Tuesday, February 9, 2010

it just doesn't sound good in english

when i was in high school i was introduced to one of my all time favorite desserts.
it was at horatio's restaurant at ward warehouse in honolulu.
we went there for my 15th or 16th birthday.
after our wonderful dinner a few servers came to our table to sing happy birthday to me.
with them they brought one of the most glorious desserts known to man. this restaurant was known for it:
burnt cream.

the other day while out shopping at marshall's, i came across a boxed set of ramekins including a kitchen torch for a mere $16! visions of burnt cream flooded my mind.
i grabbed the box and went home to try my hand at recreating my beloved dessert.

i waited to serve it to my hubby and a friend who came over for dinner.
i torched the tops of my desserts with my new kitchen flame thrower.
i served it up to the guys exclaiming,
"dessert! here is your burnt cream!"

they both looked at me and said:
"uh....that doesn't sound very good."

"ha. true, but just try it! in french its called CREME BRULEE."
they liked the sound of that MUCH better.

they each ate it up in about 3 bites.
that's when i realized a girlfriend or two would have appreciated this delicacy exceedingly more.
the guys liked it, but i was looking for more ohhhing and ahhhing as their spoons broke through the caramelized sugar top and...oh well.

so here is the recipe in all its glory!
happy torching and send me some ohhing and ahhing love in the comment section please.
a girlfriend dinner is being scheduled soon.

Creme Brulee
yields 6 servings
{print recipe}

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk (i used 2%)
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
additional sugar for the tops
berries and whipped cream for garnish

Place oven rack in the middle and preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine heavy cream and milk in a heavy duty medium sauce pan. On medium high heat whisking constantly bring to just below the boiling point to scald the mixture. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Mix until combined.
In a stand mixer bowl combine the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar. Beat until combined.
Very slowly drizzle the cream mixture in to the egg mixture on medium speed.
Once combined, strain the mixture through a fine sieve in to a bowl.
Skim foam off the top, as much as you can get.

Divide the mixture in to 6 ramekins (about 3-4 oz. each).
Set the ramekins into a baking dish with sides.
Place the baking dish in the oven.
Now pour enough hot water into the baking dish to come half way up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes until just set. The middles should shake a little.

Depending on how you like your creme brulee there are two options:
you can allow the ramekins to cool, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Or you can serve it warm right out of the oven.
I prefer chilled.
The juxtaposition of eating something that has a burnt, cracked top and a chilled, velvety center is what makes this dessert so different. Just my opinion (but trust me).

Before serving, sprinkle the top of each dessert with a thin, even layer of sugar.
Shake the ramekin around to distribute the sugar.
Caramelize the tops with your kitchen torch.
Serve with berries and whipped cream.

this was my presentation to the guys.
three bites and it was gone.

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