Butterscotch Pot de Creme, Gianduja Macarons and a Farewell

Today I said goodbye to my parents who have been with us for almost two months. Time flies, doesn’t it? People ask me how I manage to find time to blog after just giving birth. Well, the answer is my parents. They have been incredible help during this transition time, trying to get adjusted to having M., still tending to J., managing small projects and continue blogging. I could have not done it without them.

As I was watching them walk away, I realized how having children has made me appreciate them much more. It might be just age and the process of growing up. I don’t know why, but I do.

We had freezing temperatures in Florida all last week. It was actually wonderful as I love cold and sunny days. We stayed home, cooked and baked more than ever. We made arroz con leche two days in a row as it disappears faster than what we can make it.

I woke up at 2am one night, a bit restless and unable to fall back to sleep. I got out of bed, turned my laptop on and started browsing through Shauna’s recipe index looking for some gluten-free dessert recipes to make. As soon as my eyes read butterscotch, I thought “that’s it”. The following morning, I pulled out the eggs, cream, muscovado and demerara sugar and made these butterscotch pot de creme inspired by this recipe.

Instead of caramelizing the top, we sprinkled some hazelnut praline crunch and accompanied it with gianduja macarons we had made a few days earlier.

Butterscotch Pot de Creme

makes about 8 6 oz ramekins

500 ml heavy cream
225 ml whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
160 grams muscovado sugar
80 grams demerara sugar
8 egg yolks

Place the heavy cream, whole milk, muscovado, fleur de sel and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Keep it hot.

In a separate medium saucepan, make a dry caramel with the demerara sugar. Sprinkle half of it on the bottom of the pan spacing it evenly. When it starts to melt, sprinkle in the rest of the sugar and let it melt and turn to a light caramel.

Deglaze the caramel with the hot cream mixture. Be careful because it will bubble up. Whisk to make sure there are no large chunks of undissolved caramel. If there are, keep the pot on the heat for a bit to melt them.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together and temper the hot caramel and cream mixture into them. Strain the custard through a fine sieve.

Pour the custard into the ramekins. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan and bring it to the oven that’s been preheated to 300F. Pour hot water on the sheet pan to make a water bath. Bake until the center of the ramekins is set. Cool and refrigerate.


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79 Responses to “Butterscotch Pot de Creme, Gianduja Macarons and a Farewell”

  1. YUM! and congrats on your new little baby!! ~Chris Ann

  2. I feel the same about my parents. I didn’t truly appreciate them until I had a baby….then my mom passed away when he was one. I wish I could see her again just to say “thank you.”

    Your butterscotch pots de creme look wonderful and so comforting!

  3. Quinn says:

    I already feel the same about my parents even before being pregnant. Just having them away and having myself doing everything in the house is crazy! I can imagine you with 2 babies… Pot de creme looks awesome!!!

  4. Tessan says:

    Wow it looks great!

  5. maameemoomoo says:

    I’m drooling! I am getting fleur de sel definitely.

    Loving your small bowls and tiny pots that u use sometimes. They’re oven proof?? Can u share where do u buy them? Do they ship internationally if yes? Thanks aran!

  6. Mimi says:

    I’m sure it was hard for your parents to leave you and your family.
    The Pots de Creme looks so delicious.
    Mimi

  7. I’m more amazed that you had your parents with your for 2 months post partum then I am that you blogged post partum!

  8. Hat lady says:

    Te entiendo perfectamente, estoy en tu misma situación: cuando se van los padres y tienes realmente que “hacer de madre”…

  9. Lumo says:

    This is such a pretty and inpirational blog. Thank you (and your parents).

  10. Yum! That looks delicious! My type of food, as you know! Hard to see your parents leave, I am sure. Adjusting to the dynamic of the four of you will be a change too. Go slow with it. It’s going to be challenging at times, I am sure, but so worth it. Especially when you keep baking.

  11. What a delightful dessert! Droolworthy pictures!

    You are so lucky to have such parents,,,

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  12. mymymymymy oh MY!! these look incredible.
    You are blessed that you have had your parents with you during these past two months–that’s for sure.

  13. Sari says:

    Scrumptious looking dessert! You are very lucky that you have such wonderful parents.

  14. Dylan says:

    wow these look amazing! I love the idea of hazelnut crunch on top! will have to give these a go at the weekend.

