Sunday, July 23, 2017

Red Currants and White Chocolate Pots de Crème

In summer and to cope with the heat, we tend to consume more refreshing meals, fresh fruits and vegetables, salads and chilled desserts. 

While it's entirely true that the dessert I´m sharing with you in this post is not exactly light in terms of the calories it packs, but it's served cold and in small portions making it a perfect summer dessert! 

This custard-like French dessert is very similar to creme brulée but with few key differences such as the lack of the famous caramelized sugar crust.

To the classic vanilla flavor of the cream, I added white chocolate and a touch of fresh sourness brought by the red currants. Whenever I use white chocolate in any recipe I like to balance its sweetness with tangy fruits, especially berries.

To make 6 little pots (60 ml each) you need:
  • 3 egg yolks and some of the white to weigh 75 g (note, do freeze the eggs whites if you can't find a way to use them immediately)
  • 50 g chopped white chocolate
  • half of a vanilla pod
  • 40 g sugar (adjust to your liking)
  • 200 ml cream and 75 ml milk 
  • red currants
Preheat the oven at 150 degrees C (around 300 F).

First, with the back of a knife, remove the seeds of the vanilla pod and add them to the eggs. Add the emptied vanilla pod to the cream and milk and gently heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and keep simmering for about five minutes. Once you smell the vanilla, add the chocolate and stir until it melts. 

While the cream is heating, mix together the yolks with the sugar and vanilla seeds.  You need to whisk until you get a creamy and pale mixture. 

Slowly pour the hot cream over the egg yolks while whisking vigorously. 

Add between 5 to 7 red currants in each ramekin, then add the cream through a sieve. 

Arrange the ramekins over a tray. Put the tray in the oven and add enough hot water to cover half or two thirds of the ramekins. Be careful not to spill water into the cream.

Bake the cream pots for about 20 to 25 min in the preheated oven. Do check on them from time to time. Gently shake one of the ramekins and if there's a slight wobble in the center it's time to take them out from the oven. Remember that the cream will continue to cook for a while after you take it out of the oven so you don't want it to set completely while baking. In addition, you need to keep in mind that the baking time will differ depending on the ramekins you use, the oven, the quantity of cream you pour into each pot and even the tray on top of which you have put the ramekins. I used a ceramic tray so if you are using a metallic one you might need to consider this factor as trays heat differently. 

Once baked, take them out of the oven and let them cool completely. Put them in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.

Serve the cream pots with some red currants, shaved chocolate and a small dollop of sour cream, if you fancy some extra indulgence.

This dessert is a perfect finish to a summery dinner party and its refreshing flavors, balanced sweetness, and silky smooth texture will delight your guests. With luck, you will have some extra ramekins that you can enjoy on our own and ward off the heat!

Bon appetit  

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