Chocolate and Coconut Milk Pots de Crème

Chocolate and Coconut Milk Pots de Crème

Adapted from The Bojon Gourmet

Makes 6 small yet rich servings (about 4 ounces each)

For the pots de crèmes:
1 can full-fat coconut milk (1 3/4 cups)
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
3 ounces (85 grams) bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1.25 ounces / 35 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon dark rum

For serving:
3/4 cup (175 mL) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
splash dark rum, to taste
flaky salt, such as Maldon

Make the Pots de Crème:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300ºF . Place six four-ounce ramekins in a baking dish with 2-inch high sides.

In a medium saucepan, gently warm the coconut milk with the vanilla bean paste until the coconut milk is steamy-hot, swirling occasionally. Cover and let steep 10 minutes. Whisk in the salt, chocolate, and cocoa powder until completely smooth.

Whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and coconut sugar in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until smooth, then whisk in the rum.

Carefully divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins in their baking pan. Pour enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the jars. Transfer the pan to the oven.

Bake the custards until they are mostly set and wiggle like Jell-o when you give the pan a gentle shake, 30-45 minutes. Let the custards cool slightly, remove from the pan, and let cool to room temperature. Chill the custards until set, about 3 hours (or cover and chill for up to 3 days).

Make the whipped cream:
Whip the cream with the coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and rum until it holds soft peaks. Serve the pots de crème dolloped with the whipped cream and topped with a few cacao nibs and flakes of salt.

 

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Sour Cream Old Fashioned Doughnuts

When we visited Seattle a few years ago, one of the top places on my must see what Top Pot Doughnuts.  The first bite of their delicious cakey treats brought us back three times that trip.  

Sour Cream Old Fashioned Doughnuts
Adapted from Top Pot Hand Forged Doughnuts 
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups cake flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ⅔ cups sour cream
  • coconut oil for frying
Directions
  1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together in a medium bowl, and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugar and shortening for 1 minute on low speed. Add the egg yolks, then mix for 1 more minute on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula, until the mixture is light colored and thick.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three separate additions, alternating with sour cream, mixing until just combined on low speed and scraping the sides of the bowl each time. The dough will be sticky, like biscuit dough.
  4. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 45 minutes.
  5. Using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, heat oil (at least 2 in deep) in a high-sided frying pan to 325°F. Roll out the chilled dough on a generously floured surface to ½ in thick, flouring the top of the dough and the rolling pin as necessary to prevent sticking. Cut into as many doughnuts and holes as possible, dipping the cutter into flour before each cut. Fold and gently reroll the dough to make extra holes (working with floured hands makes the dough less sticky), and cut again.
  6. Shake any excess flour off the doughnuts before carefully adding them to the hot oil a few at a time, taking care not to crowd them. Once the doughnuts float, fry for about 15 seconds, then gently flip them. Fry for about 60 seconds, until golden brown and cracked, then flip and fry the first side again for 60 seconds, until golden brown. Transfer to a rack set over paper towels.
  7. Dip doughnuts in coating of choice.  

Homemade Peppermint Patties

Peppermint Patties have always been a favorite treat in my house.  We used to keep bags of bite sized York Peppermint Patties in the pantry to always have an after lunch treat.  Once we went natural, the originals were replaced by Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Mint Creams.  Now, the poor TJ’s version has been replaced by these homemade treats.

Homemade Peppermint Patties are easier than you’d think.  The downside is, they don’t last very long!  I imagine I’ll have to make a batch a week to keep up with demand.

Homemade Peppermint Patties
Adapted from Design Sponge

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup (Wholesome Sweeteners makes an organic option)
  • 2 tsp peppermint oil
  • 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Combine powered sugar, water, coconut oil, corn syrup, and peppermint oil in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until it comes together.  
  2. Dampen your hands and form mixture into a ball.  Place on parchment paper and flatten into desired thickness.  Add powdered sugar as necessary to keep from sticking.  Use a small cookie cutter to cut into desired shapes.  
  3. Place shapes onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Put finished shapes in freezer for 30 minutes.  
  4. Meanwhile, melt chocolate and coconut oil, stirring until smooth.
  5. Coat peppermint shapes with chocolate mixture, working quickly to avoid too much softening.  I don’t worry about the messy extra chocolate, it’s just bonus chocolate! 
  6. Allow candies to set in refrigerator on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Store in refrigerator. 

Fresh Whipped Cream

I can come up with just about any excuse to make fresh whipped cream.  In the winter, it’s hot cocoa, almost nightly.  This spring, it’s fresh picked strawberries for the (only!) local organic field.  Get yourself a handy dandy whipped cream maker, it’s a quick and easy process which is worth it!

Fresh Whipped Cream

Ingredients

1/2 pint heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp powdered sugar

Directions

1. Combine ingredients & “whip” according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

I’d never tried Nutella until a few years ago and ever since that first bite, I’ve been hooked.  Of course, it’s not a common ingredient around here because it’s not exactly “healthy,” “organic,” or “natural” despite what those charming commercials would have you believe.  Well, thanks to Jessica at Su Good Sweets, I’ve found a homemade version that can at least count towards Michael Pollan’s idea that you can “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.” When Forrest got home and asked what I had made, I told him “this might be the best thing I’ve ever eaten, let alone made.” 

While you can simply top your ice cream with this delicious goodness, for an even tastier treat, add it to your basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe. 

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread
Adapted from Su Good Sweets
Yield: about 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups)

Ingredients
2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
up to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking to ensure an even color.

2. Since the skin is bitter, you’ll want to discard them. Wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel, and rub until most of the skins have come off. Don’t fret if you can’t get off all the skins.

3. Process nuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. First, you will get coarsely chopped nuts, then a fine meal. After a little while, the nuts will form a ball around the blade, and it will seem like you only have a solid mass. Keep processing. The heat and friction will extract the natural oils, and you will get hazelnut butter!

4. When the nuts are liquefied, add in the sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Slowly drizzle in enough oil to make a spreadable consistency. Since the mixture is warm, it will be more fluid now than at room temperature.

5. Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for1-2 months. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.

Homemade Marshmallow Fluff

I had all the ingredients for s’mores except marshmallows, so I pulled out an old recipe that I had tucked in a binder.  I have no idea where it originated, but I’m sure glad it did!

Homemade Marshmallow Fluff
(Makes approximately 10 cups)

3 egg whites
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites, corn syrup and salt, about 5 minutes until thick and fluffy. Slowly add in sugar beating on low speed until well blended. Add vanilla and mix until blended.
This recipe may be frozen for later use. Remove from freezer and stir until fluff is mixed.

It can be kept in the refrigerated for up to 1 week. Stir well with a spoon before serving.

You can use this in any recipe that calls for marshmallow creme/fluff.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This is a staple on my family’s holiday table.  I think it falls into the category of dessert, but Mom and Grandma serve it as a side dish.  Either way it’s a yummy addition.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cups melted butter
1 cup, 2 tbsp sugar
1 large container whipped topping
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 small packages strawberry jello
2 small packages frozen sliced strawberries, thawed
2 cups hot water

Combine pretzels, butter, and 2 tbsp sugar and press into 9×13 baking dish.  Combine whipped topping, less 1 cup, cream cheese, and 1 cup sugar and pour over crust.  Refrigerate.

Mix jello, strawberries, and water and let stand until thick and syrupy.  Pour over cream cheese mixture.  Spread remaining cup whipped topping over strawberry mixture.  Refrigerate until firm.