekins and refrigerate until chilled, 2 hours.

4. Let the pots de crème stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Garnish with crème fraîche or whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Serves 8.

TIP: The pots de crème can be made then refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Crème Fraîche

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk

1. Mix the cream and buttermilk together in a glass container. Cover the mixture and let sit out on a counter for 12 - 36 hours. (The area should be warmish to activate thickening, so stay away from air conditioners.) Stir well before covering and refrigerate for up to 10 days.


SPinneo said...

Gorgeous pictures, Tina!

Stacy Lomman said...

These look insanely decadent. And your photos... well, you know.

And ditto on the first four bullet points! I "got outa dodge" especially since I live so close to 86th St. (the end of the parade).

I'm forwarding this post to my mom and my sister, both of whom will be more than appreciative, so I'm thanking you for them!

WendyB said...

You and your sister are very particular about texture! :-D