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1.28.2008

Pots of gold

I come to you today to redeem myself.

You really were terribly kind last week about the whole budino debacle. When I gave you canned beans instead, you didn’t even throw them at me. You really are angels. If I could, I would send every one of your mothers a note to thank them for raising you so well. But that would take forever, I fear. Heck, I haven’t even finished the thank-you notes from our wedding, and the blasted thing was six months ago. (I know, Mom. I know.) So how about we just keep it simple? How about we take a moment to acknowledge, right here and right now, how utterly lovely you are, and then we go share a couple butterscotch pots de crème?



I thought you might like that.

These little gems are my new favorite dessert, hands down. Especially after the disappointment of last week. They’re amazing. Like, really, REALLY amazing. Like, “what stinkin’ budino?” amazing. Like, tape-the-recipe-to-
your-fridge-and-fondle-it-each-time-you-pass amazing. I’ve never heard Brandon cuss so much while eating dessert before. He was swearing up and down, scraping the empty cup like a man possessed. They’re real pots of glory, they are, real pots of gold.

And to think - I’ve had the recipe sitting in my files for more than four years. The poor thing must have been lying there, losing all hope, wondering when, oh when, I would take it out and let it shine. Needless to say, now that I’ve brought it out, I don’t intend to ever put it back. Never, ever.



I clipped the recipe from the October 2003 issue of Gourmet magazine, and were it not for my iffy experience with the butterscotch budino, which set me obsessively on the trail of something better, I might have completely forgotten about it. The recipe comes from an article about a restaurant called The Corn Exchange in Rapid City, South Dakota. Its chef, M. J. Adams, sounds like someone I’d like to meet: born in Seattle, trained in New York (where she worked under Edna Lewis, among others), a supporter of farmers’ markets and local agriculture, and the mastermind behind one of the best little recipes to cross my countertop in a long time. You know you’ve stumbled upon something really good when you resent having to share it with anyone - even your husband, the person with whom you’re supposed to want to share these sorts of things. I don’t know who wrote the rules of marriage, but they obviously never tasted a butterscotch pot de crème.

Of course, the best part of the whole thing is that they’re easy. So easy, in fact, that I made them entirely while talking on the phone - and talking, no less, about the yet-to-be-determined title of my book, which is incredibly distracting, to say the least. Thank goodness the method is hard to mess up, as quick and straightforward as can be. You warm some cream in a saucepan with muscovado sugar and salt; then, in a second saucepan, you cook a sugar syrup to brown and bubbly. Then you combine the two, whisk the mixture into a bowl of egg yolks, pour it through a sieve to get rid of any lumps and bumps, and pour it into ramekins. Then you bake them, cool them, and eat them. Ta da!

Cold and and rich and almost hyperbolically creamy, the custard yields under the spoon the way a good down pillow does under your head: with a welcoming, slippery whoosh. The gates to heaven have never opened so easily. Thank you, you’re welcome, I’ll see you inside.


***

Two quick bits of housekeeping:

- Orangette is a finalist in the 2008 Bloggies! It’s my first time, so I’m seriously tickled. I’m also up against some steep competition. There are so many great blogs out there, people. Wow. It’s positively humbling. If you would like to vote, please click here. My category, Best Food Weblog, is about halfway down the page. Voting closes on Thursday, January 31.

- Lori of the charming - and very inspiring - blog Inspiration Boards interviewed me recently, and she posted the interview yesterday. Her questions are so thoughtful and charming and smart; I absolutely loved where they took me. To read my interview, click here. Thank you, Lori!


***


Butterscotch Pots de Crème
Adapted from M.J. Adams and Gourmet, October 2003

This custard gets its deep, warm flavor from the presence of two special sugars: muscovado and demerara. It may sound fiddly to call for fancy sugars for a simple little custard like this, but trust me: they really seal the deal. They’re the axis on which the whole thin spins. And if you live in a moderate- to good-sized town, they should be fairly easy to find. Here in Seattle, I’ve bought them at gourmet stores like Whole Foods, but this weekend I even saw them at Ballard Market, my neighborhood grocery. I like the brand India Tree.

One more thing: for the water-and-demerara step, be sure to use a light-colored saucepan. If your pan is made of something dark, like this, it will be darn near impossible to see the color of the mixture as it caramelizes.

1 ½ cups heavy cream
6 Tbsp. dark muscovado sugar
¼ tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. demerara sugar
4 large egg yolks
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Set an oven rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 300°F.

