By far the loveliest baked custard I’ve ever come across is a Pot de Creme – dig down beneath the surface, and it’s unbelievably smooth and silky, like liquid satin. I love them so much, I’ve made a bunch of them – a ridiculous amount of them actually… Butterscotch Pots de Creme, Espresso Pots de Creme, Dark Chocolate & Orange Pots de Creme, Maple Pots de Creme… even Egg Nog Pots de Creme.
And, while I’ve already made a dark chocolate & orange version, I really, REALLY wanted to try a white chocolate & orange version, with a dash of Bailey’s Irish Creme just for fun.
I put this baby together based on the quantities of cream, milk and eggs I had available, and I had just enough white chocolate in the pantry to flavour it nicely, without it being OTT sweet. The orange does a nice job of cutting through the sweetness and the addition of Bailey’s adds a depth and richness that only Bailey’s can deliver. Oh, and the little candied orange strips add a nice contrasting bitterness too.
It went down fabulously well with the family and it was right ‘up there’ for me too. And, it proved, once again, that if you start with classic flavour pairings, you can’t really go wrong. Enjoy!
White Chocolate, Bailey’s & Orange Pots de Creme
For the custards:
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 6.3oz high-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1-3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Creme to taste (or sub in some orange juice or liqueur instead)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Scant 1/4 cup caster sugar superfine sugar
For the candied orange peel: (Make the day before, or several hours ahead)
- 1 orange
- 1 cup sugar divided
- 3/4 cup water
For the custards:
- Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Boil a jug of water to use for the roasting pan.
- In a medium saucepan, add the heavy cream, milk and orange zest and bring to scalding (just prior to the boil) over medium heat.
- Remove pot from the heat and add the finely chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then stir until melted and well combined (you may need to put the pot back on low heat for a few minutes to melt the last of the chocolate).
- Add in the Bailey’s Irish Creme (taste as you go so you know how much to add) and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Whisk the yolks, salt and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale (a couple of minutes). Add about 1/2 cup of the still warm chocolate milk mixture into the yolk mixture while whisking constantly (this tempers the yolks and ensures they don’t curdle). Pour the warmed yolk mixture back into the remainder of the milk mixture while whisking constantly until well combined.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a pourable bowl or jug to catch the orange zest (unless you want to keep the zest in). Scoop off any froth.
- Put six ramekins or other oven proof dishes into a large, deep roasting dish. It helps to put a folded tea-towel into the dish first to keep the dishes steady. Divide the mixture evenly between the dishes then carefully pour enough hot water into the baking dish to reach about half to two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the whole dish loosely with foil and carefully put onto the centre oven rack.
- Bake until set around the edges and a bit jello-like in the middle (around 45-55 minutes, depending on oven and size of ramekin) then very carefully take out of the water bath and let cool. Once completely cool, loosely cover with foil and chill for at least 4 hours before serving, or even better – overnight. I find they taste better if you take them out of fridge for about 10 minutes before serving. Top with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and some of the candied orange peel.
For the candied orange:
- Remove the peel from the orange in long strips. Cut the peel lengthwise into 1/8-inch-wide (about 3.5mm) strips, and trim off the excess white pith. Put a small saucepan of water (about 2 inches of water is sufficient) onto high heat until the water boils. Put the strips in and boil for one minute (this is to ensure the orange isn’t too bitter to eat). Then immediately remove and place in bowl filled with ice water and let stand 1 minute, then drain. Empty the water from the saucepan and now stir 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes, then add the orange peel and simmer for 15 minutes without stirring.
- Place remaining 1/4 cup sugar in small bowl. Using a slotted spoon, remove peel from syrup and transfer to the bowl of sugar. Toss to coat, then cool. Cover bowl and let stand at room temperature overnight to dry out. Or, you can put them into a warm oven (90°C/200°F) for about an hour, checking every 20 minutes to ensure they’re not burning or cooking. Can be made ahead – any remainders should keep for weeks in a cool, dry place.
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