Today’s recipe for nutella and coconut pot de cremes with bourbon cherries is a doozy. I came up with this recipe in the thick fever of our Whole30 diet, when all I could do was think about glorious food but not actually eat any of it (okay, so that’s not entirely true because I can eat meat, vegetables and fruit, but STILL. It is SO hard). These little pot de cremes are creamy custards made with a swirl of coconut milk and nutella. The custards are good enough to eat on their own, but the bourbon cherries are just that little bit extra that elevate this dessert into a showstopper.
To make this recipe, I used Jerte Picota cherries, which are distinctive cherries that hail from the Jerte Valley of southern Spain. It’s the only type of cherry in the world to have the Protected Designation of Origin or “PDO” mark, which means that these particular cherries are recognized as a product important enough to protect in its own right. The cherries are smaller than the more widely-available Bing cherries, and the stem stays on the branch after they’re picked. Jerte Picota cherries are also firmer and crisper than Bing cherries, and they’re only in season for just a short amount of time, starting in mid-July until the end of August. You can buy them in England right now (but hurry!), and if you’re in the U.S., using Bing cherries for this recipe will do just fine.
I used my Jerte Picota cherries for this nutella and coconut pot de creme by making a mixture of bourbon, vanilla extract and brown sugar, then pouring it over my pitted Jerte Picota cherries to macerate (break down). The bourbon cherries are also great on top of ice cream or with a sponge cake, or — if you’re feeling especially saucy, over yogurt with breakfast. Hey, I’m not judging. You do you.
There’s a real marriage between the nutella and coconut milk that form the base of this pot de creme. Nutella is silky, dark and rich, and coconut milk has its own creaminess that really serves as the yang to the Nutella’s yin. I loved bringing these two ingredients together with egg yolks to make a wobbly, velvety pudding.
Using Food52‘s basic method for making pot de creme, I baked this nutella and coconut pot de creme in the oven in a bain marie (warm water bath) in the morning and then I pulled them out and chilled them in the refrigerator. After dinner, I took out my pot de cremes and topped them with toasted coconut and hazelnuts, then dribbled the bourbon cherries in their syrup on top. The resulting treat was boozy, crunchy, nutty and smooth. It’s all the things, in one tiny ramekin.
These pot de cremes might not be idea as a weeknight treat (too boozy; too decadent; not enough time), but I’d definitely recommend them as an impressive dinner party feat. And, if you’re making them, maybe you can invite me over and we can booze on bourbon cherries together …
- 1 14-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk
- ½ cup nutella
- 9 egg yolks
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut chips
- ¼ cup shelled hazelnuts
- 2 cups Bing or Jerte Picota cherries
- 1 cup bourbon
- 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bring a teakettle of water to boil; then set aside.
- Prepare a 9x13 baking dish and 6 small ramekins (about 4 inches in diameter). Also grab a 4-cup measuring pitcher/jug and a sieve and set aside.
- Put the 9 egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl.
- In a small saucepan and using a heatproof whisk, stir together the coconut milk and nutella until it is well blended. Slowly heat the pan over low to medium-to-low heat until the coconut milk is steaming.
- Gently and slowly pour a dribble of the coconut and nutella mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Continue dribbling the coconut and nutella into the egg yolk, a little bit a time, to incorporate the coconut and nutella mixture into the egg yolks without cooking the egg (don't stop stirring!). Once you have less than half of the coconut and nutella mixture left, you can pour faster, but keep whisking until the mixture is fully incorporated into the egg yolk.
- Strain the egg yolk/coconut/nutella mixture into the measuring jug. Pour the custard into ramekins in even amounts, then slide the 9x13 baking dish into the oven.
- Pour hot water into the 9x13 baking dish so that it comes up halfway up the sides of the ramekins and bake for 25-30 minutes until the centers of the custards are just set but still a bit wobbly. Keep the oven on; you'll use it to toast the coconut.
- Let the ramekins cool completely on a wire rack, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Don't worry if there is some "cloudiness" on the surface of the pot de cremes; this will disappear when they are refrigerated. Refrigerate 8 hours.
- Spread the coconut and hazelnuts onto a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 3-4 minutes, then pull out and stir. Continue roasting in the oven until the coconut and hazelnuts are golden brown, then remove and let cool.
- To make the bourbon cherries, using the pointed end of a chopstick, push out the pits from the cherries and discard. Place the cherries in a clean glass jar.
- Bring the bourbon, light brown sugar and vanilla to boil in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before pouring over the cherries. Seal the jar and let it cool completely before refrigerating (at least 8 hours).
- Serve each pot de creme with a garnish of coconut, hazelnuts and bourbon cherries.