Deft touch with a torch helps dessert
CRÈME brulée is a good project for firebugs.
To do it right, you'll need one of those portable torches for spitting flame at your cups of custard. This is the best way to get that crunchy, caramelized brulée topping, like at restaurants. You can also run the custard under the broiler, but it's not quite the same.
Gas-powered torches aren't that hard to find, at kitchen specialty shops or restaurant supply stores. It's just that their use is limited, so you've got to decide whether your brulée-making days will be numerous enough to make the purchase worthwhile.
My guess is that Jackie Speigel, a recent visitor from San Antonio will want one. Speigel wrote in search of the recipe for chocolate crème brulée served at Mariposa at Neiman Marcus.
Mariposa came through with this recipe. It's not a beginner cooking project -- if you've never made a custard before, study the instructions carefully before beginning.
You'll need a double boiler and an ice bath. And don't forget that torch.
2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup Valrhona Equitoriale bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 to 1/2 cup turbinado or raw brown sugar
Heat cream to a simmer over a double boiler.
Place chocolate in a bowl.
Whisk together yolks and sugar. Temper yolks by adding a small amount of warm cream, then pour all the egg mixture into the simmering cream. Cook over double boiler, whisking constantly, until thickened. (It is important to keep whisking so the yolks don't scramble.)
Strain hot custard over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Whisk in butter. Place bowl over an ice bath and cool completely.
Fill 4 to 6 oven-proof ramekins with cooled custard and level tops. Sprinkle each with an even layer of turbinado sugar. Brown tops of custards with hand-held torch, or place under broiler until sugar forms a hard, brown crust. Serves 4 to 6.
Nutritional information unavailable.
Can you help?
» With Thanksgiving on the way, it would be nice to be able to grant the request of Joey-Liberty Acoba for candied yams -- not the usual marshmallow-topped dish, but one where the sweet coating hardens around the yams. Who has a proven recipe?
» Penny Higa is looking for a recipe for lemon bars using mochiko. If you have one, please get in touch.
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