    Dylan

    http://fromcooktotrainedchefandbeyond.blogspot.com/

  15. antonia says:

    Te entiendo muy bien por lo de tus padres, yo también vivo lejos de ellos, cuesta mucho.Bueno, gracias por indicarme lo de la suscripción, era lo que había hecho, pero no estaba muy segura…
    ¡vaya postres!!

  16. Gaunt says:

    no one believes me when i say that i am freezing in florida. i’m glad you can empathize!

    you have given me the confidence to attempt making macaroons. i may put that on this weekends schedule. stay warm!

  17. cindy* says:

    i always feel a little tugging in my chest whenever i part with my mom…though i dn’t have children, i think i know what you mean :)

    the pots de creme look wonderful, i had never thought of them as anything other than chocolate! i made macarons this week and they actually turned out! yay!i love these photos, lovely as ever…xo!

  18. darkREDcrema says:

    Aran, your photography is stunning and your writing has such a tangible presence. I love reading and looking at your blog. I have a young child and my mother lives far away – I cannot think about it for long without tearing. Best wishes in the new year. -laura

  19. Erika says:

    Miralo de esta manera. Tuviste la posibilidad de disfrutar dos hermosos meses que quedan para siempre en el corazón. No todos lo pueden hacer.
    Tu postre, fantástico!
    Cariños

  20. Victoria says:

    Oh my goodness. These look amazing. Your photos are so beautiful – the colours are always just perfect. Happy 2010.

  21. simplesong says:

    thanks for sharing! hope the transition goes smoothly! xx

  22. i am sorry you have to say goodby to your family….. your pictures are like form a magazine.. and the dishes are absolutly georgous

  23. Such great timing you have on this post. Just this last Saturday, my husband and I went out to dinner and I had butterscotch pot de creme for dessert. And it was heavenly. I am going to bookmark this recipe because my husband wanted us to figure out how to make it.

    Once again, great timing. Thanks for the post!

  24. Parismages says:

    Looks heavenly tasteful !

  25. Aww! Your Baby is soo precious! Your food is amazing, have you got a cook book?? if you have can I have some details? email me :D Nicoleraybaud@ymail.com

  26. J Wagner says:

    You almost had me in tears with this post. I just love your blog and recipes. Isn’t having a baby the best miracle or recipe of success? I have a family who has a family and still love the times shared with my mom and dad. They are oh so wise. Life is beautiful!

  27. oh my these are delicious!

  28. Brittany says:

    what mouthwatering loveliness!! beautiful images as always. :)

  29. Me encanta arroz con leche and your blog! Thank you for the great recipe and lovely images. I share your love and appreciation for family and especially las Mamas!
    Thankyou for sharing
    Gina

  30. Sarah says:

    your pictures are stunning and a pleasure to see!
    I hope the Florida sun treated you and your family well. Good luck with the new baby!
    Happy new year

  31. Seanna Lea says:

    The butterscotch pot de creme sound fantastic. I made a caramel pudding last week (the lazy way with cornstarch). While it was delicious, part of me wishes it had the fuller flavor from the eggs. I will have to try this.

  32. Aran says:

    maameemoomoo- all the bowls are oven proof. the pink ones are from Mud Australia,the blue ones from anthropologie.

    Timothy Language- no, unfortunately i do not have a cookbook. maybe one day… who knows :)

    Thank you guys! I have read every single comment and they made my day.

  33. I’ve been wishing for a non-chocolate pots de creme recipe and this fits the bill beautifully! :-) I’m so glad you had your parents there to make your transition easier.

  34. Chaokar says:

    cookbook is a great project, you’ve got the material here in you blogsite. :)

    live life with great food.
    Hugs. to ya baby and ur parents.

  35. Congrats to your new baby! I have been wishing for a recipe like this to be posted here! Thanks for sharing!

  36. Fresh Levant says:

    Hi Aran, great post and pictures . I just wanted to know what you did with the Muscovado sugar, you didn’t mention it in the explanation. Thanks :)

  37. aww. sad about your parents leaving. I’ve never gone more than a year without seeing my parents, that was when i lived in France. But im about to move (move, actually move) out of the country, and missing them will be so hard.

    macarons. good idea. there seems to be a very large bag of almonds here that never diminishes….hmmm there’s some blueberries too strange enough.

    beautiful shots! you must use side screens…that’s all i can think of how you got that light. you don’t use a tripod do you?

  38. Anonymous says:

    You didn’t specify when to use the muscovado sugar, do we use it to make the caramel too?

  39. Shauna says:

    These are BEAUTIFUL. And so much better than the butterscotch treats I made that inspired you.

