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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

5 courses, 5 recipes Part 5

OK folks, it's time to pay attention. You have wowed your guests with some great food and now you have to knock it out of the park to seal the deal to make a lasting impression. If you fall flat with dessert that's what people will remember. Send them home on a high note with the most classic and indulgent dessert of them all...creme brulee! There are many creme brulee recipes out there and they are all pretty close to the same, except for those no-bake ones. Combining egg yolks and heavy cream into a baked vanilla custard with flamed sugar on will think twice about serving them and maybe just hide in the closet to devour them on your own.

You will need a small kitchen torch to properly brown the sugar on the top of these. You can get this at specialty kitchen store and they are not too expensive. It is also possible to do this under the broiler on your oven but I have found it does not work as well.

Creme Brulee


1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup vanilla sugar, divided (regular sugar works just fine)
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. If you choose to do the oven broil method for the sugar top put the ramekins in the freezer for about 20 minutes to really chill them and the broil until done, while watching them closely.

Serves 6

This is truly one of the most decadent desserts ever created and it will definitely cap your dinner party off beautifully. What more can I say? Go on....go make it!

So that brings our 5 course dinner party to a close. Maybe you will try these recipes out and have a dinner party of your own or maybe you'll just try one or two. Either way please let me know how they turn out for you!



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