In a small heavy saucepan, combine cream, muscovado sugar, and salt. Place over medium heat and bring just to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, combine water and demerara sugar in a medium (2-quart) heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and bubbly, about 5 minutes. (To gauge the color of the mixture, it may help to tilt the pan a little, so that the liquid pools on one side.) Remove from the heat and carefully add the cream mixture, whisking until combined.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and vanilla. Add hot cream mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a 1-quart glass measuring cup, and pour the custard through the sieve. Skim off any foam with a spoon.

Divide the custard among four (4-ounce) ramekins or other oven-safe vessels. (I used teacups, just because they’re pretty. Stoneware and porcelain are safe in the oven at this temperature.) Select a baking dish, one large enough to hold the ramekins without any of them touching. (I used a 9” x 13.”) Fold a dish towel to line the bottom of the baking dish; this will protect the delicate custards from touching the hot bottom of the pan. Arrange the ramekins in the pan. Seal the top of each ramekin with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent a skin from forming as they bake.

Slide the pan into the oven, and immediately pour hot tap water into the pan to reach halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake until the custards are set around the edges but still jiggle lightly in the centers when shaken, like firm gelatin, about 40 minutes. (You’ll have to move the foil to see this.) Using tongs, transfer the ramekins to a rack. Discard foil tops and cool to room temperature. The custards will continue to set as they cool. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, or until you’re ready to serve them.

Serve plain or topped with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.

Note: These are best on the first day, but they’ll keep, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated, for up to two days. The texture slowly declines and they develop a thin skin on top, but it certainly didn’t stop us from eating them.

Yield: 4 servings

85 Comments:

Anonymous Rachel said...

These look heavenly! I am definitely going to have to make these soon...maybe valentine's day!

3:06 PM, January 28, 2008  
Anonymous Aria said...

Hi Molly! I am totally making these soon. I need to put the two sugars on my grocery list to see if I can hunt them down. Our Wild Oats was gobbled up by Whole Foods so I'll keep my fingers crossed that I can find them there. Thanks for the delicious inspiration!

3:25 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger JEP said...

You had my attention from the moment I read the title of your post...MMmmm...butterscotch!

3:33 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Lore said...

Molly, I guess this is heaven!. The pots look incredibly...well "onctueux" :)

3:41 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger hannah said...

i have never ever been happier in my life that it was monday, ever since your little tease from flickr. oh good lord molly. i could almost cuss right now!

3:53 PM, January 28, 2008  
Anonymous Liz said...

Wow - they looked delicate and perfect. Even feminine, but if your husband was cussing, then I'll take on the moxie to give it to mine:). Maybe this will help me get over the mid-January blues. No rainbow, but at least a pot of gold . . .

4:04 PM, January 28, 2008  
Anonymous swirlingnotions said...

Thank you Molly. I needed a bit of comfort right now, and what is butterscotch pudding (taken up a notch, to be sure) if not comfort in a cup. Perfect timing, as always.

4:27 PM, January 28, 2008  
Anonymous emily said...

oh! i can not wait to try this. can. not. wait.

4:35 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger aubrey said...

oh hooray!! i am so glad you posted this. my mouth is watering just reading about these. i am going to the store tonight...YUM. and congrats on being nominated! very cool. and very deserving.

4:42 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger RachelleLouise said...

Those little butterscotch babies look and sound wildly delicious! That recipe will have to be tried, and soon! I'm so excited... I signed up for your veggie class! Can't wait!

4:49 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Lori Pickert said...

thank YOU molly for your wonderful interview! and good luck with the bloggies - i voted for you!

5:19 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger pen and paper said...

Good golly. I'm actually almost regretting my choice of ribs with butterscotch miso glaze for dinner tonight - I would totally make these too if I didn't fear going into a butterscotch coma. But tomorrow, for sure!

I have turbinado sugar and standard brown sugar - would either of these work as substitutes? I've never had muscovado or demerara, and it would be easy enough to obtain them since I live close to a Whole Foods, but my pantry space is pretty competitive and I'd like to use what I already have. What do you think?

5:22 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Christina said...

These make me miss my real kitchen even more! My dorm kitchen, especially since over half of the tools and implements got filched by some unsavory character, just doesn't cut it.

Your blog is so lovely, I'd be happy to vote for it as a Best of 2007, not just Best Food!

