It’s funny you know. As I work my way through recipe development for my book, so many people react to hearing about a French food cookbook for kids by asking “French food – isn’t that complicated?” Well, actually no. A lot of French home cooking isn’t complicated. Sure many people see and hear about all the fancy haute cuisine dishes and are familiar with what fancy French pastries look like but the reality is that in the French home, people eat quite simply. Including for dessert. Those fancy pastries? The French buy them!
Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi and Hillary Davis’ French Desserts (read about it here) are both books out to prove that much French home baking is, in fact very simple (so yay, I am in good company!) and include a number of what the French would classify as childhood favourites – those classics that every French mum or grandmother has their own version of. One of these dishes is a pot de crème, one of my all-time favourite French comfort food desserts.
Pot de crème literally translates as “pot of cream” and that’s pretty much what it is! A looser custard than, say, a crème caramel or a crème brûlée, it’s made with milk and cream (I have used all cream here…), eggs/ egg yolks (I’ve just used the yolks), sugar and a touch of vanilla. Typical flavourings include caramel or chocolate and it’s a true French childhood favourite (you can even buy them in the supermarket these days!). A few years ago, I tasted a coffee flavoured pot de crème somewhere in France and it, too, was divine, though not a typical flavour to serve to a child…
Coffee’s been on my mind (and in my cup!) – ever since I received the Breville Duo-Temp Pro (read my review here), I’ve been enjoying many cups (necessary fuel for cookbook recipe development and writing!) but I don’t often drink coffee in the evening because it does tend to keep me awake (and no, I don’t want to switch to decaf thanks!).
What does feed my love of coffee in the evenings, though, is a little coffee flavour in my desserts and I couldn’t think of a better flavour for a pot de crème than coffee. If you make them in the tiny glass jars they are supposed to be served in, it’s a smaller dessert than you perhaps might be used to (especially in North America) so it’s a perfect late-night coffee hit that won’t fill you up and won’t keep you awake!
Coffee pots de crème
Easy pots de crème with an intense coffee flavour.
- 120mls (1/2 cup) strong espresso
- 375mls (1 1/2 cups) heavy cream (35%)
- 6 egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate shavings
- Pre-heat the oven to 300˚F and boil a kettle full of water.
- Heat the espresso and cream in a medium pot over medium-high heat until simmering. Do not boil. Remove from the heat.
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a heat-proof bowl until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Slowly pour the espresso and cream over the eggs, whisking constantly until all the espresso and cream is incorporated.
- Carefully pour the liquid into a large jug (this is so it's easier to pour into the jars or ramekins).
- Divide the cream evenly between 6 pots or ramekins.
- Place the pots/ramekins in a large baking dish and fill the dish with the boiling water until it's about halfway up the sides of the pots/ ramekins.
- Bake for 30 minutes. The pots de crème will be still a little jiggly in the centre.
- Place the pots de crèms on a cooling rack (use tongs with rubber tips to pick them up, they are very hot) and allow to come to room temperature before refrigerating 4-6 hours or overnight.
- Serve topped with a dollop of whipped cream and some chocolate shavings.