Pumpkin Pots de Creme with Chocolate Ganache

Pumpkin Chocolate PDC 2

Happy Halloween my friends!  The bewitching hour is upon us.  Who has plans for tonight?  Party?  Trick or treating?  Stuffing your face with pizza and candy while you watch the scariest movies Netflix Streaming has to offer?  Just me?  Okay.

Pumpkin Chocolate PDC 4
If you do find yourself in the mood for a decadent and devilish dessert, I have just the thing for you.  Pumpkin pots de creme with a chocolate ganache cap.  Rich and sweet and perfectly adult.  I have seen so many great kid’s Halloween desserts on the Internets lately (some of them are incredible), but I thought a nice adult Halloween dessert would be in order.  Not to say kid’s won’t like it; but I have a feeling you will be the one licking the bowl clean this year.  😉

Pumpkin Chocolate PDC 3
A variation of my Sweet Potato Pots de Creme from two years ago, this one features pumpkin puree, cardamom, and pinch of sea salt for variation.  Plus, that dark chocolate ganache is the perfect compliment; thick and rich and bittersweet to compliment the earthy custard below.  An elegantly ghoulish dessert for this Halloween night.

Pumpkin Chocolate PDC 1

I wish you all a safe and happy All Hallow’s Eve!  And, for fun, check out this great article from howstuffworks.com on the history of trick or treating.  Happy Halloween!  THG

Pumpkin Pots de Creme with Chocolate Ganache
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  2. 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  3. 1 cinnamon stick
  4. 5 egg yolks at room temperature
  5. 1/3 cup sugar
  6. 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  7. 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  8. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  9. 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  10. 5 oz. dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, vanilla pod and beans, and cinnamon stick over medium-high heat until bubbles just begin to form around the edges. Remove from heat and let spices steep for 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, whip egg yolks and sugar together until thick and ribboned. Remove cinnamon stick and vanilla pod from the cream mixture. Slowly pour hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent cooking the eggs. Once cream is mixed in, add pumpkin puree and mix throughly. Add cardamom, sea salt and nutmeg and mix.
  4. Place 6 small ramekins or teacups in the bottom of a roasting pan. Pour custard mixture into the ramekins, leaving about 1/2 of space. Add hot water to the roasting pan so that the bottom 2/3 of the ramekins are submerged.
  5. Bake ramekins in roasting pan in the middle of the oven for about 30-45 minutes, until sides are set and center is still slightly wobbly. Remove ramekins from water bath and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
  6. Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. heavy cream in the microwave, about 30 seconds (mind that it doesn't overflow). Place chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl. Immediately pour hot cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate is fully melted and glossy. Spoon chocolate over set pots de creme and smooth the tops. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
The Humble Gourmet http://www.thehumblegourmet.com/

 

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

Good morning!  Hope everyone had a nice weekend.  We spent our time relaxing, doing a little work on the house.  Blog Brunch on Sunday with Nichole and Emily, chicken pot pie and “Rosemary’s Baby” that night with my love.  Just an easy weekend to lead into a busy week.  Find a little time today to check out these links:

 

Professional chefs give their advice for the best cookbooks to cook your way through, cover to cover.

Speaking of cooking, this Halloween recipe for a jar of brains will simultaneously gross you out and have you wanting to give it a try.

On a different note, did you know these movies are based on books?

Speaking of movies, here’s a little sneak peek article about Pixar’s next movie, Inside Out.

One last movie link: Twitter was playing a game of “Add A Word, Ruin a Movie,” which I just had to participate in.  My best?  “Clockwork Orange Julius.”

And on a final note, check out these incredible photographs of soldiers before, during, and after their tours.

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

Hello friends!  Happy Monday!  I don’t know about you, but I had an awfully hard time dragging myself out of bed this morning.  I could definitely use a couple days off pretty soon.  But, in the meantime, we can let our brains take a little vacation.

 

Lindsay at Love & Olive Oil has given us another amazing Kitchen Challenge: curing and making your own bacon.  I’ll wait while you wipe the drool off the keyboard.