5:40 PM, January 28, 2008  
Anonymous birdienumnums said...

A spoon and a white plate close by are a good way to judge the colour of your caramel just drop a bit on the plate... just don't lick the spoon...it's crazy hot!

5:40 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Ellen said...

Will have to remember to try these, after I acquire ramekins...they sound delicious.
Molly, I love the interview. Especially the bit about the importance of getting started (when it comes to creative projects/work...) Too true. I like the Colin Dexter quote.
Congratulations on the nomination for the Bloggies!

6:17 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger wendy said...

oh I am making these tomorrow!
love little sinful desserts.

6:18 PM, January 28, 2008  
Anonymous mav said...

whenever you post i pull my chair up, sit comfortably in and go along for the ride. i loved reading your interview and was so touched you mentioned me. keep it up, molly. i can't wait till we meet again. xx

7:02 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Bellini Valli said...

I had to pop over and congratulate you on all your successes. I was browsing through my copy of this month's Bon Appetit...and there you were discussing your return from vegetarianism!!!One of our own...we are truly proud. Good luck with the book and the Blog awards as well!!!

7:36 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Veronica said...

I'm a new reader to your blog. I'm so excited to make this, and I'm pleasantly surprised to know that the Ballard Market has the supplies, as it is my local market too!

7:53 PM, January 28, 2008  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Mmmm...two kinds of sugar and cream...yum. These might be just the thing to get me through my (also long overdue) thank you note writing. Best of luck with yours!

8:14 PM, January 28, 2008  
Anonymous Aria said...

I went out on a limb and made these with what I had on hand since I wanted to try them so badly. I made them with brown sugar in place of the other two sugars and with 3/4 cup cream (that's all I had) and the rest 2% milk. I'm sure they don't compare to yours, Molly, but we are swooning over these creamy masterpieces tonight. Wow, amazing flavor.

8:37 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Michelle said...

MMmmm...butterscotch! Sounds like the perfectly smooth, creamy, deliquescent dish that puts a smile on one's face. Can't wait to try it. Enjoyed the interview! Great questions!

8:51 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Alicia said...

I am so glad I stumbled over here tonight because these look incredibly delicious. Can't wait until morning to hunt down the fancy sugar!

8:53 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Jules said...

I really, really should have known better than to see if you had a new post up right before going to bed. Now I'll certainly be dreaming of this deliciousness, and will no doubt want to whip it up for breakfast or something.
Jules
House of Jules

10:07 PM, January 28, 2008  
Anonymous Corie said...

Yum! I wish Whole Foods was open right now, *sigh.* I guess I'll have to wait, so I voted for you instead!

10:39 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Julie said...

I don't think I've ever been so enticed by a recipe, or a blog in general. You are one of few I must read every day! Thank you for this.

11:07 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Pille said...

Oh, Molly, these pots of gold sound so dreamy - I'll try them this weekend. Who knows, they might replace the bouchons as my favourite Molly recipe (I've made bouchons twice this January. Imagine that:)

PS I've voted for you at the Bloggies already :)

12:36 AM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger tehstotehara said...

congrats on the bloggie nomination! I just went and voted for you. If you wind up coming to Austin I can give you some great local restaurant suggestions!

12:39 AM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Aran Goyoaga said...

This looks delicious! I love custard in general and caramelized custard sounds sooo good right now!

3:18 AM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Fil said...

Oh, thank you! I have been lurking rather, but wanted to tell you (because you're such a honey you seem to like to know these things) that I gained you yet another convert- my new beau. We hadn't been seeing each other long and he was hooked right away. It was a significant moment, I can tell you!
So, these pots de crème. I will add them to my list of delicious things to make when I spend a week with said chap and his daughter. There's more than cake to win hearts and minds! xx

3:47 AM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Julia said...

i loved your interview at inspiration boards. it's been such a pleasure to visit you here since i discovered your blog a few months ago. i recently read the entry where you described how you and brandon met and i had goosebumps and found myself grinning as i was reading it- that's the sweetest most lovely story ever! thanks for sharing with us here- i only wish i could make more of your recipes for my vegan boyfriend!

5:33 AM, January 29, 2008  
Anonymous kian said...

I've always loved chocolate pots de crème, but these looks absolutely divine! Will really have to try.

6:27 AM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Veron said...

Oh yes, the budino. This dessert was the highlight of one of our favorite restaurants. Then the chef revealed the secret ingredient he used to give it the unusual flavor - goat cheese! It has to be the mild and soft kind so as not to be discernible in the budino.

