(Full ingredient list and instructions at bottom of post)

We threw this dessert together recently, at the last minute, for a dinner party that we forgot we were having.

Sadly, we forget we’re having dinner parties fairly often. One of us invites someone to dinner and forgets to telepathically tell the other one that guests are coming.

We’re not going to point fingers. (This time.)

Surprisingly…we think it might just become part of our permanent repertoire. Who says last minute fixes can’t be amazing and elegant? Custards and Pots de Creme are super simple to make. And as long as you have eggs and cream on hand, you can make nearly any variety with whatever flavorings are in your pantry or fridge.

This ginger rose version was really subtly fantastic. The mango sauce wasn’t necessary, but it made for a nicer presentation.

And it was a dinner party after all.

Even if we forgot all about it.

Here’s how to make it. First, peel and chop the ginger.

peeling gingerIMG_9172

Combine the cream, ginger and sugar, and bring it just to a boil. Then take it off the heat and let the ginger steep for about 15 minutes. Seriously about the best smell in the world. There’s chocolate milk, strawberry milk, coffee milk….why doesn’t someone sell ginger milk? (That idea was free. Someone run with it.)


Now separate the eggs. Don’t toss the whites though. Make something with meringues.


Beat the egg yolks till they’re thick and lighter in color. C’mon….put some muscle into it. If your under-bicep is jiggling, good. It’s getting a good work out.


Once the ginger, cream and sugar mixture has cooled strain out and discard the ginger pieces.


Now add the rose water to the strained mixture. We always think rose water is so pretty, and sounds so lovely that it must taste good in everything. It doesn’t. In fact it tastes horrible in most things. Like lavender, it must be used sparingly and judiciously in cooking.


This is the only slightly tricky part. You must add the ginger steeped cream mixture to the whipped eggs yolks slowly, whisking constantly. Why? Because if the mixture is still too hot for some reason, it might curdle the yolks. Pour in a thin stream from fairly high, and you’ll be guaranteed that it’s cool enough.


We said keep whisking!


Ok. Now put your ramekins or custard cups in something like a cake pan. You may need six. You may need seven. Pour the mixture in. Turns out we needed seven.


Once they’re full, pour boiling water in the cake pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the cups. (We forgot to tell you to get some water boiling, didn’t we? Sorry.)


Ready for the oven. You can cover the whole thing with foil at this point, before putting it in the oven. That would keep the surface smoother and even-colored. Which is better for chocolate or dark custards. Or pot de cremes. We like some custards to have a little color on top when they come out of the oven. Like these.





You don’t need to gild this particular ginger rose lily, but if you’d like, saute up a little mango with sugar for garnish/topping.


Pretty easy for such an elegant dessert, right?


Our guests didn’t even know we forgot they were coming.



Until they read this post, of course.

Whoops. (Again.)


Ginger Rose Custard Cups, with Mango topping


A light, simple elegant dessert that you can make at practically the last minute.

Prep time: 30 Min
Cook time: 40 Min
Total time:


For Custard

1 pint heavy cream

¾ cup peeled, chopped ginger

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon rose water

5 large egg yolks

For Sauce:

1 Mango, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

3 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons sugar


Preheat oven to 300F.

Combine cream, ginger and sugar in large saucepan over medium heat. Bring barely to a boil, then remove from heat and let set, covered, for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture, discarding ginger. Whisk in the rose water.

Whisk egg yolks in medium bowl until they thicken and are light in color. Slowly pour in the hot cream from a height, in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Allow mixture to cool.

Set a full tea kettle on high heat for boiling water to be used in bain-marie bath.

Place six or seven ¼ cup custard cups or ramekins in a high-sided baking pan, like a cake pan. Fill the cups with the egg & cream mixture. Pour boiling water into baking pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until custard is barely set…not too long or it will lose its smooth texture.  Remove from oven and immediately remove from bain-marie to halt cooking. Refrigerate until cool.

Mango sauce:

In saucepan over medium heat, whisk together water and sugar until dissolved. Add mango pieces and stir until slightly tender but not mushy.  Remove from heat.

Serve custard in cups, with tablespoon of mango sauce on top.


Leave a Reply

  • By: Elaine H

    Rose water is an amazing thing. I used it making Victorian sugar cookies with butter that bordered on stale. You couldn’t tell. One recipe used it in a pork roast dish; some cuts are a little rank (to me) and are good for sausage making. This roast was transformed and you couldn’t tell the rosewater was there. My favorite summertime drink is a Lassi with ice cold buttermilk, some ice cubes, a dash of sugar (or artificial sugar) and a teaspoon of rosewater. Try using a Chinese Rose vinegar and if you can find it, the Chinese make a rose wine. It will cost you close to a $100. It apparently is the only wine the Chinese make.

  • By: Cherie Herrman

    How long does ginger keep? I can’t imagine using it up very quickly. And where do you find rose water? Once I know, I’m off to the store!

  • By: Teri

    I love the fact that your idea of “throwing something together” is this involved and intricate. I’d be buying a cake or pie and calling it a day. You guys are always so thoughtful!

  • By: Paula Julian

    Can you guys invite me to one of your dinner parties, or adopt me or can I adopt you?

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