I always have a hard time with failure in the kitchen. I take it very personally when something doesn't work, I am almost always convinced that it was something I did, or didn't do. I have gotten better lately, reminding myself that some recipes are just duds, destined to go into the trash before I even lift a spoon. But this one, oh I had high hopes for this one.
I had already half written this post before I even started the process of making this. I was going to wax poetic about the creamy pudding, the smooth caramel, the pop of sea salt and the fresh tang of the whipped creme fraiche topping. I was going to boldly proclaim that I should just hang up my Julia apron because this was the best thing I had ever made and I probably couldn't ever make anything better ever again.
and then I made it.
It's not that it wasn't good. I tasted every component of this dish as it was made and they were all totally delicious, but somehow when combined, well the whole was not greater than the sum of it's parts. It was just too much, way too rich, so much so that Pete could only take a few bites before backing away. It was partly my fault, the recipe said it served 10, and I only had 6 serving dishes. I figured that more is always better but in this case, I would definitely have made the serving sizes way smaller, maybe half the size.
It's probably better off though, because had I discovered that I could now make my favorite dessert at home, well, let's just say I'd need to go out and buy some new clothes with an elastic waistband. I guess some things are just better left to the professionals.
edited: after scraping off the sticky sweet caramel sauce and letting the custard chill out in the fridge overnight, I do have to say, that in small portions, this pudding is slammin', all by itself. at least it wasn't a total wash.