Sunday, June 19, 2011

For Dad


My picture should be in the dictionary next to the definition of “daddy’s girl.” I always have been and always will be a daddy’s girl…I am not ashamed to admit it and wouldn’t want it any other way. And on Father’s Day, more than any other day, I want him to know just how much he means to me.


If you didn’t know my dad well, you’d think he was a man of few words. You’d see an imposing figure with long gray hair, a full beard and cowboy boots who you’d be just a little scared of if you met him in a dark alley by yourself (not that he spends a lot of any time in dark alleys). Very quickly, you’d figure out that he is fiercely protective of his family and would do anything for his girls. After a while you’d see that he’s chattier than he initially lets on, has an uncanny ability to tune out two daughters and a wife (a talent honed after almost 40 years of being the only man in the house), and that beneath his tough exterior is a gentle, loving, devoted husband and father. If you were really lucky, you’d get to experience the unfeigned way that he laughs when he REALLY laughs. I’m not talking about just a chuckle or a giggle here…he’s normally pretty low-key, but when something hits him just right, he laughs harder than anyone I’ve ever seen. It’s laughing to the point of red-in-the-face, not breathing, choking and coughing. These moments make up some of my favorite memories even though no one can remember exactly what he was laughing at because we’re all too busy laughing along with him.


It’s impossible to recount all the wonderful times I have with my dad. I’m lucky that way…ours is the kind of relationship that didn’t have many bumps along the way and only continues to get better. Being a tomboy, there was softball, tennis, fishing and a period of infatuation with professional wrestling (don’t judge!). But nowadays, if I had to choose a favorite thing to do with my dad, it’s the time we spend together in the kitchen, which means more to me than he will ever know. He is the reason I have a love of food and cooking, and is just about the only person I would let touch my “good” knives. We bicker about what ingredients to use, laugh at the other when they do something wrong, completely ignore each other’s suggestions, tips and advice, and in general, have a blast. Because at the end of the day we both know that what we made is better than anything we would have made alone, and for all the needling and mocking, there is absolute respect and admiration. I love the look in my dad’s eyes when he’s in the kitchen, happily chopping vegetables, frying bacon, caramelizing onions. He’s full of life, in his element, doing something he loves. I cherish that time with him.


So when I was thinking about what to make as a Father’s Day treat, I immediately thought of the enormous bag of miniature candy bars stashed in my pantry. They are hidden away because I’m the kind of person who can’t pass a candy dish without eating one (or seven) and this is definitely a trait I got from my dad. He is a chocoholic through and through.

And here’s what happens when I bake with Dad and Milky Ways in mind…


Milky Way Pots de Crème

Makes 5

Pots de Crème:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
12 Milky Way mini candy bars, chopped (about 3 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate chips (60% cocoa)
4 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
3 tablespoons sugar

Caramel topping:
15 caramel squares
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Chocolate Whipped Cream:
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

For pots de crème: In a small pot, heat heavy cream almost to a boil. Remove from heat and add candy bars and chocolate chips. Let sit for a few minutes to melt, then whisk to combine. Reserve for about 5 minutes to cool.

In another bowl, beat egg and egg yolks with sugar. Whisk in a small amount of the chocolate mixture to temper the eggs, then slowly pour in the remainder, whisking constantly.

Pour mixture into a large measuring cup through a sieve to remove any solids, then divide amongst ramekins. (I used ramekins that hold approximately 8 ounces.) Place ramekins in a hot water bath, cover with foil, and bake for 43-45 minutes, until set but still jiggly in the middle (yes, I said jiggly).

Carefully remove from water bath and transfer to refrigerator to chill for at least several hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, heat caramel squares and heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. When caramel starts melting, stir constantly to combine until completely melted. Spoon onto the top of the pots de crème.

Meanwhile, make the whipped cream by placing all ingredients in an electric mixer and whisking until stiff peaks form. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of the caramel. Serve immediately.


I’m not going to lie…these are ridiculously rich and made me feel like I never wanted to eat candy again. Of course that silly thought only lasted for about an hour before I was contemplating eating another one. The pots de crème themselves are lighter and fluffier than others I’ve had and have a definite Milky Way essence. Topping them with caramel really puts them over the top, and adding the chocolate whipped cream? Well, it’s a chocoholics dream come true. I think Dad will happily approve.


Happy Father’s Day, Daddy-o! I love you more than chocolate!


“I’ve got sunshine, on a cloudy day…when it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May…”

56 comments:

  1. GORGEOUS POST!!! Your Milky Way pots look outstanding and your pictures are just so heartwarming. I love your Dad's face in that first picture, it's the look of pure happiness:) great post:)

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  2. My Girl, My Girl.
    I Love you
    Daddy-O

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  3. Delish!!! A must try for sure! I love the tribute your dad :)

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  4. What a wonderful Father's Day post! And the dessert looks yummy!

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  5. What a beautful tribute for Father's Day; you really captured the love; Thank you for sharing that gotta be good recipe.
    Rita

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  6. Such a sweet tribute to your Dad in every sense of the word!

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  7. This is super sweet. Thank you for stopping by my blog. Now I know to come back here. I love the recipes and you take great picture ( for a designer I am still very amateur at that.) Great Post!

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  8. Fabulous treat! I want one right now! And I'm loving that last snoozefest photo :)

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  9. Oh, I am drooling at the sight of the dessert! Happy Father's day...enjoyed reading this post.