Back East there is an abandoned Wizard of Oz amusement park that gets re-opened once a year around Halloween.  Tickets please?

These haunting photos of petrified animals on a lake in Tanzania are both beautiful and incredibly eerie.

Apple, Arugula & Goat Cheese Quiche

Apple Arugula Quiche 1
Do you feel it?  The change in weather?  The darker mornings and shorter days?  The crisp, cool smell in the air?

It’s fall.

Oh, how I have waited for fall!  I like mild weather; not too hot, not too cold.  I like sweaters and coats and hot coffee and boots and warm stews.  I like candles lit in the fireplace, snuggly blankets on the couch, the smells of roasting squash and cinnamon and rich, hearty soups.  I like the feeling of looming holidays, the harvest festivals, the general sense of mischief and merriment in the air as Halloween approaches.  I like fall.

Apple Arugula Quiche 3

 I did cheat a bit.  I made this quiche in the summer.  It’s light and lovely and worked well for a backyard picnic lunch.  But the flavors work well for the fall too.  Apples and arugula.  The zing of the goat cheese.  A little salad on the side, and you are ready to enjoy the season.

Apple Arugula Quiche 6

 Most of my blog cooking gets done on the weekends.  With getting home late, and it getting darker earlier now, it just makes more sense.  So, Shawn and I do our best eating on the weekends (this quiche included).  There’s something really satisfying about spending your Saturday surrounded by food; farmer’s market in the morning, some baking, some eating, dessert, a nice dinner.  Weekends work well for those slowly prepared foods; braising, roasting, stewing.  Your whole house fills with the scents of dinner at home; there is no cozier feeling.

Apple Arugula Quiche 4

 

I mean, just look at that quiche!  You can bet the whole house smelled like apples and cheese, the peppery crust.  We were salivating by the time it was ready to eat, just wanting to dive in headfirst.  Yum, yum, yum.

How will you be welcoming in the fall?  THG

Apple Arugula Quiche 5

 

Apple, Arugula & Goat Cheese Quiche
Serves 4
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For the crust
  1. 1 1/2 cups flour
  2. 3/4 cup unsalted butter, in 1/2" cubes
  3. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  4. 1 tsp. black pepper
  5. 1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water
For the filling
  1. 2 Granny Smith apples, sliced 1/8" thick with a mandoline, seeds removed
  2. 6 eggs
  3. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  4. 1/2 cup milk
  5. 5 oz. Chevre goat cheese, softened
  6. 2 cups fresh arugula, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, pepper and sea salt. Add cold butter and work with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add ice water 1 Tbsp. at a time and mix until dough just begins to come together. Form into a ball and flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  3. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 6.5 by 16 inch rectangle (12 inch round if you are using a round tart pan). Carefully fit dough into a 4.5 by 14 inch tart pan (or 9 inch round), pressing gently along the sides to fit to pan. Pierce the bottom with a fork and refrigerate 20 minutes to set.
  4. Line tart shell with parchment paper and fill with beans or pie weights. Bake 10 minutes in center of oven; remove parchment paper and weights and bake another 10 minutes until bottom has just cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk eggs until thick and ribboned. Whisk in cream and milk. Add goat cheese and arugula and mix well to combine.
  6. In the cooled tart shell, lay apple slices long ways (or in concentric circles), overlapping until pan is filled. Carefully pour egg mixture over the apples up to just under the edge of the crust. Bake 30 minutes at 375 F until egg mixture has set.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The Humble Gourmet http://www.thehumblegourmet.com/

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

Good morning loves!  I hope everyone’s weekend was spectacular.  We celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary (wow, time flies!) and went to the wedding of a very good friend.  It was great, seeing all of our old college friends again; just a really wonderful celebration.

 

The New York Times did an excellent piece on hidden disabilities and the issues these people face in the workplace.

Have you noticed everyone going bonkers for the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte?  Well, let yourself get excited about some of these not-so-common coffee drinks to break you out of your morning rut.

Speaking of fall, this potato-topped short rib pot pie is just the thing to welcome in the cooler months.

While we’re at it, this charred brussel sprouts carbonara will do the trick as well.

