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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Creme Brulee

It was Father's Day and I wanted to do something special for my wonderful husband who is always a super daddy to my two girls. My husband is a seafood fanatic. He loves seafood so much that whenever I mentioned about clams, mussels, lobsters, crabs, ect...his eyes would light. 

He actually makes it so easy for me to decide what food I should cook up for Father's Day.  The menu was Shrimp Scampi Pasta, Steam King Crabs, Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa, Lotus root and Jackfruit Salad and one of my favorite desserts, Creme Brulee which is the focus of this post. I would order this dessert at any restaurant I go to that carries  on their menu. 

I found a wonderful Creme Brulee recipe from Ina Garten.  Her recipe calls for Grand Manier orange liqueur.  It took me an hour to drive to different stores just to find it as I have no clue when it comes to hard liquor.  I finally found a sample tiny bottle about 3 tablespoons of Grand Manier orange liqueur at  Bevmo for  6 bucks. 

The finished product has a smooth and creamy, velvety texture.  It just melts in your mouth. But the top is lightly burnt and crispy with a smoky flavor. The word “brulee” means “burnt”. That’s where the blow torch comes in. For the finishing touch, the top of the custard is sprinkled with sugar and subjected to very high heat. The sugar caramelizes to a crispy, brown crust...delicious and crunchy in every heavenly bite. 

This Creme Brulee is very simple and incredibly delicious. 
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RECIPE: Creme Brulee
(Making 6 servings)

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. Meanwhile, 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 add the cream to the eggs. Add the vanilla and orange liqueur and pour into 6 to 8-ounce ramekins until almost full.  I used a strainer to strain it while pouring it into the ramekins to remove all the lumps from the eggs. 

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.

To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar carmelizes evenly.  If you don't have a kitchen blowtorch,  you can put them in the oven on the top rack under the broiler with the oven door open  and watch carefully because they can burn really fast. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.

Bon Appetit!

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Propane Gas Torch
Propane gas torches are highly flammable and should be kept away from heat, open flame, and prolonged exposure to sunlight. They should only be used in well-ventilated areas. When lighting a propane gas torch, place the torch on a flat, steady surface, facing away from you. Light the match or lighter and then open the gas valve. Light the gas jet, and blow out the match. Always turn off the burner valve to "finger tight" when finished using the torch. Children should never use a propane gas torch.

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