Sweet and Salty. It’s All About Balance.

Hello Friends.  How’s your day treating you?

Does it feel balanced?  If not, I’ve got something to remedy that.

Salted Caramel Pots de Creme.  Sweet, salty and balanced. Yum.

If your day already feels balanced, fear not!  This will only reinforce the zen.

I wouldn’t want to make things all wonky.  I’m only here to help.

Back to our balancing act and the pots de creme.  They are smooth, caramel-y, salty and downright velvety. 

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.  Here’s a visual to help.

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Yes. You DO need these in your day.

And here’s how to make them:

 

Salted Caramel Pots de Creme

1 c. Cream

1/4 c. Milk

1/2 t. Vanilla extract

1/4 t. Sea salt

1/2 c. Sugar

3 Egg yolks

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine cream, milk, vanilla, and salt in a heatproof bowl and heat in microwave until steaming, but not boiling over.  You can also use a small saucepan to do this on the stovetop.

Meanwhile, place egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk to break up. Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and 1/8 c. water, swirling to combine.  Cook over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, but not stirring.  Take care to not get any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan.  Cook until it is a golden amber color, about 10 minutes. Carefully watch the color of the caramel, as it can go from lovely to a hopelessly burned, bitter mess in moments.  That would be sad.

Take the pan off the heat.  Add the warm cream and milk mixture to the caramel, slowly stirring with a wooden spoon until the caramel is combined with the cream mixture.  The caramel may spatter and seize a bit.  Don’t worry.  No need to panic.  Just place the pan over low heat and slowly stir until the caramel dissolves.  Strain into a glass measuring cup or bowl.

Slowly add the caramel cream into the egg yolks, drizzling the cream into the yolks while whisking.  This is called tempering, which we have to do because eggs and hot caramel don’t get along right off the bat.  We have to let them take it slow, so they will become friends.  And they will become friends and be a delicious custard before we know it.  Whisk until combined.  

Just in case the egg didn’t quite get friendly with the cream, strain the custard back through the strainer into the bowl.  Now you’ll have a smooth mixture ready for baking.

Place six small ramekins or oven safe baking dishes in a large baking pan.  Pour an even amount of custard into each dish.  Set the pan in the preheated oven and carefully pour very hot water into the pan, taking care not to splash any water into the custard dishes. Again, don’t worry. You’ll be fine, just take your time. Using a liquid measuring cup with a spout helps.  Cover the pan with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges of the custards are set but the center is still a bit wiggly.  Carefully remove the pan from the oven.  Take the individual pots de creme out of the water bath to stop the baking.  Place on a towel or plate to cool, then place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours to set completely.  

When ready to serve, sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt or even kosher salt on the top to get that sweet-salty balance.

If you really wanted to be naughty, sprinkle a coating of sugar on the top and caramelize it with a blow torch.  You’ll now have salted caramel creme brulee.  And a LOT of people who will adore you.  Take a bow. You earned it.

The best thing about this dessert is that it can be made ahead.  They keep nicely in the fridge for a couple of days.  Ready at a moment’s notice for any imbalance that comes your way.

I’ll leave you today with this image.  I hope you have a similar one in your future.

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2 thoughts on “Sweet and Salty. It’s All About Balance.

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