Finally, this story about an 103 year old man who dines out every night will warm your heart.

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

Good morning chickens!  Hope everyone’s weekend was spectacular.  Did anyone catch the Emmy’s?  Or, more importantly, the second to last episode of Breaking Bad?  I’m starting to get really emotional at the idea that it’s ending…I just don’t want to let go.  Boo hoo.

I spent the weekend holed up with a nasty cold, so the couch, a blanket, and the Internet were my main companions.  Here’s a few interesting tidbits I found for you:

 

The Kitchn featured some great from the pantry recipes for busy weeknight dinners.  These will come in handy.

In the art world, an unknown Van Gogh has just been discovered.

In other art-related news, photographer Jordan Matter has done a series of ballet dancers applying their craft to everyday tasks.  The resulting photos are breathtaking.

These teachers on Buzzfeed deserve a raise.

Adrianna at A Cozy Kitchen made a gorgeous peach and pistachio galette as a goodbye to the summer months.

And finally, feeling at a loss for inspiration on an idea?  Go here.

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

Good morning!  Hope everyone’s weekend was pleasant.  Mine was fairly lazy; some baking, some movie watching.  We drove across the new span of the Bay Bridge on Sunday, which was very cool.  It was so bizarre seeing the old span running along side, an angle I had never seen before.  But now it’s back to the office.  Take it easy this Monday and check out these links:

 

Buzzfeed featured these incredible vintage photographs of Paris at night.  As if I wasn’t already completely in love with that city.

The Kitchn has a great tutorial for making your own butter and clarified butter.  No frontiersman gear necessary.

Buzzfeed (again) has a great post of DIY recipes for the overachieving foodie.  Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch, anyone?

And speaking of homemade breakfast foods, Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest made some homemade chocolate fudge Pop-tarts.  I think pop-tarts are going to become the new cake pops/cupcakes/cronut.

 

Have a great week!

Watermelon Lychee Sherbet & An Announcement

Alright my little chickens. We’ve got a little blogging announcement and a little dessert, so let’s start with the announcement.

The Humble Gourmet has moved! I have been working the past couple of months on developing a self-hosted site, and it is now ready. I am now going to be cooking and blogging at www.thehumblegourmet.com, complete with a total website design overhaul. If you visit the current website you will be automatically redirected, but all the new content will be on www.thehumblegourmet.com. I’m really excited about this new direction for the blog, and hope you will join me in the move!

Watermelon Lychee Sherbet 4

Now, all housekeeping aside, let’s talk sherbet. I am a huge fan of sherbet; creamier than sorbet since it does have a dairy base, but much lighter and slushier than ice cream. Sherbet is the best when using fruit juices for flavoring; the lighter dairy content let’s the fruit flavor really shine.

Watermelon Lychee Sherbet 3

I had bought some lychees a couple of weeks ago with no idea how I wanted to use them. I thought about doing a panna cotta, or a mousse. Then I thought about combining it with kiwi and doing a granita. It was a lovely husband who suggested pairing the lychee with the watermelon. GENIUS. Once I had that in my mind, I knew what the best possible recipe would be: sherbet all the way.

Watermelon Lychee Sherbet 2
 

It’s a perfect combination of the two flavors; sweet and very fruity. Because both of the fruits are very sweet on their own, not a whole lot of extra sugar is required. It’s a really light flavor; a perfect summer flavor profile to close out the season. A little lime juice helps brighten everything up and really pull the watermelon and lychee out. Too, too good.

