Thursday, February 24, 2011

On Creme Brulee and Breakfast Whimsy

Before I start, could I insert a touch of randomness here? The good folks over at CSN have reached out to me about hosting another giveaway! They have basically everything you could possibly imagine, everything from pretty blue dutch ovens to outdoor playsets, so this should be exciting. But you know what they don't have? Sadly they don't carry these adorable egg molds. I got two of them forever ago and due to the chaos that is my kitchen I only found them this weekend. The occasion called for soft boiled eggs for breakfast:

Fishy Fishy Breakfast

Yep, that's an egg shaped like a fish. Isn't that the cutest thing ever? Totally useless though, not like that certain something special the winner would be able to get with their gift card....but onto the topic at hand!

There are so many things I haven't tried to make because I was afraid of failure, but no more! I have been afraid of Creme Brulee for far too long, so for Valentine's day I invited some friends and put it on the menu. After a brief, and completely irrational, moment of panic about trying something completely new with a whole dinner on the line, I set about finding that perfect recipe with the most fool-proof instructions and with the 115% swoon guarantee. And you know what I learned? Aside from infusing the cream to change the flavors to almost anything from basil to raspberry to matcha, the base recipe stayed basically the same. There were a few ratio differences, of course, but the the core elements were the same, and there were so few of them! Simplicity itself, right? So I used them all. I took notes, I wrote down inspirations, and I came up with this recipe...which I've now made 4 times. I've never gone through this much heavy cream before. And since they say that color means flavor, I just had to incorporate a bit of it in here as well.

Please excuse the crappy picture, I literally took this on my way out the door before work, and if you know me at all, you'll know that I was running late.
Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee with Color
I pulled ideas from so many places that I can't really give credit to any one, so I'm going to say this one is mine, with the world wide web as inspiration.

1/2 cup vanilla sugar*
6 egg yolks
2 Tbsp molasses (regular, not dark)
1 vanilla bean, or 1 Tbsp of Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste, which is awesome
pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream
extra vanilla sugar for topping

* You can totally use plain sugar here, but I keep a jar of sugar into which I toss in my used up vanilla bean pods and I finally found a use for it!

- Preheat the oven to 350F and place 6 ramekins into a deep baking pan.
- Bring a teapot full of water to boil and keep on the side.
- Whisk first 5 ingredients (not the cream) in a bowl and set aside. If you're using a vanilla bean, scrape out the insides into the mix, let the outside dry out and then start a jar of vanilla sugar for next time :D
- Bring the cream to simmer in a slow pot and whisking the entire time slowly temper it into the sugar/yolk mixture by adding it a little at a time.
- Once all the cream has been tempered in, pour the mixture into the ramekins. Then pour the boiling water into the pan reaching halfway up the ramekin sides, being careful to keep the water out of the cream.
- Carefully slide the pan into the oven and set the timer to 30 min. You want a the custard to set a bit, but still be jiggly.
- Carefully slide the pan out of the oven and allow everything to cool before you remove the ramekins. Let them come to room temp, then cover with saran wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- When ready to eat, sprinkle sugar in a thin and even layer on top and go to town with your torch, or slide them under the broiler for a few seconds.
- Don't forget to share!


Unknown said...

What a great idea to add molasses to creme brulee! I bet the flavor is amazing.

cocoa and coconut said...

Ive been too scared to tackle creme brulee as well - it looks pretty difficult. Thanks for giving me the motivation; yours looks perfect

Unknown said...

It is a fish. Fishy fishy

Anonymous said...

They were even more tasty then they looked
Also, thanks for letting me play with Fire! I now get to put a torch on my wishlist for this year.

Joyti said...

I've never done the 'crust' of creme brulee under a broiler (I use a torch). And the creme brulee sounds delicious. And the egg mold - adorable!

Truly Smitten said...

Hi Anna! this looks sooo goooooood! Hey! my husband and I are moving back to Chicago this summer! We need to hang and cook or something!!!