I love crème caramel for its simple perfection. Its just-held-together texture and its pretty shine when turned out of the mold. I also love that Mimi included a recipe for it in her beautiful new book, French Country Cooking and that that recipe is one her grandmother used to make. I can imagine her making it in a small kitchen in a picturesque village in the south of France. Perfect.
xo, N

Herriott Grace

 

Crème Caramel

Reprinted from FRENCH COUNTRY COOKING Meals and Moments from A Village In The Vineyards by Mimi Thorisson. Clarkson Potter Publishers, NYC, 2016. [my optional notes in square brackets]

Crème brûlée is just as iconic and equally famous in world of French sweets but there is something distinctly old-fashioned about crème caramel. I will always associate this dessert with my sweet little grandmother Sérphine, who made it every Sunday in the South of France. This is her recipe, which I've made again and again until I figured out any pitfalls and perfected it. Now I can make Crème Caramel that does justice to my grandmother, and so can you.

Herriott Grace  

FOR THE CARAMEL
1 cup / 200 g sugar

FOR THE CUSTARD
1 cup / 240 ml heavy cream [I substitute 10% cream]
1 cup / 240 ml whole milk [I substitute 10% cream]
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
1 teaspoon lemon zest [optional]
pinch of fine sea salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup / 50 g castor sugar


1. Have ready an 8-inch / 20 cm fluted brioche mold or other decorative ovenproof mold. [I've made with both 1 tin or 8 individual tins, I especially like using straight sided loaf tins, pictured in 1st 2 photos.]

2. MAKE THE CARAMEL. In a medium saucepan, melt the sugar over medium heat without stirring. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil until the color turns uniformly dark amber. Remove immediately from the heat and carefully pour it into the mold. Swirl the mold in a circular motion so the caramel coats the entire bottom. Once the caramel is cool, butter the sides of the pan (this will facilitate the unmolding later). [If you're new to making caramel for crème caramel, here's a great video from MSL with good tips. And some more from BA here.]

3. Preheat the oven to 300˚F / 150˚C. Bring a kettle of water to the boil.

4. MAKE THE CUSTARD. In a large saucepan, combine the cream, milk, [or 10% cream] vanilla bean and seeds, lemon zest, and salt over medium hear until hot but not boiling.

5. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. When the milk is hot but not boiling, discard the vanilla pod and slowly whisk the liquid into the egg mixture. [Strain mixture through a fine sieve]. Gently pour mixture into the mold. [I do this once the mold is in the baking dish.]

6. Set the mold in a roasting pan or deep baking dish. [Set the roasting pan on the middle rack in your prepared oven.] Gently pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the mold. Bake until the custard is set in the centre, about 50 minutes. Remove from the water bath and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until cooled. 


7. To serve, gently loosen the sides of the custard with a butter knife. Invert a rimmed serving dish (make sure it is deep enough to hold the caramel sauce) on top and gently turn everything upside down. Remove the mold. Serve each portion with a few spoons of caramel sauce.

 

Herriott Grace

From the HG Shop:
Porcelain Dessert Platters (which are also available as plates!)
Photos: Nikole Herriott

 


Drunken Sailor Chocolate Cake


Herriott Grace Chocolate Cake
If you're looking for a cake that feels like a celebration, this is it. It's decadent in the best way and perfect served in tiny slices or as the recipe suggests with a handful of spoons. I've successfully made it day of and the day before with excellent results. Also, I think it'd be perfect for New Year's Eve.  Happy Holidays! xo, N

 

PS: here's the cake sliced the first time I made it and eaten just with spoons the second time! So good.

  

Herriott Grace Chocolate Cake 

From the HG Shop in this post:
Dinner at the Long Table (shot by Michael and me!)
Porcelain Mixing Bowls



Chocolate Cake

Reprinted from DINNER AT THE LONG TABLE by Andrew Tarlow & Anna Dunn with Scarlett Lindeman. Ten Speed Press, 2016.

This recipe comes from the Stars Desserts Cookbook by Emily Luchetti, albeit slightly altered, because we always like to sneak in a but more booze. Serve this cake late at night, with eight to ten spoons. No plates.


6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
10 T unsalted butter
3/4 dark rum
4 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 t kosher salt

8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a 9" cake pan with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate, butter, and rum in a double boiler. Set aside and let cool slightly. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/2 cup plus 3 T sugar until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture, then the flour and salt. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium until frothy, then continue whisking until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 T and continue whisking until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into chocolate batter, then fold in the remaining whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan cake pan. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature [Let cake cool completely in the ring].

In the meantime, make your glaze. Melt together the chocolate and heavy cream in a double boiler. Set aside and let cool to room temperature. When your cake is cool. unmold it, place on a cake stand, and remove the parchment paper. Frost the cake with the glaze. Hold on to the spoons for an hour before releasing to the hounds.

I love this cake.
It's a basic pound cake, so it's easy to make
but the simple addition of sliced apples
makes it just a little more special.
I've adapted the recipe just slightly by adding 
a layer of sliced apples in the centre
between the batter
and then again on top,
pressing both down in the centre
to keep them as flat as possible while baking. 
I also grind the almonds loosely in a mortar & pestle
to give the finished cake a bit of a rustic feel.
Once baked I dust with confectioners sugar before serving.
It's great warm from the oven with a scoop of ice cream
or toasted for breakfast on day two.

xo

 

In this post from the Herriott Grace Shop:
-Stoneware + Porcelain Side & Cake Plates
-Hand Carved Wooden Spoon


 

 

Everyday Apple & Almond Cake

Reprinted and slightly adapted from Bon Appétit's, Cardamom Pound Cake Recipe by Rebecca Jurkevich, August 2013.