Watermelon Lychee Sherbet 1

Thank you everyone for all of your support over the past (almost 2!) years. I am so excited to keep bringing you fresh recipes and inane chatter, and hope you will join in on the conversation. THG

 

Watermelon Lychee Sherbet
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Ingredients
  1. 8-10 large lychees
  2. 1/2 small seedless watermelon
  3. zest and juice of 1 lime
  4. 1/2 cup sugar
  5. 1 tsp. sea salt
  6. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  7. 1 1/4 cup 2% milk
Instructions
  1. Peel lychees and set aside. Cut up watermelon into 1-inch pieces, rinds removed. Puree lychee and watermelon together in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Whisk lime zest, lime juice, sugar and sea salt into juice. While whisking, pour in heavy cream and milk. Whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours.
  2. After refrigerating, prepare according to ice cream maker's instructions. Freeze or serve immediately.
The Humble Gourmet http://www.thehumblegourmet.com/

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break
Hello my lovely readers!  I hope your 3-day weekend continues on as wonderfully as mine has.  We went down to Cambria for a good friend’s wedding, and spent the evening meeting new friends, laughing, and predicting what pears would be falling off of the tree in the garden (long story, but funny one).  In the meantime, enjoy a few of these quick links.

Lindsay at Love & Olive Oil has tried her hand at making tofu.  I must try this for myself.

Laura at Blogging Over Thyme made an incredibly simple and incredibly beautiful tomato & zucchini tart.  This is one to impress with.

The Kitchn has a great post about 5 ways in which to be a great dinner guest.  Excellent advice from the other end of party hosting.

Out of the kitchen and into the closet: Buzzfeed has 20 ways to improve vintage clothing.  I don’t know about you, but I will definitely be breaking out the sewing machine for a few of these tutorials.

And finally, come back on Wednesday for a special announcement

:-)
  Have a wonderful week!

Creme Fraiche and Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream

Pepper Ice Cream 5

I have reached the pinnacle of dessert making awesomeness: I own an ice cream maker.  I have wanted to make ice cream since I was a little kid.  My mom always told this story about her grandfather who would make homemade strawberry ice cream, and eat it wearing his winter coat.  I remember a recipe for snow ice cream in my old Boxcar Children cookbook which fascinated me.  But, up until now, I had never made ice cream myself.  That has changed.

Pepper Ice Cream 1

Since I got my KichenAid ice cream maker, I have made ice cream 4 times: chocolate peanutbutter, homemade Cherry Garcia (intended for my sister, but my parents got to it first), toasted coconut and caramel (for my dad’s birthday), and this one: creme fraiche and pink peppercorn.

Pepper Ice Cream 4

I have had this recipe rolling around in my head for months.  The tart creme fraiche with the bite of the peppercorn.  I’ve had creme fraiche ice cream, and peppercorn ice cream, but never the two combined.  Experimentation was definitely in the cards on this one.

Pepper Ice Cream 2

First, you start with the creme fraiche.  Most high-end grocers have this, and usually charge an arm and a leg, but did you know you can make it at home?  A little cream a little buttermilk, and a little bit of time and you’re in business.  I keep a jar in the fridge most of the time; it’s a great substitute for sour cream; tart but subtle, more mild and a much creamier texture.  I used cream, milk, and the creme fraiche in this recipe; rich and indulgent, but delicious none the less.  This is definitely not an ice cream you scarf down in a huge cereal bowl; this ice cream is best in single scoop servings, eaten slowly and decadently.  Definitely fancy ice cre

Have you made any ice cream lately?  What’s your go-to flavor? THG

Pepper Ice Cream 3

Creme Fraiche

2 cups heavy cream (unpasturized if possible)

2 Tbsp. buttermilk (unpasturized if possible)

In a mason jar, gently mix together cream and buttermilk.  Cover opening with cheesecloth and let stand out in a cool, dry space for 24 hours.  Seal and refrigerate.  Creme fraiche lasts about 10 days.

Creme Fraiche and Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream

1 Tbsp. pink peppercorns, crushed

1 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup creme fraiche

3/4 cup low-fat milk

4 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. sea salt

In a medium saucepan, bring heavy cream and peppercorns to a simmer.  Let sit and infuse for 20-30 minutes.

In the meantime, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until thick and ribboned.  Slowly whisk in warm cream mixture.  Add creme fraiche, milk, vanilla and sea salt and whisk to combine.  Place mixture back on stovetop and bring to a simmer.  Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and refrigerate until cooled thoroughly, about 4-5 hours or overnight.

Add cold mixture to ice cream maker and set to manufacturer’s instructions.  Serve or freeze immediately.

Makes 1 quart