Words should come with little thought bubbles that have their pronunciations written in them. You know, so when you’re about to say something, and you’re not sure how to pronounce it, the little thought bubble floats up and shows you how to say it. And if you’re still unsure, you can ask for an audio clip in your head…just in case. But you know…somehow, only you can see it, so you don’t end up looking like you don’t know anything.
I mean, I know it doesn’t make me stupid, but seriously, I hate it when I don’t know how to pronounce something. I know I’m not stupid, but I feel like it when I don’t know. When I’m talking to someone I know really well, I always say something like, “blah, blah, blah, something I can’t pronounce…” Or I’ll say it in the most basic pronunciation possible and say, “or whatever…I have no idea how you say that.” I always feel the need to justify it. But when I’m with a stranger, I swear to you, my palms start sweating, my heart starts racing, and have to fight the urge to run in the opposite direction.
I love words. I’m such a word loser…I think spelling is FUN. I think word games are the best. I ask the hubster and kiddo to test my spelling. That’s what we do for fun sometimes.
So…yeah. If you ever doubted my geekiness before, I think I can rest assured that you’re convinced now.
But look, I never took French, and I don’t speak Latin, except of the pig persuasion. I don’t know German or Russian or any other foreign (to me) language, except for some Spanish. Some. So my solution for a word that I don’t know? Throw a Spanish pronunciation on it and hope I’m right.
I’m usually wrong.
Of course, there’s the times that it’s obviously not Spanish, and my attempts to pretend I know something won’t succeed, even a little bit, and that’s when I need those damned thought bubbles.
For example, I’ve read the term “pots de crème” probably hundreds of times, but I’ve never heard it spoken aloud. Therefore, I really feel like I’m justified in thinking it’s pronounced just like it looks: Pots day creem. Actually, I pretty much assumed that “crème” was all schmancy and sounded more like krem. So I’m all Englishy with the first word, and the middle word has some of my I-don’t-know-how-to-say-this Spanish flair, while the third is actually correct, but only by accident. How was I supposed to know that “pots” is actually pronounced “po?” Yes, “po,” like the Kung Fu Panda.
Po. Duh. Krehm. Not Pots Day Creem.
Whatever. I thank The Pioneer Woman for today’s grammar lesson.
I think I need to either invent the Thought Bubble Pronunciation Helper, or I’m going to have to become multilingual, so that I always know how to say complicated, foreign, fancy words. Or maybe I can hire some pretentious person who takes the time to learn how to pronounce all of this stuff.
Oh well, at least now, when I go to order pots de crème at a restaurant for the first time, I’ll know how to say it. Just don’t ask me about plural versus singular. I’m not going there. I’ll just have to order more than one every time. Just in case.
Fortunately, pots de crème are delicious; delicious and easy and gorgeous, so having to eat more than one isn’t a hardship at all. Especially when they’re all malted milk chocolate and ganache and crunchy malted milk ball candy.
I always had this mistaken idea that pots de crème were difficult to make. Nothing could be further from the truth. They’re simple and easy, and they only require a few ingredients, in this case: milk chocolate (preferable high quality), malt powder, granulated sugar, egg yolks, a whole egg, milk, and heavy cream.
Once the custard is mixed up and divided into ramekins, they’re placed in a roasting pan int he center of the oven. The pan is then carefully filled with enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins, being cautious not to splash or spill water on top of the custard.
Once they come out of the oven, they need to cool on a cooling rack for about 45 minutes before chilling them. Mine turned out pretty and smooth this time, but if you have some small bubbles on top, that’s normal…don’t be discouraged by it. You won’t see them anyway, since we’re covering them with lovely, dark ganache.
Once the pots de crème are chilled (after four hours in the refrigerator), you can make the ganache. There’s only three ingredients: heavy cream, bitter or semi-sweet chocolate, and malt powder. You’ll need a scant half cup of heavy cream, and I never used to be sure how much that was…so I took a picture for you guys…just in case you weren’t sure either. This is what a scant half cup looks like. Hope this helps.
The perfect final touch for these is some softly whipped cream. And, of course, if you’re going to be serving these up for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day, then you can’t go wrong with some lovely little heart sprinkles.
These were so fun and easy to make, and they’re beautiful and delicious. I always forget how easy pots de crème are, then I make them, and I promise to make them more often. This particular recipe is one that I think I’ll always remember to make.
The dark chocolate ganache is perfectly complimented by the creamy milk chocolate custard underneath, and the malt flavor is sweet and subtle, punctuated by the crunchy malted milk balls on top. I also love how gorgeous the dark chocolate is on top of the light colored milk chocolate ganache. If you want an easy, fast, elegant, and scrumptious dessert this Valentine’s Day, you can’t go wrong with these. Everyone will love them, and you can make them the day before to save time. Not that it matters…aside from the long chilling time, these only take about 20 minutes of actual work to make.
Plus, you get sound all extravagant saying that dessert for the evening will be “po duh krehm.” Enjoy!
Malted Milk Chocolate Pots de Crème [Printable Version]
Make 6 6-ounce custards
7 ounces (200 grams) milk chocolate, chopped
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) heavy cream
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1/2 cup (2.5 ounces or 70 grams) malt powder (omit for gluten free)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
about 2 ounces malted milk balls, chopped (omit for gluten free)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees (165 C), place an oven rack in the canter of the oven.
Place the chocolate in a large bowl, set a fine mesh sieve over the top, and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolks; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, milk, malt powder, and sugar together. Bring the mixture to a gentle bowl, whisking to dissolve all of the malt powder is dissolved. Remove from heat.
In a very slow, steady stream, whisk half of the cream mixture into the eggs. Be sure to whisk constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking. Once combined, whisk in the remaining cream mixture. Pour the mixture through the mesh sieve, over the chocolate. Let sit for 3 to 4 minutes, then gently whisk until smooth and thoroughly combined. If all of the chocolate isn’t melted properly, heat in the microwave for 15 seconds, then whisk to combine.
Divide the custard between six 6-ounce ramekins. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan. Pull out the oven rack and place the pan in the center of the rack. Carefully fill the pan with enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins, being cautious not to splash or spill water on top of the custard. Place a piece of foil over the tops of the custard cups. You may need to cut it to fit inside the pan to lay on top of the ramekins.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until only a small circle int he center is still liquid.
Carefully remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for about 45 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours.
Once cooled, top each with 2 tablespoons of ganache and chopped malted milk balls, and serve with softly whipped cream.
Recipe adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking
Malted Dark Chocolate Ganache [Printable Version]
4.5 ounces (128 grams) bitter or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
scant 1/2 cup (about 218 ml) heavy cream
3 tablespoons malt powder (omit for gluten free)
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.
In a small saucepan, whisk the heavy cream and malt powder together. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, whisking to make sure the malt powder dissolves completely. Pour the hot malted cream over the chocolate, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk the cream and (now melted) chocolate together into smooth and glossy.
Recipe by Darla