I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this recipe with you. It’s rich, deep and lush. But this recipe comes with a shocking surprise. The twist is not the dessert but the source of the recipe.
This dessert is brought to you by… (insert dramatic pause here) …GQ magazine! Yeap, that GQ magazine, magazine.
I’ve read GQ for decades and have never thought twice about checking out the pub’s food/recipe section. I mean, it’s GQ after all. I turn to GQ for style trends. Such as, if I want advice on pleated vs. flat front trousers (evidently, for men, always flat) or if I should cuff the bottom of my suit pants (supposedly no cuffs are more contemporary). But GQ for recipes? This would have never crossed my mind.
But as I was flipping through the magazine I was stopped cold when I spotted a glistening spoonful of pot de crème. It was the color that first grabbed my attention – a mesmerizing and saturated deep amber hue. And that’s when I realized it was a butterscotch pot de crème. I knew then that I had to give this recipe some serious consideration.
And boy, am I glad that I did!
It’s a beautiful dessert. Not too sweet. Just perfect, actually. And it’s all about the butterscotch. It lends an intense yet creamy flavor to the final product. As a matter of fact, I sampled the custard so often after it was mixed that I made a serious dent in the amount of custard I had left to cook with. Yikes!
Sometimes I will make changes to a recipe when I am testing it out – alterations that make it more to my taste. But I made no major changes to this recipe. Just three extremely minor things.
First, I am not a big fan of extra large desserts. Thus, instead of the 5-ounce ramekins called for in the recipe, I used 3-ounce ramekins. Which worked out fine – it’s a very rich dessert. Secondly, I cut the recipe down by half. If you do the same, keep in mind that half of a ¼ cup is 1 fluid ounce (a standard shoot glass is 1 ounce).
Lastly, I topped the dessert with chocolate shavings to add a bit of extra sweetness to the palette. This was the right move. The chocolate gave an extra bit of dimension giving the final dessert a wonderfully complex flavor profile. Plus, it added great visual texture.
This dessert is definitely a keeper.
BUTTERSCOTCH POT DE CRÈME
GQ Magazine, September 2009
6 egg yolks
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
¾ granulated sugar
1 TSP pure vanilla extract
1 TSP kosher salt
¼ cup butter-sweet chocolate, shavings (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 300⁰F.
Place egg yolks in a large bowl and lightly whisk till smooth. Set aside.
Over a medium high flame, heat the brown sugar, milk and heavy cream in a heavy saucepan and stir until brown sugar start to dissolve. Then heat until the milk is steaming and tiny bubbles have formed along the edges, but do not boil. Remove from heat. Cover and keep warm.
In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with ¼ cup of water and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the sugar turns amber (ideally the color of a new penny), remove from heat. Carefully add ¼ cup of the hot cream mixture, whisking until combined. Whisk in 2 more cups of the cream mixture, then add the rest.
Pour the caramel cream into the yolk in a slow, steady stream and gently whisking the mixture continuously. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Strain the custard through a fine strainer (or sieve) into a pitcher. Skim off any foam or bubbles on top.
Pout the custard into six 5-ounce ramekins, leaving ½ inch at the top of each. Place ramekins in a roasting pan and carefully fill the pan with hot water until it comes halfway up their sides. Carefully cover the pan with foil.
Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until set. When done, the center may still a bit loose when the custard is gently shaken.
Remove the pan from the oven and let the crème finish setting in the water bath at room temperature uncovered. When cool, refrigerate uncovered to preserve the burnished color.
Makes 6 5-ounce (or 10 3-ounce) desserts