At the green table: Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Serves 6 in a 5 oz. ramekin or cup

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup whole milk

6 oz. fine-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

6 large egg yolks

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons brewed espresso or 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, or to taste

1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar, or to taste Sea salt

Whipped cream, shaved chocolate, or coco powder and fresh fruit for serving

Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Method

Preheat oven to 300oF.

Add the cream, milk, espresso, vanilla and a pinch of salt to a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk the mixture until just before it comes to a boil. You will see a few small bubbles around the edge of the pan. Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl and pour the cream mixture over the chocolate, whisking until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

If the chocolate mixture is to hot when you incorporate it into the egg mixture, the eggs may cook and the pot de crème will have a granular texture.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, egg yolks, and a pinch of salt, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is a light yellow color, about 3 minutes. Then gradually add the some of the chocolate mixture, whisking until it is incorporated and smooth. Continue to slowly add the chocolate mixture, whisking until it is all fully incorporated and smooth. Strain into a large bowl and allow to cool completely, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Carefully fill 6 5oz ramekins, or 8 smaller pot de creme cups and place them in a shallow baking pan on top of a folded kitchen towel. Poke several holes in a piece of aluminum foil that is large enough to cover the baking pan.

Add enough hot water to the baking pan to come halfway up the side of the ramekins. Cover the pan tightly with the aluminum foil and bake the custards until they are set around the edges, but slightly wobbly in the centers, about 30 to 35 minutes. (The custard will continue to set as it cools.) The actual cooking time can vary for a number of reasons, so it is a good idea to check after

20 to 25 minutes. In some ovens it may even take 45 to 50 minutes. An oven thermometer will help you achieve the proper result.

Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let the custards cool, uncovered, on a wire rack for about 1 hour.

Then cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 3 or 4 hours hours or up 2 days.

Remove the custards from the refrigerator at least 10 minutes before serving for the best texture. Top with some whipped cream, shaved chocolate or cocoa powder on top, and perhaps some fresh fruit.

This recipe is adapted from Gourmet, February 2004

Books: Life in the Locked World

Without You, There Is No Us by Suki Kim is a stirring memoir of her time as an English teacher at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a school set up by Christian evangelicals to teach in English to 270 of the most elite students North Korea had, children of the revolution, the sons of scientists and doctors, chosen to partake in "their government's brand-new experiment where the teachers were all foreigners and the lessons were conducted in English." Kim, while not sharing her fellow teachers' religious zeal, is driven by her own history as a Korean American whose family had left South Korea for America, and with cousins and an uncle who had been sucked into the North and vanished, the mystery of the North, almost as if it was a phantom limb severed from the body by partition, pulled on her consciousness as she writes, "And it is really the unrequited heartbreak of those separations--a heartbreak that lasts generations--that brought me North." In 2008, Kim, through a chance meeting while on assignment for Harper's covering the New York Philharmonic's trip to Pyongyang, was able to apply to teach at the newly forming PUST. And then finally in 2011, the school opened and Kim went to teach.  

Kim, with a novelist's eye, took notes throughout her time at PUST with an eye to writing this book, notes she had to hide from the guards at the school, the scarily named "counterparts" (North Korean teaching staff who oversaw and approved their lessons), and even her fellow foreign teachers. Chilling, as well as reeking of state sponsored paranoia, is a long detailed list of things that could and could not be said or done while at PUST, from such things as boiling water before drinking due to "a paratyphoid problem in the Rang Rang district, where the school is located" to an ominous warning that taking a picture while outside the school grounds "could be a problem" to rules for the classroom where discussing the teacher's own culture was discouraged. But despite these restrictions, Kim does manage to establish relationship and dialogue with her students and it is through her interactions we see their personalities and come to see her students as children of their culture but also willing themselves to be a part of the larger world despite the "locked" country they are the heirs to. Overall, this is an interesting book that opens a lens on the world of North Korea in a very personal way and is truly worth the read.

 

 

Without You, There Is No Us by Suki Kim is out now.

