Ghaya Oliveira makes smart use of her North African culinary heritage by incorporating her homeland’s ingredients into classic desserts to give them a personal signature. Here, instead of using regular cinnamon, she combines my Smoked Cinnamon N18 spice blend with chocolate to imbue it with a smoky flavor; she also adds Smoked Cinnamon to speculoos biscuits, which are an excellent sweet on their own.
Smoked Cinnamon N18 – Recipe from Ghaya Oliveira, New York City
Pots de crème
Makes 8 servings
4¼ ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona Caraibe 66%
1½ teaspoons Smoked Cinnamon N.18 spice blend
5 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1¼ cups whole milk
1¼ cups heavy cream
Smoked Cinnamon Speculoos
Makes about 60 biscuits
1¼ cups light brown sugar
1 stick salted butter, diced
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Smoked Cinnamon N.18 spice blend
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
Pots de Creme
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the chocolate and Smoked Cinnamon in a large bowl.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. In a small, heavy saucepan, heat the milk and cream over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Gradually whisk the milk and cream mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Strain the liquid through a line-mesh sieve over the chocolate. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth, about 20 seconds. Do not overmix.
3. Prepare a hot-water bath in a roasting pan. Pour the chocolate mixture into eight 4-ounce oven-proof ramekins or custard cups. Place the ramekins in the hot-water bath and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pots de crème are set but still jiggle slightly in the center.
4. Remove the ramekins from the water and let cool for 15 minutes, then cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 6 hours. Serve with the Smoked Cinnamon Speculoos.
Smoked Cinnamon Speculoos
1. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the sugar, butter and vanilla until well combined, about 4 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, Smoked Cinnamon, salt and baking powder.
2. Add the egg to the butter and sugar mixture and beat at low speed, then add the dry ingredients, mixing at low speed until everything is combined.
3. Form the mixture into a ball of dough and divide the dough in half. Place each half between two sheets of parchment paper and, using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a rectangle about 1/s-inch thick. Refrigerate for one hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 3500. Cut the dough with a cookie cutter or a knife into 1-by-2-inch rectangles. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Arrange the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1/4 inch between them. Bake for about 8 minutes or until the cookies are light golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet, then remove and store in an airtight container. Repeat with the remaining dough to make about 60 biscuits.