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Hawaij Spiced Pots de Crème

Hawaij Spiced Pots de Crème

Hawaij is a spice mix commonly used in Yemenite Jewish cooking. There are two varieties, one that is used to season soup and another that is brewed with black coffee. Both are available for purchase ready-made in the various spice stalls in Machane Yehuda. Here I have taken the flavor profile of hawaij spiced coffee and applied it to a traditional pots de crème, for an elegant taste of the market.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings


Pots De Creme

  • 4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup or granulated sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 cups whole milk
  • 1⁄2 cup brewed strong black coffee or espresso
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons Jamie Geller Hawaij for Coffee
  • Whipped cream, for serving (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 325 ̊F.

2. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring 1⁄2 cup of the heavy cream just to a boil. Pour over the chocolate and allow to sit for 1 minute. Gently stir with a spatula until combined and smooth. Set aside. 

3. Whisk together the egg, yolks and agave syrup in a large bowl until well combined. Set aside. 

4. Combine the milk, remaining 1⁄2 cup cream, and coffee in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Keep a close eye on the pot to make sure it doesn’t boil over. 

5. Drizzle a small amount of the hot milk mixture into the eggs and whisk to temper them. Slowly pour the remaining liquid into the eggs. 

6. Whisk this into the chocolate mixture until fully incorporated. Stir in hawaij spice blend.

7. Pour the mixture (now a custard) into 6 to 8 ramekins or other oven-safe bowls. 

8. Put the ramekins in a roasting or baking pan and pour hot water into the pan so it comes halfway up the side of the ramekins. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, poke a few holes in the corners, and carefully put in the oven. 

9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tops are slightly dark and the pots de crèmes jiggle slightly when shaken. 

10. Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Keep covered and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Take off the aluminum foil, remove from the pan, and allow to cool to room temperature. 

11. Pots de crème can be served warm (they will have a pudding-like consistency), or can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 days and served cold (they will firm up, which I prefer). Top with whipped cream, if you like. 

If you can't find Hawaij at your grocer, a recipe follows. Mix the spices together until well combined.  Use immediately in coffee, tea, or desserts, or store in a dark, airtight container in the pantry.                   

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