6:29 AM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger charlotte s said...

these look delicious molly, and so comforting....

6:39 AM, January 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen the movie Paris J'taime? I read your interview and your comment about the city making you lonely and happy at the same time really reminded me of the short directed by Alexander Payne. It'll give you the warm and fuzzies.

7:41 AM, January 29, 2008  
Anonymous Sam said...

I often like making Creme Brulee by sprinkling sugar on the custard and then caramelizing it with a kitchen blow torch. Do you think that would be worth doing on these delicious-sounding "pots of gold"?

7:50 AM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Sarah McColl said...

how do you do it, molly? no, really. i love how your photographs really set a scene, just as much as your writing. sometimes i get so distracted by zooming in right on the food (and usually it's to avoid revealing my ugly countertops or wine-stained tablecloth), but i could take a cue from you, i think. and it wouldn't be my first! anyway, my vote is cast, friend. :)

8:17 AM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Bailey said...

Hello -
I am a filmmaker in Atlanta. I read your latest blog with the mention of Edna Lewis and her recipes.

I just wanted to let you know I produced a 21 minute documentary about Miss Edna Lewis and its viewable in its entirety on Internet at a Gourmet Magazine website:

http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/01/Edna


and at a Georgia Public Broadcasting website:

http://www.cforty7.com/film/theater?film_test=16

My documentary is called Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie.

My website, http://bbarash.com/index.htm has more information about the film and the story of Miss Lewis.

Sincerely,
Bailey Barash

9:24 AM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Amanda said...

I voted for ya! Thanks for the opportunity to do so. If you didn't post it, I wouldn't have know the awards even exhited. Good Luck!

9:46 AM, January 29, 2008  
Anonymous kitchenettejen said...

Ok, wow. Wow wow wow. I have to try these...they look fantastic!

10:16 AM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Vermonstrous said...

Me too! I thought the title of your post looked familiar... then got to the part where you mentioned Gourmet, four years ago... sho' nuff, there's the recipe, tucked into my recipe box there on Epicurious! Must. Make. Thanks so much for not letting me forget these!

10:29 AM, January 29, 2008  
Anonymous White On Rice Couple said...

We love visiting your site to find such great recipes and treats! This is another great one and we especially love your title, "pots of gold"!

11:42 AM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Anna said...

I found your blog a few months ago and just wanted to say how great it is and how much I look forward to reading it each week! Since I live in London, England I can't find all the ingredients you mention, but I'm going to try to track down an american cup measure so I can make some of your recipes! Good luck with the blog awards,

12:44 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I have had the Bon Appetit recipe for butterscotch budino on reserve since September, and was disappointed that you found them to be just okay...with this rave review, I'll have to try this recipe out.

1:34 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger cassie said...

i got married almost 8 months ago and still haven't finished my thank you notes either. don't feel bad!
i think maybe i'll whip up some of these pots of gold and force myself to write them...
thanks for the recipe!

2:09 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger B Dunlap said...

Molly--I loved your interview so very much. It was so insightful to get a peek into your days at home; I will be transitioning into working full-time from home this June, and am equally excited and apprehensive. That interview somehow assauged some of my fears (It's okay to putter around until the afternoon!! Whew!) Anyway, gorgeous words and thoughts as normal. Thanks for the inspiration!

2:30 PM, January 29, 2008  
Anonymous thursdaynightsmackdown said...

these will be made for dessert tomorrow night, hands down. i think i just drooled into the keyboard.

5:03 PM, January 29, 2008  
OpenID kateortiz said...

i am of the opinion that you should charge gourmet magazine finder's fees for those of us who now have a subscription because of your blog. now i'm off on a muscovado hunt. thanks for another enticing find!

7:03 AM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous dana said...

YOur lovely butterscotch pots de creme are the high octaine version of my humbler (but still very delicious!) microwave butterscotch pudding that I featured at my blog last week.

II hope you and your readers will remember my fast and easy version next time a butterscotch emergency hits and time is short.

danamccauley.wordpress.com

9:24 AM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous Anna said...

so that's where I've been going wrong in my relationship. Butterscotch pots it is then!

12:47 PM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous Tricia said...

I just went out and bought the ingredients for these today. I found the moscovado, but had to buy turbinado instead of the demerera. Are they the same?

