Chocolate Pumpkin Pots de Creme

Silky smooth and surprisingly light, with a texture and flavor that’s like a cross between chocolate mousse and pumpkin pie, these chocolate pumpkin pots de creme would make the perfect alternative Thanksgiving dessert. Chocolate and pumpkin make for a lovely combination in these pots of pure delight, with a hint of pumpkin spice and a […]

Silky smooth and surprisingly light, with a texture and flavor that’s like a cross between chocolate mousse and pumpkin pie, these chocolate pumpkin pots de creme would make the perfect alternative Thanksgiving dessert.

Chocolate and pumpkin make for a lovely combination in these pots of pure delight, with a hint of pumpkin spice and a silky smooth texture that’ll have you licking the pot clean and clamoring for more.

Glass ramekins filled with Chocolate Pumpkin Pot de Creme on a dark gray background

This Thanksgiving is going to look a little bit different from years past… most of us are (should be!) only cooking for a few people, in which case a full scale pumpkin pie really isn’t necessary (although I do love leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast especially… but still, a whole pie for 2 or 3 people is… a lot).

Which is why this recipe is so perfect, perfectly scaled for a small gathering. It’s almost like mini, crustless pumpkin pies. Except lighter and silkier. And with chocolate. (Honestly, it’s pretty much the perfect dessert).

Row of 4 ramekins filled with chocolate pumpkin pot de creme custard

In terms of texture, the photos really don’t show just how lovely it really is. It’s silky smooth and surprisingly light, almost like a cross between pumpkin pie and chocolate mousse. The flavors of pumpkin and chocolate are perfectly balanced, neither one overpowering the other, with subtle notes of vanilla and spices that support without overwhelming.

If you’re not a fan of pumpkin pie because of its dense, somewhat pasty texture, know that these pots de creme are notably different, surprisingly light, velvety smooth and not pasty in the least.

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Ube & Coconut Cream Pie

This deliciously stunning pie features an ube and coconut cream filling in a chocolate cookie crust, and is topped with fresh whipped cream and Halloween sprinkles for a fun and festive presentation! Have you ever seen a purple pie? The unusual color and mesmerizing flavor of this ube & coconut cream pie will please your […]

This deliciously stunning pie features an ube and coconut cream filling in a chocolate cookie crust, and is topped with fresh whipped cream and Halloween sprinkles for a fun and festive presentation!

Have you ever seen a purple pie? The unusual color and mesmerizing flavor of this ube & coconut cream pie will please your palate and tantalize your tastebuds, while your eyes devour the beautiful violet hue.

Ube and Coconut Cream Pie

If you know me at all, you know that I love playing with unexpected colors in food. So it should come as no surprise that I’ve been suffering from a mild case of obsession with purple sweet potatoes, ever since I found some in the store last fall. I simply adore their vibrant natural color, and proceeded to try and make purple versions of traditional orange sweet potato recipes.

As it turns out, the two aren’t exactly interchangeable. It took me about 3 batches of gnocchi and about 4 pies before I finally realized that. The purple sweet potatoes I was using, called Stokes sweet potatoes and developed in the USA, have a much drier, starchier texture than orange sweet potatoes. This extra starchiness was problematic, especially when it came to the pie: I simply couldn’t achieve that silky smooth custard filling I was going for (rather, it felt like I’d just eaten a spoonful of wallpaper paste). Same for the gnocchi, the extra starch just resulted in a gummy, pasty texture that was less than ideal.

They were very pretty, no argument there, but they just weren’t very good (looks aren’t everything, you know).

Ube and Coconut Cream Pie

Thanksgiving came and went and I ultimately gave up my pursuit of a purple pie, tabling the idea for the next year (I decided that a purple pie would be more suitable for Halloween, anyway – bring one of these to Thanksgiving dinner and you’ll probably get a few questioning looks).

Now a year has come and gone and I’m still thinking about this purple pie. Clearly I had to try a different approach. After further research I realized that not all purple sweet potatoes are the same (as I had mistakenly assumed); rather, there are three distinct kinds of violet tubers throughout the world: Stokes purple sweet potatoes from the US, Okinawan purple sweet potatoes from Japan, and ube. All three are quite different in taste and texture and really aren’t interchangeable.

But the more I researched it, the more ube stood out to me as the best candidate for my purple pie. This purple yam from Southeast Asia is a bit sweeter and less starchy than the Stokes potatoes, and often used for flavoring dessert pastries and ice cream. Sounds perfect, right? Now I just needed to find some.

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Banana Fudge Chunk Ice Cream

With ample chunks of chewy chocolate fudge in a creamy banana custard, this homemade banana fudge chunk ice cream really hits the spot! Inspired by one of my favorite ice cream flavors from years ago, this recipe uses extra ripe bananas and high quality dark chocolate for an intense and sophisticated flavor profile. Years ago […]

With ample chunks of chewy chocolate fudge in a creamy banana custard, this homemade banana fudge chunk ice cream really hits the spot!

Inspired by one of my favorite ice cream flavors from years ago, this recipe uses extra ripe bananas and high quality dark chocolate for an intense and sophisticated flavor profile.

Overhead shot of three scoops of Banana Fudge Chunk Ice Cream on a pewter platter with three spoons on the side.

Years ago I recreated one of my favorite ice cream flavors from college.

At that time, however, I simply tossed in some chopped dark chocolate at the end of the churn. Which is great and all, but fudge chunk and chocolate chunk are not the same thing. Fudge, to me, implies a softer chocolate, something you can really sink your teeth into and chew instead of chomp.

I’d done something similar for my Sea Salt Fudge Chunk ice cream (which is still one of my favorite ice cream recipes ever).

I changed up the process a bit for this banana version. Rather than spreading out the fudge mixture onto a baking sheet, I found piping out 1/2-inch logs of chocolate was easier to to cut into uniform chunks, easy enough to warrant washing the extra piping bag.

In the end, you’re rewarded with chewy chunks of rich dark chocolate swimming in a creamy banana custard base.

(And yes, I know this recipe leaves you with 4 leftover egg whites. These can easily be frozen for a later time, or if you’re looking for something quick to use them up now, a double batch of my Soft Amaretti Cookies would be perfect!)

Sheet pan with scoops of Banana Fudge Chunk Ice Cream and a partially-full carton.

This was also the inaugural run of my new ice cream machine.

Previously I used (and loved) the KitchenAid ice cream attachment, which worked great, but I hated having to freeze the bowl a full 24-48 hours before I could churn a batch of ice cream. And if I needed to churn two batches (testing recipes I’ll often make 2-3 variations at the same time to see which is best), it was simply too long to have to wait. So I splurged and treated myself to a compressor-based ice cream machine, which can easily churn multiple batches back to back.

If you make homemade ice cream with any regularity, and have the storage space (it’s a good deal larger than the freezer bowl versions), I highly recommend a compressor-based machine. It’s a game changer!

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