Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Another post dealing with the 'unfortunate' side effect of the ongoing the macaron adventures: orphaned egg yolks.
Despite all the cooking I've been doing, I still have enough yolks in my refrigerator to whip up everything from aioli to zabaglione.
This morning I attempted to make a dent in the yolks by mixing up some créme brulée: Breakfast of Champions (Well, the non-athletic sort). A variation that combines two of my favorite flavors, chocolate and caramel.
When I make créme brulée I prefer to use wide shallow dishes, to give the créme brulée the optimum ratio of burnt sugar to custard. Sure that silky chocolate is good, but I am a sucker for those crisp bits of caramelized sugar. I'm also a sucker for all things involving kitchen blow torches! So I indulge, giving the dish a generous sugar crust.
Fran's Oh So Not Humble Chocolate Créme Brulée:
from Pure Chocolate
5 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons granulated sugar (plus more for the burnt sugar topping)
2 cups heavy cream
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 kitchen torch (Why?! Fire GOOD!) you can place them under the broiler to melt the sugar, watching carefully and adjusting the position frequently to help the sugars caramelize evenly.