Anyways, I have to admit that I was a teeny bit relieved to hear that you haven't finished your wedding thank you's yet either. I got married in September and have been feeling a little guilty about not sending them all out yet. I'm glad to see I'm not alone - it's hard work!

1:36 PM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous Foodwoolf said...

Though my apartment is under construction and I have no floors leading to my kitchen--your recipe and photos make me want to ignore the wood heap and go out and buy some fancy sugar! I'll be clearing a workspace soon! Those delicious teacups of pot au creme will be mine!
Thanks, Brooke

1:47 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Dana said...

Butterscotch is like crack for me -- I could probably eat an ordinary batch of butterscotch pudding all by myself. So if this is as dynamite as you say (and of course it is), this could be *dangerous* in my house!

2:06 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi guys! Let's see about those questions:

Pen and paper, standard brown sugar and turbinado should work just fine. Brown sugar doesn't have the depth of flavor that muscovado does, but it'll work. And turbinado is quite similar to demerara - both are types of raw sugar - so I hardly think it'll make a difference. Hope that helps!

Anonymous, I've seen Paris, je t'aime, and I know exactly the part you're referring to! I remember hearing her say that and thinking, Oh my gosh! That's what I always say!

Sam, these would make terrific creme brulee. For sure.

Bailey, I'm so glad you stopped by to let me know! What an absolute pleasure it must have been to chronicle Miss Lewis's life.

Tricia, demerara and turbinado are different, but for this recipe, I think they should be pretty much interchangeable. This helps explain it a little.

3:26 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Patti said...

I'm in.

7:04 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Bailey said...

Molly - Yes, it was a pleasure to get to know Miss Lewis. I visited her once a week for about an hour and we talked. She didn't say much but her eyes and her face expressed everything.

You could tell you were in the presence of an extraordinary person.
It was an honor to have the chance to tell even a part of her story.

9:41 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Sarah said...

Molly-your interview was lovely. I'm actually in the process of writing a book (on tile!), and the hardest part for me is starting it. The quote you have on your inspiration wire will be going on the fridge soon.

As far as these little pots of deliciousness go.....I'm going to have to wait a bit! Between the holidays and getting an ice cream maker, my waistline is crying out for me to stop (latest ice cream adventure: Anise, courtesy of Mr. Lebovitz). Rest assured I will be making these for the next special occasion.

Also, I too voted for you. I read a lot of blogs, but yours is the only one that when I read it, I feel like I'm settling in with a well worn and dog-eared favorite novel, and I couldn't be happier :)

-DC Sarah

1:10 PM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Katie said...

They sound absolutely dreamy

1:47 PM, January 31, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Molly,

I'm going to ask what is most likely a stupid question, but it is one that I've thought about occasionally. The few times I've attempted to stir a hot milk or cream, even ever so slowly and carefully into egg yolks for a recipe, it's messed up. I don't think even straining wouldn't have yielded a satisfactory result.. I'm intimidated by the process and it's kept me from attempting recipes like pots de crème since.

My explanation out of the way.. would it be possible to combine the egg yolks with the cream prior to cooking, or does that present an altogether bigger problem? Again, apologies for having to ask, this was my first oppportunity to ask someone who I'm sure could provide an answer. :)

The recipe sounds divine.

Mares

6:42 PM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Angstia said...

Molly,

I've bene lurking for a few weeks and am absolutely addicted! I just have to say, bravo on this recipe! I had even gotten all geared up to try my hand at the budino but this... it just sounded so... comforting. Plus it necessitated me expanding my kitchen gear by purchasing a light color pan, mesh sieve and some lovely flower shaped custard cups.

I totally see why you suggested the whipped cream sans sugar, though. It's wickedly sweet and that would just be gilding an already perfect lily. In fact, one of the lucky people I shared this with (who totally didn't deserve to be included and who will NOT be invited over for deliciousness ever again) seemed horrified, neigh, disgusted when I sugested the possibility of using it as a creme brulee. He is obviously a communist.

In any case, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for posting this! It was my first turn at making a real custard AND butterscotch. Please keep doing what you're doing, it's absolutely lovely!

6:47 PM, January 31, 2008  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Congrats on making it to the top 5 int he best food blog bloggies! You deserve it!!! And those pots of "gold"...yummm!

