A Sweet Treat In A Glass: Petit Philippe’s Pot de Crème and Spicy Nut Brittle

Petit Philippe's Pot de Crème
Petit Philippe's Pot de Crème

Based on one of the most popular confections ,–The Highlander– at Twenty Degrees Chocolates at Petit Philippe tasting room on Selwyn Avenue in Charlotte, Pot de Crème features Glenmorangie single malt scotch and a single origin milk chocolate from Ghana. 

Pot de Crème

Ingredients:
• 10 oz heavy cream
• 5 oz whole milk
• 2 oz Glenmorangie “The Original” single malt scotch
• 2 oz dark chocolate, (60% – 65% cacao; E. Guittard
  61% or  Cacao Barry 64% work well), chopped
• 7 oz milk chocolate (Cacao Barry Ghana 41%),
  chopped**
• 5 large egg yolks
• 2 tbsp sugar

Directions For Pot De Creme: Place the chocolates and scotch in a medium heat-proof bowl and set aside.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat cream and milk over moderate heat until bubbles form around edges. While cream is heating, whisk sugar into eggs in heat-proof bowl. Slowly stream about half of the scalded cream mixture into the eggs, whisking continuously. Pour this tempered egg mixture back into saucepan with the remaining cream and whisk to combine. Continue to cook over moderate heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. You’ll know it’s ready when you can trace a line down the spoon and the mixture holds the line. Pour the custard over the chocolates and allow mixture to sit for 2 – 3 minutes. Using a spatula, start mixing in center of bowl, making small circles. As the emulsion forms, continue stirring in larger circles working your way toward the outside of the bowl. Once the mixture has completely combined and is smooth, strain it through a fine mesh sieve set over a pitcher or other container with a spout. Pour into 8 3-oz demitasse cups or 6 4-oz ramekins placed in a larger baking dish. Cover the entire dish with foil carefully so as not to touch the tops of the custards. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Allow custards to come to room temperature before serving. Garnish with fresh whipped cream and our spicy nut brittle (recipe follows) for texture and crunch.

Spicy Nut Brittle

Ingredients:
• 3 cups sugar
• 1 cup water
• 1 oz corn syrup
• 1.5 cups nuts
• 1/2tsp cinnamon
• 1/2tsp cayenne pepper (or less, if desired)
• 1/4tsp baking soda

Directions For Spicy Nut Brittle: Heat water, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture reaches a golden amber color. If necessary, brush down the insides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water to prevent sugar crystallization.
Once caramel reaches an amber color, add in the nut mixture and stir as little as possible to incorporate. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with oiled aluminum foil or silicone baking mat. Once mixture is firmed and cool, break into shards or crush for serving/garnish.

Wine Pairing: A glass of Sauternes – a lovely white dessert wine from the Graves section of Bordeaux is a perfect suitor for this dessert. It is available at Petit Philippe.

*This scotch has a distinctive and mellow fruity flavor that harmonizes beautifully with the milk chocolate. If you substitute another scotch, look for one with a fruity or honey flavor profile and avoid one that is peaty or smoky. 
**Cacao Barry milk chocolate is carried at online resources such as chocosphere.com. Valrhona and E. Guittard are good substitutes that may be found locally at Sur La Table.