Jars de Crème

Pot de crème (poh-de-krem) plural pots de crème (pronounced the same), is a loose French dessert custard dating to the 17th Century. The name means “pot of custard” or “pot of creme”, which also refers to the porcelain cups in which the dessert is served.

One Sunday afternoon Aly went to the castle’s floral shop to visit Emmy. Emmy was a fairy who grew tired of magic and lived at the castle fulfilling her passion of floral arrangement. Together they decided to spend the day trying out Guittard’s pot de creme recipe. However the royal kitchen lacked a vanilla bean, and Emmy refused to use magic, so they substituted the bean for an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract. They also modernized the dessert by using cute jars as containers, topped with a piece of parchment paper and tied with various ribbon.

Ingredients

1/4 cup milk

2 1/4 cups heavy cream

1 1/3 cups Guittard semisweet chocolate

4  egg yolks

1/8 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 vanilla bean

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Boil milk, cream, and vanilla bean. After it comes to a boil, pour over chocolate and then whisk until the liquid is smooth.

3. Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract in another bowl. Add the chocolate liquid into this mixture and whisk.

4. Strain into jars and set in a deep baking pan. Pour hot water until halfway up sides of jars and cover the pan with foil.

5. Bake for 40 minutes. Then uncover, remove from baking pan and set on counter until room temperature.

6. After it reaches room temperature, cover jars (so condensation doesn’t form and the tops of the custard will stay smooth).

7. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours and serve cold. Will last 3 days in the fridge.

Easy variations include substituting half the chocolate for nutella, adding ground espresso beans, or using a pinch of chili powder and cinnamon for a mexicana pot de creme. Personalize with names on top or on a tag. Great for party favors or as a tea time dessert served in cups with a dollop of whipped cream.

The Fairest Cookie

It was January and Aly was obsessed with French macarons, not to be confused with macaroons which are disgusting cookies usually made with shredded coconut. The obsession began in August when she had the most beautiful, delicious French macarons from Chantal Guillon in the Hayes Valley. They were the fairest macarons in all the land with flavors including salted caramel, rose, hazelnut, pumpkin and more!

http://chantalguillon.com/

Days went by.. months went by… and Aly constantly thought about these bites of heaven and how she wished she could make her own. So as a new years resolution, she vowed to make at least ONE perfect French macaron. Then Aly’s sister Princess Deanna pointed out that one could be a complete fluke and made her revise it to one entire batch. So there it is… one year to make at least one batch of perfect French macarons. Stay tuned to find out if our Princess Aly was successful….

A Royal Wedding!

One winter a long, long time ago Princess Aly’s dear friend Princess Gwendolyn got engaged to a very handsome prince. They had a ball to celebrate and Aly made champagne cupcakes inspired by her fabulous friend. Cheers to the wonderful couple on their happily ever after!!!

Pink Champagne Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 pack white cake mix

1/3 cup softened butter

3 egg whites

1 1/4 cups champagne

5 drops red food color (optional)

Directions

 1. Mix softened butter until creamy.

2. Add cake mix, egg whites, food coloring, champagne and blend until smooth.

3. Preheat oven to 350. Place paper baking cups in muffin pan.

4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, about 3/4 full.

5. Bake 17 to 18 minutes. Insert toothpick in center and make sure it comes out clean. After a few minutes, move the cupcakes from pan to cooling rack.

*For a stronger champagne flavor, use a toothpick and poke a few holes at the top of each cupcake. Then use a pastry brush and add champagne to the tops of cupcakes; a few brushes per cupcake. If you don’t like champagne, you can substitute for riesling or another sweet white wine.

Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions

1. Mix butter until creamy.

2. Add powdered sugar and blend.

3. Add salt, vanilla, and whipping cream and blend.

4. If frosting is too stiff, add more whipping cream. If it is too soft, add more powdered sugar.

5. Frost cupcakes after they have fully cooled; about 30-40 minutes.

6. Leftover frosting can be refrigerated for about 5-6 days. Just bring back to room temperature and stir a few times.

*Additional decorations can be found at Michaels – pink pearls, gold dust, and princess sugar layons.