10:03 AM, February 01, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Good question, Mares! I guess my first response would be a question in return: when you add the hot milk/cream to the yolks, do you using a spoon or a whisk? You should always use a whisk, since it will incorporate the hot liquid more quickly and evenly. Using a spoon is bound to scramble the whole lot. Also, have you tried taking the eggs out of the fridge a bit ahead of time, so that they're not icy-cold when you add the hot liquid? That might help. Also, have you tried letting the hot liquid sit for a minute or two, to bring down the temperature ever so slightly, before you add it to the eggs? That might help too.

As for your question about combining the yolks with the cream prior to cooking, the answer is no, that wouldn't work either. You'd wind up cooking the yolks, which is not what you want at that point. Plus, I'm afraid they would do very funny things when you added the cream to the hot caramel. Not good.

I hope this helps!

11:13 AM, February 01, 2008  
OpenID theflouredapron said...

Not related to this lovely post at all, but I just wanted to say how much I loved your first column for Bon Appetit! I've been reading your blog for a few years now without commenting, but I just had to congratulate you on your new gig. I actually just subscribed and I'm so excited to read your column every month!

4:10 PM, February 01, 2008  
Blogger Patti said...

Ditto on your first Bon Appetit blog. I am excited!

And I will try these butterscotch beauties. Thanks...

6:19 PM, February 01, 2008  
Anonymous AOC said...

I have to say that I'm totally in love with your blog, so much so that after reading one entry, I had to go back and read them all. I also picked up the Feb. Bon Appetit issue just for your column and can't wait to read more! All praise aside, I'm a sucker for pots de creme and am eager to try this butterscotch concoction! However, I do have to pass on a suggestion for a cookbook that has the most amazing pots de creme recipe ever! Eve, a small Ann Arbor, MI restaurant, came out with a cookbook last year and I can't stop making the triple chocolate pots de creme. I want to bathe in the accompanying brown sugar cream, and by your standards, that says a lot.

11:08 PM, February 02, 2008  
OpenID ohsundayschool said...

if it makes you feel any better, my wedding was 13 months ago and we still haven't written our thank you cards. terrible (and embarrasing). but they are coming, one day! i like to think they will be worth the wait.

now, back on topic... these pots look delicious. i need to find me some darrrrk sugar.

7:40 PM, February 03, 2008  
Blogger Cheryl A said...

Yours look a lot better than the way my turned out. They were still tasty, but it sure wasn't a pot of cold. Oh well, I had to try and I may try again.

8:14 PM, February 03, 2008  
Anonymous The Yummy Mummy said...

Hey Molly!

I just jumped over to "Inspiration Boards" and you're right - great questions and a really lovely interview.

Loved hearing about the board you have up and how the pictures inspire you.

I actually think I may try to get the kids to go with granola for breakfast - I'll let you know how it goes..

Kim

7:30 PM, February 06, 2008  
Blogger amisha said...

molly, these sound amazing! a true justification for the ramekin, a bit of pottery that seems sometimes to just take up space in the cupboard, but when it is needed... well... just perfect. can't wait to try it. xo

7:55 PM, February 06, 2008  
Blogger Kitt said...

I've had this recipe on my mind since you posted it, so when I visited Berkeley Bowl Marketplace while visiting California last weekend, I looked for muscovado sugar. Came home with dark and light muscovado, demerara and and caster sugar for good measure.

I'm all set! Thanks for the recipe; can't wait to try it.

1:25 PM, February 08, 2008  
Blogger Meg said...

I made these yesterday with my kids, and they were really very, very nice. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

9:45 AM, February 11, 2008  
Blogger Stephanie said...

It thrills me just a little everytime I come across a pot de creme recipe--Dorie Greenspan had one with cardamom and coffee not long ago, yum--after a sorry experience late last year at a nicer restaurant when I asked if the "chocolate selection" dessert included a pot de creme. The server had no idea, and retreated to the kitchen. He came back and said, "no, and they've never even heard of that." I begged to differ--pots de creme clearly exist. Server chappy said "yes, well, the chef is FRENCH, you know." It seemed I was meant to infer that he was thus in all ways superior to me, the server, and pretty much everyone else in the room. So I left an otherwise delightful dinner thinking, "well then how the hell did he get this far without even HEARING of pots de creme???"

So thanks for once again reinforcing the existence of a truly stellar dessert.

11:29 AM, February 13, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this today....

Every once in a while if I eat something that's good enough- something really, REALLY good- my body's natural reaction is to giggle. Well, this did it!

