Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rose & Vanilla Tea Pots de Crème for Food 'n Flix: Simply Irresistible

These Rose & Vanilla Tea Pots de Crème have been living in my head for a couple of months now, ever since I watched the wrong movie for Food 'n Flix back in September. September's selection was Just Desserts (you can see my post here), but I accidentally watched November's pick of Simply Irresistible instead, and from an exchange between the two main characters, this dessert was born.

Tom: "That smell..."
Amanda: "It's vanilla and flowers."
Tom "It's incredible!"

Simply Irresistible is a foodie romantic comedy starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Gellar plays Amanda, who inherits her late mother's restaurant but does not seem to have inherited her mother's cooking skills, turning out culinary disaster after culinary disaster that results in the restaurant failing fast. Just when all seems lost, Amanda is sold some crabs by a mysterious man at the local farmers market. One of the crabs escapes his fate as a poorly made meal and becomes a sort of pet for Amanda and as it turns out, just happens to be magical. Also at the market, Tom (Sean Patrick Flanery), who is opening an upscale restaurant in his department store and who Amanda begins to fall for. With the magical crab, Amanda begins to cook food that has people clamoring for more and causes those who eat her dishes to express the emotions Amanda had when making them.

Simply Irresistible is definitely chick movie fluff, and as much as I adore SMG, (she was Buffy for Pete's sake!) she has a surprising lack of chemistry with Flanery. Still, it's cute fluff and a good foodie diversion.

The vanilla and flowers mixture bubbling in a pot on Amanda's stove made me think of something smooth and creamy such as a panna cotta or pots de crème. I happened to have a box of Tazo "Rest" Tea hanging out in my tea collection, an herbal tea that Tazo says is "A lulling blend of rose petals, valerian root & citrusy herbs," and I thought it would be fun to use the tea as a base for a creamy custard.

Rose & Vanilla Tea Pots de Crème
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen (inspired by multiple Pots de Crème recipes)
(Makes 4 Servings)

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, split sideways and seeds scraped
3-4 rose-scented herbal tea bags like Tazo Rest
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
small pinch of salt
1/2 tsp rose water
1/2 tsp vanilla
pink or red food coloring (optional)

Bring the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds and tea bags up to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Turn off the heat and let the mixture steep for 30 minutes or so.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Arrange 4 (6-oz) teacups or ramekins in a baking pan (large enough to hold the cups without touching one another). Bring a pot or kettle of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, rose water and vanilla. Remove the tea bags and vanilla bean and discard and reheat the infused cream mixture over medium heat. Whisk the reheated cream into the yolk mixture and strain it through a fine sieve into a bowl or pitcher. Add a couple of drops of food coloring if desired.

Pour the boiling water into pan, being careful not to splash any inside cups, until water comes about halfway up the sides of the cups. Pour the mixture into the cups, dividing it equally. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and poke several small holes in the foil to let steam escape. Bake about 30-35 minutes, until custards are set but still slightly wobbly at their centers.

Carefully remove the pan from the oven, removing the foil. Remove the cups from the hot water in the pan and set on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes. Once cool, cover the cups with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until the custards are firm (about 2 hours or so).

Garnish with whipped cream or candied rose petals and serve with thin crisp buttery cookies.

Notes/Results: I give these more points for taste than for beauty. ;-) The custards are creamy and have a light rose and vanilla flavor that is very pleasing. I wasn't crazy about the color of the base with the tea, eggs and vanilla and thought it would be fun to make them a pale rosy pink, but a couple of drops of red food coloring made them a kind of funky salmon color. Ah well! Experiments don't always turn out perfectly. I covered it up with some candied rose petals--that (and maybe some dim lighting!) helped a bit. If you can't find the Tazo tea (I'm not sure if they still make it?) look for another rose / floral tea, or a favorite herbal tea and (carefully so as not to overpower), add a little extra rose water. Overall, I was pleased with my Pots de Crème, they were fun and excellent with the buttery cookies.

Our Food n' Flix November pick, Simply Irresistible is hosted by Leslie of La Cocina de Leslie, who will be rounding up the entries on her blog soon. The deadline for this month is today (I am sneaking my entry in under the wire--whoops!) But, if you like food and movies consider joining us for December's film, the classic Christmas in Connecticut (one of my favorite holiday flix), hosted by F'nF's founder, my pal Heather of girlichef.


  1. still looks great! I bet they tasted even better :)

  2. I have done almost no cooking with flowers, which is such a shame because dishes made with them seem so delicious! What daintly little pots de creme!

  3. Rode and vanilla sounds like a very nice combination. And I like the decoration of your dessert.

  4. This has to be beautifully scented with the all the vanilla and rose water and I think it looks gorgeous served with a rose on the side. Very romantic!

  5. Amazing post! I initially found your blog a week or so ago, and I want to subscribe to your RSS feed.

  6. I love the look of the candid flower. Do you have a recipe for that, or can you suggest one?

  7. Kat--thanks! ;-)

    Joanne--It is fun and we used judiciously, adds great flavor. ;-)

    Simona--thank you! I liked the combination--it keeps it from being too flowery. ;-)

    Kim--thanks! ;-)

    Yukon Restaurant--thank you. The sign up is on the main page.

    SE0--Very easy. There really isn't a recipe per say. Just whip up an egg white and have a small plate or bowl with sugar. Lightly brush each (unsprayed) rose petal on both sides with the egg white and dip in the sugar, shaking off the excess. Then let dry on a pan lined with wax paper. Hope that helps.

  8. I kind of like that dusty-rose color...and I love the sugared rose petals. Such a perfect dish for Simply Irresistible...and I have to agree about that slight lack of chemistry between those two. I totally think Patricia Clarkson made this movie...I love her.

  9. Heather--thanks! I feel better about the color thinking of it as dusty rose. ;-) Patricia Clarkson was great!

  10. That movie sounds cute, and I'm a hopeless romantic, so roses (rose petals, rose tea, rose water, etc.) are the most romantic thing a person can put in a meal (The second, for me, is vanilla, which you also used!). They still make Tazo tea. You should be able to find it at regular grocery stores. Do you dry the petals before you sugar them, and what do you use to make the sugar stick to them?


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