Butterscotch Pots de Cremes
Yield : 6-8 servings
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 oz (4 tbsp/57 grams) unsalted butter
- 4 oz (1/2 cup/113 grams) firmly packed light or dark muscovado sugar
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 19⅛ oz (2¼ cups/540 grams) half and half
- ¾ tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- Whipped cream, for serving
- Buttermilk Caramel Sauce (see recipe below) or other caramel sauce, for serving
- Flaky sea salt (like Maldon), for serving
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 F. Set 8 small (6- to 8-oz) ramekins, cups or coffee cups in a small roasting pan. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt together the butter, sugar and salt. Whisking often, cook until the sugar begins to caramelize, darkening in color and smelling nutty, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully and slowly whisk in the half-and-half. The caramel will seize at first, melting back into the mixture once all the liquid is added. Stirring often, bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract.
- Whisk a small amount of the hot liquid into the yolks to warm them and then gradually whisk in the remainder. Set a fine mesh sieve over a large heatproof measuring cup. Pour the custard through the sieve. Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins.
- Slide out the oven rack and place the roasting pan on the rack. Carefully fill the roasting pan with boiling water halfway up the ramekins, taking care not to splash any water into the custards. Slide the rack back into place. Bake until the custards are just set but still jiggle when tapped and a thin knife inserted into the center of one of the custards comes out clean, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size, depth, and thickness of the ramekins (use the “jiggle test” and knife tester as your clues for doneness.) Let the custards cool out of the roasting pan for 5 minutes. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill for 3 to 4 hours.
- To serve, top each pot de crème with a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and a smattering of flaky sea salt.
Buttermilk Caramel Sauce
- 7 oz (1 cup/200 grams) turbinado sugar or grated piloncillo
- 2 tbsp (1 oz/28 grams) water
- 1 tbsp honey, brown rice syrup, or agave nectar
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 oz (4 tbsp/57 grams) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 4¼ oz (1/2 cup/120 grams) buttermilk, well-shaken
- 4¼ oz (1/2 cup/120 grams) heavy cream
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, gently stir together the sugar, water, honey, and salt. Set the pan over medium-high heat. Stirring gently, bring the mixture to a boil, and then stop stirring. Cook the sugar syrup until it caramelizes, about 5 to 7 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. The color of the sugar will make it a bit tough to gauge by sight if the sugar is caramelizing, so watch for a thickening of the syrup and a few wisps of smoke coming from the pot, and keep your nose tuned in for a slightly smoky smell; if you’d like to use a candy thermometer for extra insurance, caramelization will happen at about 300 F.
- Remove the caramel from the heat and whisk in the butter. Carefully whisk in the buttermilk and cream. Place the pan back on the heat and bring the caramel back up to a simmer, whisking all the while. Cook for 1 additional minute; if any lumps formed when you poured in the liquids, they should smooth out completely during this time. Remove the pan from the heat again and whisk in the vanilla extract. Chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
source : sugarhero