Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chocolate Creme Brulee

What do you make the first night after buying a blow torch?  Chocolate Creme Brulee!
I can't believe I've gone so long without a blow torch.  Is it not something every girl needs in the kitchen?  Hell, is it not something every girl needs in life?  I can finally have a steady supply of creme brulee!  I can finally get over my weirdness about baked alaska (It just doesn't seem like it would be good)!  I can finally go on arson sprees!  (I'm just kidding about the last one.  Sort of.)
I had so much fun I actually made this recipe two nights in a row.  The first night, I halved the recipe just to give me something to try the torch out on.  I loved it so much, I made it the next night at my parents' house.  It's wonderfully creamy, rich, and chocolately, and the crunchy burnt sugar really tops it all off.
What's your favourite desserts that get torched?  I'm eager to try some more.

Chocolate Creme Brulee Recipe
From Not so Humble Pie
originally from Pure Chocolate
serves 6
5 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons granulated sugar (plus more for the burnt sugar topping)
2 cups heavy cream (I used half-and-half)
1/2 vanilla bean, split
4.5 ounces dark chocolate (77% cacao preferred) finely chopped

Preheat your oven to 300°F and assemble six 6" ceramic tarts in a roasting pan.

With a whisk, stir together two tablespoons of sugar with the egg yolks, taking care not to incorporate too much air into the mixture.

Meanwhile, bring the cream, two remaining tablespoons of sugar and vanilla bean to a simmer over medium heat. Once it begins to foam, remove from heat and fish out the vanilla bean. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the cream and discard the pod. Add the chocolate to the mixture and stir until completely melted and smooth.

Pour about 1/2 a cup of the warm chocolate cream into the bowl with the eggs while whisking. Then add the remaining cream and mix well.

For the next step, I find that a medium sized spouted vessel is handy (like a large 4-cup glass measuring cup). Place a fine mesh sieve over the vessel and pour in the custard.

Pour the strained mixture between the six tarts, tapping the roasting pan gently on the counter to settle the custard and remove any air bubbles. Pour hot water into your roasting pan so it comes up roughly as high as the custard and then bake for 20-35 minutes (this will depends largely on how deep your tarts/ramekins are) until set.

Allow to chill (roughly 4 hours) and then sprinkle each with 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar and torch them until melted. Allow the sugar to set and then serve.

If you don't have a torch, you can place them under the broiler to melt the sugar, watching carefully and adjusting the position frequently to help the sugars caramelize evenly. 


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