Part of what gives this cake its light texture is beating the butter and sugar well, so don't rush this step.

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract (I omit the extract & use the contents of 1 vanilla bean)
1 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup loosely ground skin on almonds (I use a mortar & pestle for this)
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pan
2 small/medium green apples, cored and sliced (I added these)

 

Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Butter a 9x5x3” loaf pan; line bottom and long sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving overhang. Butter parchment and dust pan with flour, tapping out any excess. (I often make two cakes from one recipe, 1 in a 6" springform and 1 small loaf. The recipe works well doubled as well, in this case 1-6" springform and 2-7.5"x2.5" straight sided loaf pans, similar to these ones).

Whisk baking powder, cardamom, salt, and 2 cups flour in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk milk and ½ cup crème fraîche in a small bowl; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat sugar and ¾ cup butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula, then add vanilla and almond extracts.

Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with crème fraîche mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients; beat just until combined. Scrape a layer of batter into whichever prepared pans you've chosen, make place a single later or apple slices, arranged in a fan from outside to inside. Add another layer of batter (your pan should be approx. 2/3 full) place another layer of sliced apples. Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55–65 minutes. (Tent with foil if browning too quickly.)

Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 15 minutes. Using parchment overhang, gently remove cake from pan and transfer to rack; let cool.

Slice cake and serve with Tea-Poached Plums and crème fraîche. (I like to serve warm with vanilla ice cream and skip the tea poached pears since I've add the apples.)

Cookies for Travel


We bake a lot of cookies around here
and we do a lot of shipping.
What you might not know
is that we also ship a lot of baked goods.
Even frosted cakes complete with HG candles!

From the very start of Herriott Grace,
I've always shipped baked goods to my father.
I guess it's been a trade of sorts.
He ships me the wooden pieces he makes,
I bake all sorts of things to shoot them with
and once I'm done shooting
I overnight him the leftovers.

 

It's funny, we've been doing this a while now
but recently I hadn't thought to share our tried and true recipes.
So starting today, I'm going to do just that.


This cookie recipe comes from our friend Tara O'Brady.
It travels well both through the post and on a plane.
In fact, we sent most of this batch to my father
only saving a few to take our own flight the next day.
As always, they were perfection.


If ever you have any questions about packing,
shipping or recipe details please pop over to our
instagram or facebook and ask them there.
It'll be fastest way to get a response.  :)


N

 

Herriott Grace

 

Oatmeal Chocolate 
Chunk  Cookies

 

By Tara O'Brady, reprinted from the The Globe and Mail


1 cup (130 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon medium-grain kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, soft but not warm
1/2 cup (110 g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried orange peel or finely grated peel of half an orange [optional]
1 egg, cool
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (150 g) traditional rolled oats
1/2 cup (60 g) chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup (40 g) chopped dates
3 tablespoons butter toffee bits 
2 1/2 ounces (60 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

 

Preheat an oven to 350˚F (180˚C) with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two half sheet pans or heavy, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground spices. Set aside.

 

Affix the paddle attachment to a stand mixer. In its bowl, combine the butter, sugars and peel. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, around four minutes.

 

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beaters, then beat for an additional three minutes. Scrape everything down once more, then turn the machine to medium and add the egg. Mix until smooth, scraping down once, then pour in the vanilla extract. Set the mixer to stir, then add the flour mixture. Once almost combined, but with flour still visible, stir in the oats, followed by the walnuts, dates, chocolate and toffee bits.

 

With two spoons or a spring-loaded scoop, form 12 balls of dough, using roughly 2 1/2 tablespoons for each. Arrange the balls evenly on the prepared baking sheets, leaving space for them to spread. Bake in the hot oven until puffed with dry, evenly golden tops, 13 to 15 minutes. Rotate the pans once during baking, from front-to-back and top-to-bottom. Pull the pans from the oven and immediately knock each against the stove top or counter to force out any trapped air (this will cause the cookies to deflate quickly, and make for exceptionally craggy tops). Let the cookies cool on their pans for three minutes before moving them to a baking rack to cool completely.

 

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. Over time, the cookies will soften; to reinstate their crunch, rewarm in a low oven for a few minutes.

 

Notes from Tara:


I usually toast the walnuts while the oven is preheating. Spread the walnuts on one of the pans and bake until aromatic and snappy, about five to 10 minutes depending on the temperature. Make sure to stir them often. Transfer the nuts to a bowl once they’re cool enough to touch. Shake any walnut dust off the parchment paper before continuing with the cookies.

 

Cake flour instead of all-purpose will garner a lighter, slightly crispier cookie, while whole-wheat pastry flour offers the suggestion of virtue.

 

Using chocolate bars or blocks rather than chips means that the chocolate will melt into the cookies rather than staying in discrete shapes. This is my preference, as the resulting rills extend the chocolate’s reach.

 

If you keep the general volume of add-ins, feel free to swap and adapt as you like. Ground nutmeg, cardamom or fennel seed can take over for the ginger and cinnamon; dried figs, cranberries, cherries, apricots or brandy-soaked raisins in place of the dates; white or milk chocolate for the bittersweet; pecans for the walnuts; and dried coconut or minced candied ginger for the toffee bits. For the latter, reduce the amount to 2 tablespoons.

 

A generous pinch of finely ground espresso is effective in these cookies, its flinty bitterness working exceptionally well with the dried fruits suggested.