5 greet: warm & wooly things

Continuing on the thread from yesterday, 5 more options for warm, wool blankets & throws of all shapes, sizes and prices. 

Stansborough Carnival Throw in Candy Floss & Lime, a slew of other options available, love the riviera & beetlejuice too

Stansborough Carnival Throw in Candy Floss & Lime, a slew of other options available, love the riviera & beetlejuice too

Glacier Park Throw by Pendelton Mills for Rejuvenation

Glacier Park Throw by Pendelton Mills for Rejuvenation

Mildred by monq- stool with attached throw, the throw doubles as a seat cushion

Mildred by monq- stool with attached throw, the throw doubles as a seat cushion

things we love: faribault woolen mill

faribault woolem mill blanket

faribault woolem mill blanket

faribault woolem mill blanket

faribault woolem mill blanket

faribault woolem mill military blankets

faribault woolem mill military blankets

It's starting to get cold and our house is quite frigid. Normally, out heat would have been on for weeks, but we are attempting to keep things a bit less toasty this year. As a result, I am constantly freezing. And, thus, my attraction to beautiful things wooly and warm is growing exponentially. Faribault Mills produces some beautiful, classic woolens, perfect for when things get chilly and gorgeous enough to keep forever. Faribault has been spinning out fine woolens in Minnesota since 1865. You will find an impeccable line of products ranging from blankets and throws to bag and ipad sleeves. I love the blankets and throws, from the stripes to the military designs to the new recycled styles. Below is a selection of a few of my favorites. You can see more on Faribault's website

 

all images via faribault mill

5 great: DIY projects {part 2}

There are just so many great projects that I've seen lately, that I decided to list 5 more. These are all things that I'd love to do myself at some point, somewhere in our house. Lots of copper & plywood. And a bit of fun for Halloween or everyday really, if you have a child who loves to color herself solid with anything she can get her hands on...

Copper pulls

DIY Copper pipe pulls from The Gathered Home- look at the whole desk, more to see than just the pulls

DIY Copper pipe pulls from The Gathered Home- look at the whole desk, more to see than just the pulls

DIY Copper Pipe Drawer Pulls via Upcycled Treasures (inspired by the post in THe Gathered Home- love th elong pulls that extend past the connectors in this version

DIY Copper Pipe Drawer Pulls via Upcycled Treasures (inspired by the post in THe Gathered Home- love th elong pulls that extend past the connectors in this version

Stacked plywood bench

DIY Stacked Plywood Bench from Vintage Revivals, could be fun for a coffee table too.

DIY Stacked Plywood Bench from Vintage Revivals, could be fun for a coffee table too.

Copper table legs

DIY Dining Room Table with copper legs from A Beautiful Mess

DIY Dining Room Table with copper legs from A Beautiful Mess

Waterfall edge styled plywood table

DIY Modern Dining Table from Apartment Therapy- this would also make a great desk or floating kitchen island with a bit of modifying. Another great plywood table can be found here, from Popular Mechanics, another great table made from a single sheet of plywood

DIY Modern Dining Table from Apartment Therapy- this would also make a great desk or floating kitchen island with a bit of modifying. Another great plywood table can be found here, from Popular Mechanics, another great table made from a single sheet of plywood

Face paint

A little different, yes, but fun and appropriate for October, DIY Face Paint from Growing a Jeweled Rose

A little different, yes, but fun and appropriate for October, DIY Face Paint from Growing a Jeweled Rose

You can find the first 5 from Part 1 here. 

The Doctor, Part 21

Traveling into the future can be dangerous:

at first,
ordinary things
begin to
disappear –
neighbors,
cats,
stop signs,
streets –

then the things in my home,
the sunflowers I brought for Cecilia,
the little red wind-up robot I bought for Tess,
everything I love
begins to disintegrate,
falling away
to dust

leaving me alone
in a very big, empty room
with only the sound of my
eyelids
clicking
open and shut
for comfort.

 

The entire The Doctor series is available here.