Tradition starts at the table.

Month: November 2018

Marie Biscuit Fudge

Marie Biscuit Fudge

If you grew up in South Africa chances are you have eaten Marie Biscuit fudge.  It evokes sentimental memories of childhood treats.  The recipe is simple and easy to make with children.  Cocoa, butter, icing sugar, and Marie Biscuits.  The ingredients list calls for raw […]

Basic Brioche

Basic Brioche

Brioche is rich and buttery with a beautiful crumb.  What’s not to like?  There are also so many meals that you can prepare with it, it makes sense to keep some sliced and ready in the freezer. This is another very straightforward recipe once you […]

Chocolate Grand Marnier Pot De Crème

Chocolate Grand Marnier Pot De Crème

Pot De Crème’s is on my list of top ten favorite desserts.

I posted the following recipe on my first blog almost 8 years ago and I still love it. It seems like Pot De Crème’s have come and gone as far as food trends go. One day they were all over and now you hardly see them and they are really worth the effort when finished off properly.  I can still remember when I made these particular ones in the photo.  They were so good I forgot to take a proper photo.  That will have to wait until next time.  I hope I manage to get one then!

Chocolate Grand Marnier Pot De Crème

This version is topped off with an orange Sabayon. Both textures are soft and creamy, but the subtle difference makes it so much more decadent.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword chocolate dessert, Chocolate Grand Marnier Pot De Crème, Chocolate pot, Pot de cream
Servings 8 people
Author admin

Ingredients

Pot De Crème

  • 3 cups full cream milk
  • 5 ml Vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 30 ml castor sugar
  • 2 tbsp grated 100% cocoa
  • 50 g milk chocolate

Sabayon

  • 4 egg yolks
  • Rind of one orange
  • 60 ml Grand Marnier
  • 60 g sugar

Instructions

For the Pot De Crème

  1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees. Put eight cups or ramekins into a baking tray that will hold water half way up your containers.
  2. Bring the milk to a simmer, remove from heat and add the chocolate, cocoa and vanilla. Stir to let the chocolate and cocoa melt into the milk evenly. Mix the eggs, yolks and sugar with a fork or whisk, but do not allow it to get foamy. Add a little milk and stir to prevent the eggs cooking. Stir in the rest of the milk. Pass the mixture through a sieve and carefully pour them into eight cups or ramekins.
  3. Put the baking tray into the oven and pour in enough water to fill the tray halfway up your containers. Cover with a sheet of baking paper and bake until just set. Take the chocolate pots out of the water immediately and chill.

For the Sabayon:

  1. Beat yolks and sugar in a double boiler until your whisk leaves ribbons of the mixture trailing down. Add the orange rind and Grand Marnier and stir until mixture is thick and foamy.

  2. Take the bowl off the heat and whisk until cold.

  3. To serve, spoon a dollop of the Sabayon over each ramekin and dust with cocoa.

For more chocolate desserts have a look at my Chocolate Round-Up.  Also if you like this recipe or Pot De Crème’s in general, check out this Crème brûlée recipe.

Chocolate Recipe Round-Up

Chocolate Recipe Round-Up

Here’s a selection of recently posted chocolate recipes for you to try out. The chocolate Chai cookies are different and tasty.  The Mint Top Deck Chocolate Cake is packed with bright flavors and the chocolate mousse and chocolate pancakes are light and fluffy.   Chocolate […]

Chocolate Chai Cookies

Chocolate Chai Cookies

Like most of us, I love a good Chocolate Chip cookie.  There are so many different variations out there, it can be hard to choose which one you should make.   I find that a lot of these recipes are too buttery with not enough […]

How to make Ciabatta at home

How to make Ciabatta at home

Everyone has that one thing they can’t wait to cool down for.  Cookies, pastries, pie… Mine is Ciabatta.  To be very precise, it’s the end pieces of Ciabatta hot out of the oven with a smear of salted butter. It’s food heaven for me.

Ciabatta is also not something you would normally consider to make at home.  I spent years making it in professional kitchens with huge stand mixers.  The dough needs a good, fast beating which these machines provide with no problems.  I tried making a single batch at home one off day.  It didn’t work out at all.  Fast forward several years and the simple revelation came to me.  Take the recipe down even further.  And it worked.  Straight back to food heaven.

Ciabatta is a high hydration bread.  This means that the percentage ratio of liquid to flour is higher than other dough.  It can be challenging to work with at first, but the results are truly satisfying.  I find that a beginner can make a truly wonderful Ciabatta by simply following the instructions.

This recipe does not use a biga, so you will be pulling the bread from the oven within hours of starting.  At the same time, you cannot compare the taste to Ciabatta made with a biga.   You can also allow the dough to proof in the fridge overnight to develop a bigger flavor.

Basic Ciabatta

Perfectly crusty Ciabatta that is great for novice bakers and bakers who don't have a biga.  

Course bread
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bread, Ciabatta, home-made bread, Italian bread
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 2 loaves
Author admin

Ingredients

  • 500 gram cake flour
  • 10 gram sugar
  • 10 gram salt
  • 10 gram sachet yeast
  • 500 ml Luke-warm water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celcius. Place an empty tray on the lower level.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in the mixing bowl of your stand mixer. Mix with paddle on a low speed until combined. Increase speed to high and run until the dough is coming away from the sides of the bowl and looks silky. A good way to check is if you pull the dough away from the paddle attachment and it stretches out in a very thin sheet without tearing. This will take a few minutes. Be sure not to walk away from your mixer. You will need to hold it. Wrap the mixing bowl with cling wrap and leave to proof until dough looks bubbly and has at least doubled in size.  You can check to see if the gluten structure has formed appropriately.  It will look stringy.

    ciabatta dough proof
  3. Prepare baking trays with nonstick spray and flour.

  4. Take dough out of mixing bowl onto a heavily floured surface. Sprinkle with flour and fold dough over and into itself into a sausage. I like to twist the dough as I fold. I find that a thinner loaf produces larger pockets.
  5. Cut into 2 equal parts and stretch out onto a prepared tray.
  6. Put in oven and quickly pour a 1/2 cup of water onto the bottom tray. Close the oven to keep the steam inside. Turn down the temperature to 230 degrees Celcius.  Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the loaves over and bake for another 5 minutes until fully cooked.  You can check if they are done by tapping on the bottom of the bread.  It should sound hollow.  If it doesn't, simply put it back in the oven.   Leave to cool completely before slicing. (If you can wait that long!)

Recipe Notes

You can make bread rolls instead of 2 loaves.  Simply divide the dough into 12 pieces instead of 2 loaves and proceed to bake as per recipe.

To learn how to make other bread have a look at the Kitchen Essentials page.