For those who aren’t familiar with these little desserts, Pots de Crème are essentially a baked custard. Essentially it’s the same as a Crème Brûlée without the brûlée or caramelised sugar layer. You can make these in so many different flavours too. From classic vanilla or chocolate, to these yummy salted caramel versions.
They’re not very difficult to prepare if you’re comfortable with making traditional custards and caramel, but do take a little cooking and then setting time. They’re well worth it though. Simple and traditional in appearance but so incredibly smooth and velvety and full of flavour that you won’t mind the little bit of effort.
They’re great for making in advance too. Hence the use of these little yoghurt pots that come with lids so that I could store them in the fridge for a couple of days. But feel free to use traditional ramekins, or even oven safe cups or mugs.
And the bonus, if you don’t count the salt and vanilla, it’s basically just three ingredients. Eggs, sugar and cream.
Note: I love the flavour that brown/golden sugar adds to caramel. If you’re not experienced with making caramel though, I would advise using white sugar until you are comfortable as it’s not as easy to tell when the caramel is ready with brown sugar.
Salted Caramel Pots de Crème
- 6 Large Egg Yolks
- ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ⅓ Cup Water
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt
- 2 Cups Fresh Cream
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- Sea Salt for garnish optional
- Preheat the oven to 160°C
- Remove the cream from the fridge and set aside to come to room temperature
- Split the eggs*, placing only the yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth and set aside
- In a heavy bottom pan, combine the sugar and water and begin heating until the sugar dissolves. (Do not stir the mixture, but you can swirl the pan a little if you need to) Turn the heat up to let the sugar syrup come to a gently but even boil and cook for around 5 – 10 minutes, or until the syrup starts to become an amber (brown) colour. Gently swirl the pan if you need to to help it colour evenly. Keep an eye on the heat as you do not want it to burn**
- The darker the caramel the more flavour. The lighter the more sweet and less caramelly it will be. You want a dark golden amber but beware of going too far as it can become bitter and burnt
- When the caramel reaches the colour you want, turn down the heat and sprinkle in the salt.
- Next, gently pour in the cream in a steady stream, while whisking continuously. The caramel might bubble up so be careful not to burn. It can also seize/harden a little due to the temperature change but will dissolve again once the cream heats up. Just continue stirring over medium heat until the caramel and cream are combined fully and has heated to a gentle simmer (not boiling)
- Remove from the heat, and again in a gently steady stream, pour the cream mixture into the egg yolks while whisking continuously (to avoid the eggs from scrambling). Whisk until well combined***
- Pour the mixture into your chosen oven safe vessels. You can use, glass yoghurt pots, traditional stoneware or ceramic ramekins, or oven safe coffee or espresso cups. The size of your vessel will determine the number of portions. I got six small portions from this recipe
- Place the ramekins in a deepish oven dish and carefully pour boiling water around the ramekins to between ½ – ⅓ way up the height of your ramekins/cups/pots (be careful not get any water in your custards)
- Very gently transfer the oven dish to the oven, taking care not to burn
- Bake for 30 – 40 minutes (depending on the size of your vessels). The custards should be set around the edges but with a little jiggle in the centre
- Carefully remove from the oven and let cool for around 10 minutes in the water/dish. Then gently remove and place on a cooling rack until they cool to almost room temperature (30 min to 1 hour). Finally, place in the fridge to chill and set for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight. Cover with lids or plastic wrap if making a day or two ahead of time
- If you wish, sprinkle with a tiny bit more sea salt before serving