Valentine’s Day may have come and passed, but in Japan, the festivities are far from over. Held a month later on March 14th, White Day is a companion holiday to Valentine’s Day that focuses on men as the primary gift givers. While Japanese women give chocolates to the men in their lives as a token of love (honmei-choco) or friendship (giri-choco) on Valentine’s Day, White Day is an opportunity for the men who received honmei-choco to return the gesture. This is often done in the form of elaborate gifts, flowers, and, of course, white chocolates.
Whether you have a special someone in mind or you’re just looking to treat yourself, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate White Day than with something sweet and homemade. These super simple homemade pot-de-cremes, made with white chocolate and topped with raspberry puree and cardamom, are the perfect thoughtful gesture. Both the raspberry sauce and the pots de creme can be made ahead of time for easy entertaining.
For the Pots de Creme
8 oz. white chocolate
5 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. Lemon zest
¼ tsp. Salt
For the Raspberry Puree
2 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
¾ cups unsweetened apple juice
½ tsp. pink peppercorns (crushed)
½ tsp. ground cardamom
1 pinch of salt
6x Ceramic or oven-safe glass ramekins, blender, kettle, whisk, saucepan, two medium-sized bowls, baking dish (tall enough to pour in water halfway up the sides of your ramekins)
Prepare the raspberry puree. Add raspberries, apple juice, pink peppercorn, cardamon and salt into a blender. Blend on high to create a smooth puree. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the custard.
Preheat oven to 325° F and set a water kettle to boil (if no kettle is available, boil water in a pot). Place 6 small ramekins in a baking dish that is at least 3 inches tall.
Break the white chocolate into even pieces in a bowl.
Whisk together the eggs yolks and sugar until they are combined before adding in the lemon zest, lemon extract, and salt. Set aside.
Heat the cream over medium heat in a small saucepan for approximately 3 minutes, or until the cream begins to lightly bubble. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate pieces, stirring until the chocolate has thoroughly melted. Pour the cream and chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously as you pour. This will create a custard.
Pour the custard into the ramekins, leaving some room at the top so it doesn’t overflow in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the pan until half of the ramekins are covered.
Cover with aluminum foil and transfer the baking dish into the oven, baking for 30-35 minutes. The custard will be ready when the mixture has set around the edges but is still soft in the middle.
Remove from the water and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours.
Serve with a generous layer of raspberry puree on top, garnishing with mint leaves, peppercorn, and whipped cream as desired.