Salty Honey Pots de Crème
I had some acupuncture last month. It was an interesting experience. The needle thing didn't freak me out, in fact I think it's rather cool. I'm the kind of person who looks at the needle when their blood is being taken. Too much information? I'm sorry.
Anyway, I don't think acupuncture is the right fit for me. The whole process just seemed like a good excuse for a nap, really. I don't mean that disrespectfully. While I am a novice, I do believe these ancient techniques have the power to promote balance and health. And I was stoked to experience cupping for the first time, that was rad, I felt like Gwyneth Paltrow. Except for when it was so tight that my acupuncturist couldn't remove the cup from my belly. That was awkward.
All in all, if I found myself in the position of being suffocated by an abundance of money, I might return. Alas, that is not my present situation and so I have stopped. For now. Though I did take one piece of advice away with me. My acupuncturist said I run cold and that I should always wear stockings and socks and try to heat this body up. I took that as a sign to switch from eating ice-cream to pots de crème.
So here we are.
Though not warm, as such, pots de crème are decidedly less chilly than my beloved creamy scoops of homemade ice-cream. I am loving on a particularly good almond ice-cream recipe at the moment but rather selfishly I have been eating without taking photographs, so it will have to wait. For now, we have these beauties - honey pots de crème - which I have taken as my own personal prescription for health.
Ben adores these French custard pots. I do too, I find them to be dainty and delicious, like you're diving into a pillow of soft and sweet, creamy then (oh!) salted honey. Doesn't that sound lovely? While I'm not a fan of gooey custard, I just adore it when iced or warmed then set. I served these salty honey pots de crème to friends at a dinner party and they were quite taken with them.
We ate the leftovers the next day for dessert after lunch, outside in the soft and sweet sunshine. Completely forgetting to photograph the pots in this gorgeous light and instead photographing the two of us being us. I surely have my priorities right. These frosted days are my favourite. Rugging up in woollen knits and thick socks, I'll drag Ben outside and we'll work and read and talk and eat. I'll bring blankets and mugs of hot tea, so much hot tea. And treats like these pots de crème. Surely that is all the therapy I need...
I quite fancy a cocoa version of these pots, as that is where my brain is presently sitting. Last month it was honey. Always it is salt. Hence, these...
Salty Honey Pots de Crème
3/4 cup Full Cream Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Pasta (you can use 1 vanilla bean here, but I prefer the intense vanilla flavour I get when using a paste)
1/3 cup Honey
5 Egg Yolks
A pinch of quality Sea Salt flakes
1. Heat the cream, milk and vanilla bean paste (or split vanilla bean) in a heavy-based saucepan over low-medium heat. Bring the mixture to just below the boil (careful to not don't boil it!) then turn off the heat and stir in the honey until it dissolves. Let the mixture sit for 30minutes-1hour (I always go for longer), to help the flavour infuse.
2. Meanwhile, separate the eggs and store the egg whites to use for muesli bars, biscotti or an omelette. Whisk the egg yolks and the egg together in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
3. Re-warm the mixture on the stove, then turn off the heat. Slowly (!!) pour the egg mixture into the warmed honey cream, whisking constantly. If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds out and stir into the mixture (the little blobs of black in the photograph above are indeed clumps of poorly stirred vanilla bean - not a bad thing). Pour into a jug.
4. Place six small ramekins (~1/2 cup capacity each) in a roasting dish (note: depending on how many you wish to serve you can vary the size of the ramekins (this recipe makes enough for 6 people in ~1/2 cup liquid capacity ramekins), just note that the cooking time will vary. I sometimes do a few small ones and then a big one which takes ages to bake but is amazing and indulgent and all mine). Fill the pan with hot water, enough to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover loosely with foil, then bake in the oven for 50-60minutes or until the custards are set but slightly wobbly in the centre.
5. When just set, remove the ramekins carefully form the water bath and allow to cool, then chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. If you're concerned with condensation on the top of the crèmes, cover the tops loosely with paper towel. These pots lovely served with a spoon of creme fraiche, but then again, what isn't? I'm not against an extra cheeky pinch of sea salt, too.