Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Custards and Crème Brûlée

If you have cream, eggs and sugar, you have all the ingredients available to make a beautiful elegant dessert.   Here is a simple Crème Brûlée recipe.  

Crème Brûlée

1 quart heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Combine cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan and put over medium heat. Stir occasionally 4 to 5 minutes, until steam rises. Do not let the cream boil.  In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla until smooth. Pour hot cream into yolks, a little at a time, stirring constantly, until all cream is incorporated.

Pour the liquid into ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large baking dish. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the crème brulee is set, but still trembling in the center when you touch it, approximately 1 hour.  Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  You can refrigerate up to 3 days. 

Sprinkle sugar on the top and put under the broiler until a brown crust forms.  Watch carefully and do not walk away from.

Chocolate Crème Brûlée

1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon sugar
4 to 6 tablespoons sugar, for topping
1 pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix the cream and vanilla together in a double boiler.  Heat the mixture until warm and stir in the chocolate.

Whisk the egg yolks, salt and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Slowly pour the chocolate cream into the egg mixure, continuously whisking.  Add the vanilla. Place the bowl back over simmering water in double boiler until the cream mix thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 6 to 8 minutes. 

Pour into ramekins. Place in a large baking pan and add enough water to come up halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until the custard is set, about 1 hour. Remove from the water and cool. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled (2 hours). Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of each one and put under the broiler to caramelize the top and serve.

Vanilla Custard

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat for about 20 minutes, whisking constantly until thickened.

Remove from heat.  Stir in butter and vanilla.  

Place plastic wrap directly on surface of custard to keep a skin from forming.  Chill for 2 hours.

This is very simple dessert that can be used many way.  Serve with fresh raspberries, strawberries or shaved chocolate and it becomes an even more beautiful dessert.  Enjoy!

Tomorrow lasagna.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours. 

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