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  10. Those look like they should be illegal somehwere! I'll take two!! =)
    @alanecooke

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  11. What a sweet blog post in honor of your dad!

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  12. cute, i hope he reads this! Those milky way pots look so tasty it is unbelievable, i am sure i could eat 3 or 4 of these before i feel sick.

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  13. I am such a Daddy's girl too. What a great post! Your little treats look heavenly.

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  14. Aww, what a wonder tribute to your Dad. Love the pictures of you both too. And the pots de creme look delicious!

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  15. Nice tribute to dad on father's day! Also, the dessert looks fabulous-Great post.

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  16. beautifully dedicated post dessert looks wonderful

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  17. This is such a beautiful post. Your dad sounds like an incredible man. Looks like a delicious dessert!

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  18. What a sweet tribute to your dad! ... And incredibly amazing looking dessert!

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  19. Karen, what a delicious way to celebrate your dear dad! These look fabulous...buzzed 'em!

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  20. aww!! What a heartfelt post. I LOVE the pictures from your past. And what a great recipe to celebrate with

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  21. Oh my word I think I've died and gone to heaven. I LOVE milky ways but this is a million times better than just a candy bar. I seriously want to eat every single one of these. YUM!! :)

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  22. Your Dad is a lucky guy! And your pictures are soo nice! I enjoyed seeing them!!

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  23. Hi Karen! Wow what a lovely post dedicated to your dad! He must have been happy reading this. :-) Your dessert looks so perfect...(and pictures too!!).

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  24. See, you should never post adorable pictures of little kids with food. I was totally zoned in on the whole caramel/Milky Way thing and then I saw that last, sweet picture of you and your dad. What was I talking about? Food? Nah. CUTE!!!!!

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  25. What a heartfelt post! Hope Dad enjoyed his day. And who wouldn't want to dive headlong into yout Milky Way Pots de Creme.

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  26. Oh these pots look absolutely amazing! I love Milky Ways - I posted my own at home version of them last week! But these pots, look over the top! And what a beautiful post about your Dad!

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  27. lovely post aren't Dads the best and oh my that is one amazing desert love milky ways I want one now and one of these!

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  28. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!! And the photos! Sooo sweet!
    Can I have that bowl, please? The yumminess included?! Thanks! :))

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  29. This looks delish! Congratulations on the foodbuzz top 9! :D

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  30. What a heartwarming post. Your pots de creme look mouthwatering. Congrats on the top 9! Well deserved.

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  31. Beautiful post! I bet your dad loved these decadent treats!

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  32. Love your post and your recipe! Fabulous photos of you and your Dad.. and the pots de creme.

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  33. Cheers to your dad! Cheers to this Milky Way pots de creme.

    Cheers.
    Velva

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  34. Great post and photos. Congratulations on the Top 9!

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  35. What a wonderful post!!!! This recipe looks stunning! I cant wait to try it! Congrats on the Top 9!

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  36. Such a sweet post. Amazing job on these treats....caramel and chocolate....so good.

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  37. Lovely story. Lovely accompanying recipe. Thank you for sharing it.

    P.S. The "tuning out" skill was very funny :)

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  38. What a great story and I love the childhood photos! The recipe looks sooo yummy! I can't wait to try it out on my dad who is an admitted chocoholic as well as being the only male in a family of all females, even those of our closest relatives. Poor daddy.

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  39. sorry I've been away! Love this post and love the food! Just Perfect...so sweet

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  40. The last pic is my fav. thanks you for sharing a bit of your fmaily love with us, the pots are amazing!!

    bonnie
    sweetlife

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  41. Karen, this is the sweetest post ever! I love the photos and I am just speechless with the Milky Way pots de creme. Heaven!

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  42. "I love you more than chocolate" - that was cute. I made some chocolate pudding the other day and it just didn't satisfy sophisticated chocolate palatte. Your recipe sounds delicious. I love chocolate with caramel. I'll be trying this Pots de Creme recipe.

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  43. What a fantastic dish and the photos are priceless! You didn't have to tell us you're a daddy's girl, it shows in every picture.

    Chocolate and caramel combination is not only beautiful to look at, it makes me sing when I eat it. (not out loud.)

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  44. What a beautful tribute for Father's Day! You are an amazing daughter he is so lucky to have you! MMMM the Milky Way Chocolate looks so good!Great pictures.

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  45. Made this today. I am not a chocolate lover but those who ate it loved it. The only thing I was disappointed with was because I covered the entire pan, water dripped into the actual containers. Next time I will cover them individually.

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  46. I love the photos of you and your dad. The milk way pots de creme looks lethal. My nieces will love it!!

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  47. I too am a Daddy's girl which is now difficult as my Daddy is up In heave pn with JESUS! Nice to have your thoughts and recipe thanks!

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  48. These were absolutely amazing.

    After losing my Mom, our daughter decided a new Thanksgiving dessert tradition needed to happen. She perused my Pinterest and chose your recipe. Yup...best choice ever!

    Silly question, but have you ever made these in a smaller dish/container? If we ever have a bunch of people over for dinner, I think these pots of deliciousness would make an impressive ending to our evening. My concern is baking time; any idea how to adjust that if I make the pots smaller?

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    Replies
    1. @Mare - I think you could easily make them in smaller ramekins, though I have never tried. I would suggest just keeping watch and peeking in after 20 minutes or so to see if they're starting to set. I'm so happy you liked them!

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  49. AMAZING! Looks very good and tasty :)

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