    (why do you live on the other side of the country?)

    I understand what you mean about parents. there’s absolutely no way we could understand the love our parents had for us when we were young. Not until our little ones enter. It’s one of the sweetest parts of growing older: that understanding.

  40. Aran says:

    Shauna- i wish we lived closer too. So many great people in Seattle with such love for food. It’s contagious. You are such an inspiration to so many of us. Thank YOU.

    Fresh Levant- thanks for pointing that out! Forgot to mention the muscovado in the method. It goes in with the milk and cream.

    Mallory- moving again eh? good luck to you! No I don’t use a tripod. Should I? :)

    Thank you so much!

  41. Macaroon fondue!! I need this sweets therapy under the freezing weather in Tokyo too :)

  42. Spettacolare… tres tres jolie…

  43. Anonymous says:

    Que fotos tan bonitas!!! siempre te escribo lo mismo..pero por que sera que ver una foto de huevos me pone de buen humor? bss Carmen Zh

  44. I love your blog..it truly inspires me. The recipes and photos are wonderful, but your writing too. I have two little ones of my own and always wondered how you had time to produce such beautiful food and take care of them :)
    I wish you and your family a wonderful 2010!!

  45. Dajda says:

    It looks so nice, the browns with the blues. As for the parents, I agree with you – you appreciate them more and more as the time passes.

  46. Zerogluten says:

    Pues otro día que te levantes y no sepas que hacer de madrugada, preparas un paquetito con cositas ricas gluten free y me las mandas, que alucino con todo lo que haces.
    Eres una crack a la que nada se resiste, ni gluten free ni nada de nada.
    Besitos y a disfrutar de la pequeña.

  47. Trissa says:

    I’m sorry to see your Mom go – I enjoyed the recipes you both churned out. My Mom is also here for a few more weeks – after reading this, all the more I feel like taking advantage of her spoiling me during her stay here!

  48. El says:

    The recipe looks beautiful as do the photos. It must have been very hard to see your parents leave after so much time. It’s wonderful that you had them to help out. Tell your mom we’ll miss her cooking inspiration!

  49. Esti says:

    Cuando nació M, al salir del hospital, pasamos una semana en casa de mis padres. Tras una serie de noches de esas que no duermes nada, que no entiendes nada, me levanté fuí hasta la cocina donde mi ama se tomaba su primer café y le pedí perdón por cualquier palabra mal dada, cualquier mal rato que le hubiese hecho pasar. ¡Como somos tan ciegos al amor de nuestros padres!

  50. Jen Yu says:

    I think it’s wonderful that you and your family are so close. Not to mention, I believe grandparents are wonderful for children to know as they are growing up. Hopefully you will get to see your parents again soon and enjoy more time together. Love that you all can share such wonderful treats together. Happy new year, Aran :) xoxo

  51. I live in Florida too and love the cold weather for the dishes it inspires me to make (15 degrees warmer would be fabulous though!) Those pot de creme are just gorgeous & I wanted to reach through my computer screen to grab a gianduja macaron – one of my favorite things!
    So sorry to hear your Mom is leaving – how wondeful you got to spend such special time with her though. Take care!

  52. Monica says:

    Ummm. Me encanta el arroz con leche! En mi casa también habria sido un visto y no visto. Seguro que te adaptarás a tu nueva situación rápidamente. Un abrazo.

  53. Suzanne says:

    looks so tasty … and those dishes are so cute!

  54. *Chachita* says:

    Acabo de descubrirte. Es increíble tu blog.. a ver si hago alguna de tus recetas… ví por ahí unos biscottis de chocolate..ummm!

    La niña es hermosa, la verdad haces unas fotos re lindas!

    Saludos!

  55. Hi! One of my readers pointed me towards this site. I think in the list of 11 Food Photo Bloggers to Watch this Year
    http://www.learnfoodphotography.com/2010/01/11-famous-food-photo-bloggers-to-watch-this-year/
    I should have added you.

    Absolutely Loved your Photos I just absolutely am moved and inspired in so many ways when I see beautiful photos like these.

    • Love the composition
    • Use of Light
    • Elegance

    Thank you for sharing so much.

  56. Esti- yo hice exactamente lo mismo cuando nacio J. se lo debemos. pobres amatxus…

    Thanks everyone!

  57. Y says:

    What a gorgeous bowl of happy! Pity your parents have left so soon already.

