Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Creme Brulee

With a show of hands, who out there loves dessert?  I thought so.  Almost all raised there hands.  I have a few favorites such as  Swedish Cream , that I will almost, every time, pick when given the options.  I don't really know what in particular makes me pick the ones I love, but I do love a creamy dessert. 

Good Brulee
Every week I get at lest one Email with kind comments, suggestions to try, some little historical background info, and people asking for particular recipes.  This past week I was asked for a "Creme Brulee" recipe.  You know at first I was going to just send this person a link form some website and call it good, but then I thought it through, and I would be cheating both them and myself.  Why, you ask, would I just send a link?  Well, let me share a few frustrations I have always had with this dessert.  The BLASTED crust!   Of all the components of this Glorious desert, that I do so love, the sugary Carmel crust always gets the best of me.  It sounds funny that, of the whole recipe, that would be the breaking point of my mental stability.  I can't explain if its getting the flame torch to close or if it's just bad timing, but for every five I get perfect, the 6th or 7th turns into a black inferno of molten sugar lava.  The other thing that seems to happen almost every time is when I pull the tray out of the oven that holds the water bath for the ramekins in, it splashes me either on the arms or my legs.  I don't even think that if you have the reflexes of Chuck Norris you can avoid the scalding burns from the water. 

Bad Brulee

In essence I don't make this recipe often for those various reasons.  I think you will enjoy the challenges this recipe poses.  It is a simple recipe, but the hazards don't make it worth it for me.  If I go out and someone else makes it, by gosh you can bet your sweet biscuits I'll be ordering it.

So, here is the recipe.  If you happen to be in the area and make this little Gem, and your looking for someone to taste test, give me a call.

Creme Brulee

1 extra-large egg
4 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving
3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together on low speed until just combined.

Scald the cream in a small saucepan until it's very hot to the touch but not boiled. With the mixer on low speed, slowly (to fast and you will curdle the eggs, this technique is called tempering) add the cream to the eggs. Add the vanilla and orange liqueur and pour into 6 to 8-ounce ramekins until almost full.

Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.

THE CARMELING!!!!  *enter at own risk*  spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch BonJour Brushed Aluminum Chef's Torch with Fuel Gauge until the sugar carmelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens. 

I wish you luck and once again, if all goes well with your caramelizing and you escape arm scalding, then on those merits along you should be given a million dollars and the key to the city.   Enjoy your rewards and cheers to you for taking on a technical recipe.


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