Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pots de crème and Midnight in Paris

The first quarter ends tomorrow and I always get some wonderful extra credit projects towards the end of the nine weeks.  This young chef made crêpes for his classmates and brought in two lovely jams for them to try, one a delicious sour cherry.  He titled this photo "Awesome photo of me!"  I agree.  He is quite a budding chef.  And a very funny guy.  Sometimes it is quite depressing to think that my life's work has been to try to beat verbs, vocabulary, and manners into middle schoolers' heads and then I stop to look at photos like this one and think about how many times my students have made me laugh and/or cry and I realize that there isn't anything else in the world I would rather be doing.  (Bless this jeune homme's heart... this is his third year in my class, he is headed to France with me in March, and he was in my advisory group last year...)
One of his classmates asked me, as she entered my class second period of the day, if I am always so happy in the morning.  I replied "Oui.  Pourquoi?"  And she informed me, with a bit of a snarl, that she doesn't trust people like me.  Vraiment?  Well, I told her that after 9 months with me five days a week and two weeks in France, she just might turn into a morning person, too.  That was shocking news to her, I think, and she didn't believe me for a second.  But it's fun to give her something to worry about.  Oui, I do indeed mess with them sometimes.  Makes it less depressing some days.  I love middle schoolers, though.  Elementary students are just too little (I taught 5th grade for a few years and routinely made them cry) and high schoolers scare me.  They are too smart.  I will keep my 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, thank you very much.  Merci beaucoup.
Today's treat was pots de crème, made by a 7th grade jeune fille.

Lovely little cups of chocolate for breakfast.   She made a presentation from her iPad, projected on the screen through my LCD projector, taking us through the process step-by-step.  Vraiment délicieux.  More happy classmates.  And a happy professeur de français!
Almost as happy as Some French Guy pretending to replace Hemingway on the cover of my most recent book purchase, The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.  It is the story of Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley and their tumultuous years together during Jazz Age Paris.  The period romanticized by Owen Wilson's character in Midnight in Paris.

I think that I will lose some sleep over this one... which means I will stay up too late reading instead of getting my desperately needed beauty sleep.  I love good books-- and crêpes and pots de crème!

Classic French Chocolate Pots de Crème Recipe
4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

6 ounces dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli Premium Baking Bar with 60% cacao - bittersweet chocolate)
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar

Melt the dark chocolate and cocoa together in either a bain-marie, double boiler or a large stainless bowl over a stock pot.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the cream and milk together until it is scalding (almost to a boil). Remove from heat. Whisk the cream/milk mixture very slowly into the eggs and sugar. You want to slowly warm the eggs so that they don't cook quickly. Add all of the cream/milk mixture to bowl to incorporate with egg mixture.
Then pour mixture back into the large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir constantly with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of the spoon.
Slowly whisk the custard mixture into the melted chocolate.
Pour into 4 individual serving containers.
Cover immediately with plastic wrap so that a film does not form on the top.
Let cool for 10 minutes then refrigerate for a least an hour. May be made days ahead.
Serve with whipped cream and shaved chocolate, if desired.

Enjoy one of the songs from Midnight in Paris as you dream about chocolate and Paris...

Bon appétit, my dear students, SFG, and Paris wives!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

You will have to let me know what you think of "The Paris Wife." Your recipe for pots de crème looks fantastic...cannot wait to try it!