I wish I knew what's come over me! All I think about are desserts! The ideas keep coming to me throughout the day, and again as I lay in bed at night. I don't count sheep, I count tiny cakes filled with scrumptious fillings. There are Pot de Crème fairies dancing around me! Outrageous I say! Ahhh, and oh so delicious. Really.
My inspiration for this came from a salted caramel cupcake I saw recently. All I could think of was having that salty caramel flavor in a velvety pot de crème texture. And though I like caramel, it's vanilla-caramel that I adore. Add salt and...well, you have to trust me on this, there is no better flavor on earth. If you look closely at the photographs you can see the vanilla bean flecks in this dish. The texture on the top is reminiscent of crème brûlée... oh how I wish I had a kitchen torch to take it the rest of the way to crunch!
Salted Vanilla-Caramel, a Pot de Crème
For the Caramel
- 3/4 Cup Organic Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/4 Cup Organic Granulated Sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Paste
- Pinch of Sea Salt
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a heavy pan, over medium heat, cook 3/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt with a 1/4 cup of water stirring constantly until the sugar is melted. **Do not walk away from this mixture because it can burn.** Continue cooking without stirring until syrup turns a golden brown color and remove it from the heat. Add the heavy cream and return it to the heat, stirring constantly. Don't worry if there are some lumps, they will stir out over the heat. When smooth, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl add the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla paste and whisk until thick. Slowly whisk in the caramel until well blended. You can skim off the foam or leave it on, your choice.
Place your ramekins into a roasting pan and fill them with custard. Add boiling water to the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 30 to 40 minutes. They're done when you can barely wiggle them in the center. Let them cool for 20 minutes before refrigerating them for at least 2 hours.
Sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top just before serving.
Oh, and if you happen to have a kitchen torch and want to make the brûlée, just before serving add sugar to the top of the custard and torch it until it's caramelized. Enjoy!