the Road with
the Kitchen with
the Farm with
At the Movies with
Seeking Health with
Olde World Shoppe
Register for my
Sign Up For My Email Updates
» JOIN NOW
Mother Linda's Update
© Mother Linda's
Don’t Americans live from one
“Hallmark” holiday to another??? I sure think so. Well, it will soon be
Valentine’s Day, but instead of a card, how about making that someone special
some crème brulée? And heck, if you don’t have someone special in your life
right now, you can console yourself with some!!
Mother Linda’s Crème
The cream I use to make this recipe comes from
a farm in Pennsylvania. In the summer, it is so thick I can turn the container
upside down and the cream will not run out—now that’s fresh. The deep,
yellow-colored egg yolks from the eggs of grass-fed chickens impart a wonderful
color to the finished dessert. You can substitute maple sugar for the
sweetening, but it will not set up quite as firm.
3 cups cream
1 cup milk
6 egg yolks
½ cup organic sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp. white sugar per ramekin
Put the cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla bean
in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan. Set over a medium heat and warm,
stirring occasionally, until a ring of bubbles forms at the edge of the pan, but
do not allow it to boil. Turn off the heat and cool, which allows the vanilla
bean to soften. Set a kettle of water on to boil.
Lightly whisk the egg yolks. Gradually add
about 1 cup of slightly cooled cream/milk filling to the eggs yolks while
continuously beating; then return the egg yolk mixture to the filling. Stir well
to incorporate. Fish the vanilla bean out of the filling and slice lengthwise.
With a spoon, gently scrap the tiny seeds out of the inside of the bean; stir
the vanilla seeds into the filling.
Set eight 5-oz. ceramic ramekins (my favorites
are Apilco #1 ramekins) into a 2- or 3-inch deep 9x13-inch baking dish such as
cake pan. Divide the filling evenly among all eight ramekins. Gingerly transfer
to the oven and pour boiling hot water in the baking dish until it comes halfway
up the sides of the ramekins. Bake at 325°F for 50-60 minutes, or until a
toothpick comes out clean. Remove and cool.
Just before serving, evenly sprinkle the top
of each ramekin with 1 tsp. sugar and caramelize the sugar with a kitchen torch.
If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can use the broiler to caramelize the
sugar by placing the ramekins 3 inches away from the flame and occasionally
rotating to evenly caramelize. Makes 8 servings.
Some of my update receivers may be
philosophically opposed to chocolate, but did you know it is fermented? Hence, I
think it has some place, even if small, in a balanced diet. However, it is easy
to go overboard, so save your chocolate and sugar calories for homemade dishes
of superior quality like this one.
In the summer of 2000, I
interviewed chocolate expert Maricel Presilla at her restaurant in New Jersey
for an article on chocolate. She was kind enough to share one of the
restaurant’s favorite desserts, which was inspired by the Cuban cortadito--a
dark espresso toned down with a little frothy milk. Like the cortadito, these
are a perfect end to a meal when served in 4-ounce commercial demitasse cups and
topped with crushed cacao nibs. Makes nine 4-ounce coffee brulées. (Used by
permission of Maricel Presilla.)
1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
2 oz. sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise pods
1 vanilla bean, split open
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark espresso
8 oz. milk chocolate (preferably El Rey's Caoba or Valrhona's Jivara)
or a bittersweet
chocolate (El Rey's Bucare, Scharffen Berger 60 percent,
or Guittard Onyx), chopped fine
1 cup white sugar
cacao nibs (preferably Scharffen Berger)"
To make the chocolate espresso cream:
Preheat oven to 335ºF. Whisk the whole egg, egg
yolks, and half the sugar together; set the mixture aside. In a saucepan, bring
to a simmer the heavy cream, milk, and the rest of the sugar, cinnamon, star
anise, vanilla beans, vanilla extract, and espresso. Remove the cinnamon sticks,
star anise, and vanilla bean.
Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate.
As it melts, whisk to combine. Do not overwhip! Gradually stir the warm
chocolate mixture into the whisked eggs and combine thoroughly.
To bake the coffee brulées:
mixture into a beaked container and pour into nine 4-ounce demitasse cups or
ramekins. Place the cups or ramekins in a large baking pan. Place the pan in the
middle rack of the preheated oven, and fill the pan with very hot water halfway
up the sides of the ramekins. Bake at 335ºF for 35 minutes or until set.
To caramelize the topping:
ramekins to room temperature. Sprinkle each one with a little white sugar.
Caramelize the sugar with a chef's torch or under a broiler. Sprinkle about
one-half teaspoon cacao nibs over the caramelized topping while still hot.
Enter your search terms