I have to say that I was so excited about this months Bake Together with Abby Dodge, she challenged us to put our own twist on one of my favorite desserts, Pot de Creme. I have to confess, up until now I only had chocolate never vanilla so this was a bit of a departure for me but I am up for a challenge. This recipe was inspired by a dear friend of mine, a chef in Montana, Cynthia who has a lovely blog “The Solitary Cook”. she created this recipe for a contest on Food52 and I loved the flavors so much I thought it would make a wonderful pot de creme. Her creation was rose petal ice cream scooped into balls and covered in white chocolate. Delicious right? I took Abby’s brilliant recipe for Vanilla Bean Pot de Creme and tweaked it a bit, adding white chocolate and a hint of rosewater. It is delicious, you can’t really go wrong when your base recipe is genius and I am thankful for that. The rosewater is barely there, just a hint and paired with the white chocolate in a creamy dessert its heavenly. I topped with raspberry whipped cream. NOTE: I used a dropper for the rose water, I put 3 drops in, starting with 2, I am cautious and flavor it gingerly so it doesn’t get soapy. You determine how strong or weak you want it to be depending on your personal taste.
1 vanilla bean split
1 3/4 cup half & half
5 large egg yolks
2 Tbs granulated sugar(I used vanilla sugar)
1/8 teaspoon table salt
To make the pots:
1.Measure the half and half in a 2-cup glass measure.
2. Position the vanilla bean on a cutting board and, using the tip of a sharp knife, split the bean lengthwise down the middle. Slide the edge of the knife down the cut side of each piece of the bean to release the seeds. Add the seeds and vanilla bean pieces to the half & half. Heat the mixture in the microwave until very hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Let steep for up to 2 hours to intensify the vanilla flavor.
3. Position the oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 325°F. Arrange four 6-ounce ramekins in a baking pan with 2-inch high sides. I use my 8-inch square baking pan.
4. In a small saucepan, whisk the yolks, sugar and salt until well blended.(Don’t let them sit or the eggs will begin to break down.) Uncover the half & half and, whisking, slowly pour the half and half (with the vanilla bean pieces) into the yolk mixture. Whisk until well blended. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a spoon or heat-proof spatula, until thickened and coats the back of a spoon or spatula (170-172°F on an instant read or candy thermometer), about 4 to 5 minutes. Place white chocolate in the 2 cup measuring cup, pour hot custard over white chocolate, let sit for approximately 2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and very smooth.
5. Fish out the vanilla bean and scrape any custard from the pod back into the custard. Stir in vanilla paste and rosewater stir to combine. You can pour into a sieve if you like to remove any errant pieces and ensure that it’s totally smooth (I recommend you do). Pour the custard into the ramekins Carefully fill the baking pan with hot tap water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins and cover the pan loosely with foil.
6. Bake until the pot de crèmes wiggle like jello when nudged, 35 to 45 minutes depending on thickness of the ramekin walls. Transfer the baking pan to a rack let cool completely. Remove ramekins from baking pan and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 2 days before serving.