Kris Hoogerhyde, Bi-Rite Creamery
Until her twenties, Kris Hoogerhyde lived a relatively quiet life: growing up in Lansing, Michigan, she indulged her love of arts and crafts by sewing and designing jewelry, and studied Art History at Michigan State University. But after graduation, she took her first trip abroad, landing in London. Next thing she knew, she was pouring pints at a pub in the Mayfair district, waitressing at a bustling Covent Garden restaurant, and touring Europe astride a motorcycle. Having tapped into her love of adventure and restaurant culture, a return to the States called for an invigorating new city, so she moved to San Francisco where a burgeoning food scene and colorful atmosphere beckoned.
Kris arrived in the Bay Area in 1995 and began working as a manager of the popular Slow Club. When a pastry chef resigned, she took an adventurous leap and stepped in to help. She dove in to her new position with an academic zeal for knowledge, often researching a wide selection of cookbooks. With time, Kris’ personal culinary style emerged, showing an affinity for the cozy desserts and techniques of the classic American pastry tradition.
It was during this time that Kris met her future business partner, Anne Walker, who was then the Executive Pastry Chef at Slow Club’s sister restaurant, 42 Degrees. So impressed was Anne with Kris’ work ethic and creativity that she hired her as the assistant pastry chef when a position became available. As the two worked together, Kris learned from Anne, and a true bond formed between the women.
When 42 Degrees closed in 2002, they decided to continue their collaboration by creating a line of baked goods for San Francisco’s Bi-Rite Market, owned by Anne’s husband, Sam Mogannam. For almost six years, the two used a rented kitchen space to bake and package cakes, pies and cookies and hand deliver them to the market. When the storefront across from Bi-Rite became available, they moved in, following a strong hunch that the area needed an ice cream shop, and unveiling Bi-Rite Creamery in 2006.
Since the opening, they have worked in close collaboration, united by a desire to make intensely flavorful ice cream. Everything is made in small batches from expertly sourced or house-made premium ingredients. At last count, they have scooped over half a million cones to a devoted clientele. Many of the pastries that Anne and Kris created for Bi-Rite Market now find their way into the Creamery’s myriad offerings. Favoring the ingredients of autumn, Kris loves to employ warming notes like ginger, cinnamon and molasses in her recipes, and her influence can be detected on the menu in flavors like Brown Sugar Ice Cream with a Ginger-Caramel Swirl, and Ricanelas.
These pots de crème are ridiculously easy and ridiculously good. Don’t despair if you don’t have eight 4oz ramekins; you can use a variety of teacups, prep bowls or even canning jars of any size.
You can also make these a few days ahead of time if you like. Just be sure to wrap them tightly in plastic and removing any particularly stinky items from the refrigerator as chocolate is prone to absorbing neighboring odors.
6 oz 62% chocolate – such as the Eureka Works, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup plus 2 T half and half
1/8 tsp kosher salt
6 T sugar
9 large egg yolks
1/2tsp pure vanilla extract
Whipped cream and/or chocolate shavings for garnish
Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.
Combine the cream, half&half, salt and 3T sugar in a medium heatproof saucepan and put over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until it starts to approach a simmer, about 4 minutes – you will know it’s ready when small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat.
Combine the egg yolks and the remaining 3T sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until combined and smooth. Whisking the eggs constantly, slowly pour in about 1 cup of the milk mixture, then pour the yolk mixture into the pan, whisking constantly until smooth.
Put the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the mixture is thick and about the consistency of a pureed soup, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour the cream/egg mixture over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Then slowly and gently stir with a whisk – try not to incorporate any air. When smooth, add the vanilla extract and stir again to blend. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer into a large-lipped measuring cup.
Divide evenly into the eight 4oz cups or ramekins and refrigerate, uncovered. After about 2 hours, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 more hours.
To serve, let the ramekins come to room temperature –about 30 minutes- and then top with the whipped cream and shaved chocolate.