Blogiversary Dinner Party: Part 3
For the final course of my blogiversary dinner party, I wanted something impressive yet simple. The kind of delicious that makes you wanna close your eyes when you eat it, yet something light enough that after the other rich courses you still have room to enjoy it. I decided to make pots de creme.
This is a really simple pudding to prepare. There are no eggs in it, so no bother of separating the yolks or worrying about the egg cooking and ruining the texture when you add it in. The flavor is delicate; I used a recipe that had originally called for absinthe so I substituted it for Grand Marnier instead (you can of course use any liquor flavor you’d prefer!). To top my lovely little pots, I made some salted caramel sauce and garnished them with a few slices of fresh strawberry. The result was a hit! I feel like right now, everyone is on the salted caramel train, and why not? The stuff is like heaven in a jar! I’m so glad that I’ve learned to make homemade caramel this year- at first a daunting task, and even still I occasionally have to throw out my first batch and start over, but its so very very worth it.
Grand Marnier Pot de Creme with Salted Caramel
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp kosher salt or fleur de sel
For Pot de Crème
- cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- Salted caramel sauce
- Fresh strawberries, sliced
Make the caramel: Mix the water and granulated sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Do not stir. Increase the heat to medium and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a warm chestnut brown (about 350°F on a candy thermometer), about 5 to 7 minutes, gently swirling the pan to stir the mixture. Be careful – the mixture is extremely hot! Watch the mixture very carefully at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt very quickly turn off the heat. Stand back to avoid splattering and slowly add the cream and ½ tsp of vanilla. Don’t worry – the cream will bubble violently and the caramel will solidify. Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the salt and stir to combine.
Allow to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours or a day in advance. It will thicken as it sits. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Make the pot de crème: In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk and sugar and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the gelatin and Grand Marnier. Add gelatin mixture to cream mixture and stir to combine.
Strain the mixture into a pitcher and divide evenly into 6 ramekins or glasses. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the puddings and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours. Pots de Creme can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Before serving, pour a layer of caramel sauce over the pudding and top with sliced strawberries. Enjoy!