I pulled them out of the oven a couple hours ago, and thought I'd take a quick taste before I ran off to work....I stood at an open fridge and finished the entire ramekin. My husband is going to pass out tomorrow when he eats one.

The only hiccup was that after an hour and fifteen minutes in the oven they were still not setting up (maybe I didn't boil the water/sugar mixture long enough). I finally gave up and pulled the foil off to finished baking them. Yes, there's a skin, but they are still absolutely freakin' FANTASTIC!

Keep up the good work. I love your blog.

5:59 PM, February 13, 2008  
Anonymous Ellie said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This was one of the single best things I have ever put in my mouth! Silky heaven.

5:41 PM, February 14, 2008  
Blogger Audrey said...

These are quite pretty in 1/2 pint wide-mouth jars (http://tinyurl.com/yof7dv), and the lids make them easy to cover and store. I even used them in place of foil during baking, though you have to remove them carefully when checking whether they're ready to come out.

You can also buy demerara (http://tinyurl.com/27oyts) and dark muscovado (http://tinyurl.com/yo34o3) on Amazon.

3:51 PM, February 21, 2008  
Blogger Il Fornaio said...

I had to stop by to say that I have made these three times since you've posted this recipe-- the first time didn't come out perfect, so I tried again and swooned. Then I made them this weekend for company, who wound up not getting here at all (snow+Newark airport today=no way), so now we have four for the weekend. I couldn't be more excited.

3:24 PM, February 22, 2008  
Blogger Kitt said...

I made these last night. Took more like an hour to bake, and I had to refrigerate overnight because I started cooking too late. But it turned out yummy! I think even this small serving is too rich for me, though, so next time I will make it in demitasse cups, and serve it with espresso.

Photos here.

9:50 AM, February 24, 2008  
Blogger Rin said...

These were soooooooo gooooooooood.

I made them at my apartment before family dinner, but I liked them so much, I hoarded and made my family share.

Good thing they all thought I was being sensitive to their diets.

10:28 PM, February 24, 2008  
Blogger Nasia said...

Molly,

I love your blog and have for years. I just want to say that I first made these pots de creme three years ago and I think they are one of the main reasons my boyfriend loves me as much as he does. Every time I make them I win a few more hearts. I'm so happy that they are favorites of yours now too!

5:27 PM, March 10, 2008  
Anonymous katieh said...

I made this for the first time today, and i've just finished eating mine.

wow - heaven!

(I'm going to go spoon out the sugar, so that I can make them again on our holiday next week. :D)

7:20 AM, June 28, 2008  
Blogger machi16 said...

I finally made this today. It's been sitting on my counter for a while now waiting to be made. It was so velvety and the perfect shade of butterscotch. I could hardly wait for it to cool. Thank you for sharing such a lovely recipe.

6:50 PM, October 15, 2008  
Anonymous Livia said...

These sounds wonderful! I've been wanting to buy Demerara every since I read some short stories by Nalo Hopkinson, but it would take up quite a bit of room for something I'd occasionally put in tea. Now I have a proper reason. *g*

I've been reading through your back catalog (can't remember whether I've commented and said hello, yet), and I very much love the way you eat - I only wish I had the knack of baking. But Pots de Crème have been on my list of things that seem within my grasp.

I think this is the second time, though, that I have noticed you having trouble gauging color in a dark pan. Perhaps you have discovered the secret by now, but if not I have a helpful hint. I just every now and then dip a teaspoon into the liquid so that I have a bright background on which to see the color. No need to buy new pans.

6:19 PM, November 17, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delicious! I just recently discovered your blog (crazy, I know) and have been reading it from the beginning. I adore your writing and am so excited for all your success- you deserve it!
And these yummy little pots were the first recipe of yours I've tried... thank you for sharing it!
-Danica

10:31 PM, August 21, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm new to cooking and have a question regarding the step where you put the towel and ramekins into the baking dish. Would you recommend a glass or metal baking pan? And, to clarify, you leave the dish towel into the pan and so when you pour the hot water in, you are soaking the towel? I'm afraid the baking the towel in the oven will start a fire mishap, so just wanted to make sure I had the step right before I tried it. Thanks!

8:57 AM, November 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Molly. These took way longer than 40 minutes to set up for me in the oven. I finally cranked the heat a bit. They were crazy delish though, although I accidently over salted because i only had course sea salt. All in all though, super yummy!
Thanks so much!!
Gillian

9:06 PM, April 18, 2010  

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