  58. Carla says:

    Oh those look delicious!!! I LOVE your blog and I have to ask you where you get all of your gorgeous little bowl and ramekins and spoons from. Keep up the awesome work and congratulations and welcome to the world of having a daughter… every bit as precious as sons but the love, although totally equal in measure, something special in itself.

  59. Jamie says:

    Family is a wonderful thing and the more time passes, the more life brings to us, the more we understand just how important they are to us. You are lucky, indeed. And how you make me miss those gorgeous, crisp, cold, bright sunny Florida winters. I wish I was there. And I wish I could be eating one of these luscious pots de creme!

  60. I just discovered your blog from Bordeaux (France), and I have to say that it is a very nice experience. Congrats for the recipes, the beautiful pictures… and the baby !

    Bénédicte, from My Little Spoon

  61. Jennifer says:

    I have been following your blog for a while now. and I finally decided to tackle the famous macarons using your recipe. I have a couple of questions though, are they supposed to develop the rumoured feet while drying or baking? (mine didn’t develop any either way) And how long should I wait before giving up on drying them, because I waited for around an hour for the crust to be dry to the touch, but it didn’t work….Your blog is lovely by the way. I really enjoy your passion for good food. Thank you.

  62. Jennifer- I’m glad you tackled them even though they didn’t turn out the first time. They don’t always do and usually takes a couple of tries, so don’t give up.

    The feet develop in the oven when they bake and slightly rise. Usually, if they don’t develop feet it’s because the batter has been overmixed. Try not to mix it too much and test the batter to see what it does. It must spread enough so that the batter doesn’t leave “peaks” when piped, but not too much or the macarons will spread all over the place and won’t develop feet. Takes practice to know that’s why I always tell people to pipe and see what happens and mix more if needed.

    The macs do need to be dry before going in the oven otherwise they will most likely crack. Sometimes depending on where you live, the humidity and the ingredients you use, it takes longer to dry. I live in a humid climate so I tend to even dry my dry ingredients in the oven overnight with just the pilot light on, this eliminates any excess moisture that the almond meal and powdered sugar have.

    Hope that answers your questions. Try it again and let me know how it goes!

  63. Valérie says:

    Je comprends que ça soit dur de laisser partir tes parents après deux mois passés ensemble mais ta recette me paraît tout à fait réconfortante :o)

  64. Looks so pretty kids will love it

  65. kanishk says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  66. I live close to my mother now, and still feel sadness when a visit or drop by ends. I really do appreciate my mother more now than I did before. Parents are amazing, aren’t they? And what wonderful influence they no doubt are, on your two lovely children. What a delightful dish to celebrate a farewell. Or, until you see them again!

  67. This looks amazing!! Perfect for V-day :)

  68. Ondriana says:

    Hello there!
    I have recently come across your blog. I have loved french macarons for a while but I cant seem to find them anyplace local to me. I saw your recipe and decided I would try and make them myself. I tried the challenge recipe you posted, I would say it was fairly successful for a first try. but I would also like to try the recipe you usually use from your culinary instructor. However I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing the conversion into ounces. If that is not too much trouble. thanks again. your blog is beautiful by the way,
    Ondriana

  69. beautiful blog!!! well done

  70. ondriana- it’s easy. to convert grams to ounces all you have to do is divide the grams by 28.375 an that will give you the ounces you need.

    thank you all!

  71. this recipe worked beautifully (i just made the macarons). say, do you think replacing almonds with cashews would work? i just found 8 bags of cashews (!) in my freezer drawer and would love to use them for this sort of thing. have you ever tried it?

    thanks alot, i love your blog!
    maya

  72. Maya- That’s great! I have never used cashews. Their fat content is most likely different than almonds so you have to be careful with that. I’d use half almonds and half cashews to start out and go from there. Thank you!

  73. Hello! i am a huge fan of your blog! amazing recipes and more amazing photos. I would like to ask you how do you upload images in this quality and size? because everytime i try to upload a picture in a post, blogger limits the size to 271X400. And even if i changes the html of the photo, the quality ends up being full of pixels… can you please help me? thanks in advance!

  74. Donkey and the carrot- first you have to resize your photos to fit the width of your blog template. then when you upload them through blogger, in the html, make sure to delete the part that says the width and height. and then where it says “s400″ change it to “s1600″. that should do it!

  75. Susan says:

    Butterscotch is my all time favorite and this looks like a delicious way to use it. I would love to see more recipes using butterscotch if I can say so :) YUM!

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