mardi 23 mars 2010

Crème Brulée and the Yellow Dinner

Next up in our color-themed cooking round robin was Andi and her yellow dinner.

Just in time for spring, she decorated the table with sprigs of yellow flowers.

First course: bread and Manchego cheese, sautéed yellow bell peppers, and a Spanish omelette.

(intermission): white sangria with pears and pineapple slices

Main course: paella with mussels, prawns, and chorizo.

Dessert: crème brulée

The paella was pretty impressive, but the star of the evening for me was the crème brulée. Smooth creamy custard with a thick sugar crust (Andi made it thicker than normal, which I liked). Unlike what you might expect, you don’t need a fancy-torch-thing to crystallize the sugar topping—you can make it fine in a regular oven.

Vanilla Crème Brulée
Yield 4 servings
Recipe from Mark Bittman

Note: When baking the custard, a water bath is worthwhile. It makes the cooking more gentle and even. The custards are done in the oven when still quite jiggly in the center. Once you move the custard to the broiler, keep the door ajar so the compartment stays relatively cool, and keep a close watch.

2 cups heavy or light cream, or half-and-half
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, more for topping

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a saucepan, combine cream and vanilla bean and cook over low heat just until hot. Let sit for a few minutes, then discard vanilla bean. (If using vanilla extract, add it now.)
2. In a bowl, beat yolks and sugar together until light. Stir about a quarter of the cream into this mixture, then pour sugar-egg mixture into cream and stir. Pour into four 6-ounce ramekins and place ramekins in a baking dish; fill dish with boiling water halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until centers are barely set. Cool. Ramekins can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated for a couple of days.
3. When ready to serve, top each custard with about a teaspoon of sugar in a thin layer. Place ramekins in a broiler 2 to 3 inches from heat source. Turn on broiler. Cook until sugar melts and browns or even blackens a bit, about 5 minutes. Serve within two hours.

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire