Every time Cinco de Mayo comes rolling up on the calendar I get excited to cook some of my very favorite comfort foods. Mexican food feels like a reminder of home.
We’ve lived in Seattle for nearly six years. There is no place like this city that makes my heart nearly jump out of my chest every time the sun comes out. The mountains that surround the city paired with beautiful Sound views captivate me in a way that no city ever has. The culture and the community that we’ve chiseled out makes living here so very sweet.
But there are days when I miss my home in the south. I miss seeing my family on a regular basis. I miss the ease of spending time on the farm. I struggle to feel connected through Skype, texts and phone calls. Sometimes I just want to see someone in the flesh, to hug them, laugh with them and spend time without a staring into a computer screen.
Last week my sister-in-law gave birth to my nephew. In the days leading up to his birth I found myself wide awake in the middle of the night, checking my phone in the off-chance my sister went into labor. When he finally made his debut, I was able to Skype with the family and see the newest arrival. In that moment, I wanted more than anything to be close, to hold him, to bring my sister a homemade meal and celebrate. It was cause to rejoice! Joy is increased ten fold when we have someone to celebrate with us; to scream excitedly, hug and feel giddy with.
As I made the Pot de Créme, I felt a little closer to my family. It eased a bit of the homesickness that had crept up into my chest, making it a bit more bearable to wait a few more weeks before visiting. Food has a wonderful way of uniting us, even if we cannot be physically together.
Mexican Pot de Créme
4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
4 ounces of Mexican chocolate (*see note below)
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
Finely chop the chocolate and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks until combined. Combine the cream and milk in a medium sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until it reaches a simmer. Keep your eye on it because it will quickly go to a boil. (If it reaches a boil, turn it down and let it cool before continuing). Pour approximately 1/4 cup of the cream mixture into the egg yolks and whisk until well incorporated. Pour the egg mixture back into the sauce pan with the remaining cream and stir over low heat until thickened (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate. Once the mixture is well-combined, push it through a fine mesh sieve (using the back of a spoon to help the process speed along). Pour into individual ramekins, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Top with whipped cream immediately before serving.
*Mexican chocolate can be found in Latin markets and well stocked grocery stores. If you cannot get your hands on it, you can combine one tablespoon of cinnamon in the cream mixture. Add in 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract when you mix in the chocolate.