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Dulce de Leche Pots de Creme

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Sounds fancy, doesn’t it?  It may seem too sophisticated for your kitchen skill, but don’t worry, it’s not.  Pots de Crème merely means “pot of cream” in French.  That piece of information should make this less intimidating.  The great thing about this dessert is that it’s very impressive in its sound, appearance and taste, but very easy to make.  You don’t need to be a pastry chef to be successful at this recipe.  As a matter of fact, it’s not too far off from pudding (Jell-O packets not included).  And as I’ve said before in other recipe instruction, if you mess up, try again.  The cost of the ingredients will not break your bank.   I’m not a sweets person, nor a high-calorie food person, but it is the holiday season and if allowed only one sugary indulgence, it will be this.  Hands down.  Let me stress that part of eating healthy and living healthy is moderation.  Part of exercising moderation is portion control.  It’s okay to allow yourself a 4 ounce portion of dessert.  A little bit of fat goes a long way in terms of staving appetite.  Not to mention, the fat content in this recipe is reduced significantly but cutting the heavy cream by half.

I stray from the traditional flavors of the dish by incorporating dulce de leche and ancho chile powder for some sweet heat.  Use any hot pepper you have in your pantry or dismiss it completely if spice is not your thing.  I like to garnish with shaved dark chocolate, which adds extra depth and enhances the dulce de leche and ancho chile.

Ingredients & Method (yields 6 servings)

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 Tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 Cup 2% milk
  • ½ vanilla bean, pod scraped (or 1 t of vanilla bean extract)
  • ½  Teaspoon  ancho chile powder
  • ½ Cup dulce de leche (see recipe)*
  • Hot water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk together egg yolks, sugar and salt until sugar is dissolved and yolks turn pale yellow.  In a small pot, gently heat heavy cream, ancho powder, vanilla and dulce de leche until mixture begins to simmer around the edges of the pot.  Slowly add the cream mixture to the yolks, whisking constantly. If using vanilla bean, discard the pod.  Divide the mixture into 6 ramekins, about 4 oz. in size.   Place ramekins in a deep baking dish or roasting pan and fill halfway up ramekins with hot water.  Cover tightly with foil and poke two small holes.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until the center is just set and has a slight jiggle.  Let cool and refrigerate.

To serve, bring pots de crèmes to room temperature, about 30 minutes.    Garnish with shaved dark chocolate.

*The dulce de leche recipe can also be made using non-fat sweetened condensed milk.  When eating the non-fat version on its on or in a more prominent way (i.e. spread on toast), it does indeed taste non-fat.  However, when incorporated into pots de creme, there is virtually no difference in taste or texture then when using full fat dulce de leche.

Dulce de Leche Pots de Creme
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Dulce de Leche Pots de Creme
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