Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Vanilla bean Crème Brulée



i know. Calorically, these babies should be saved for ze special occasions. you know, fine china, linen and the accents. But heck, every blog should have a crème brulée. fancy occasion or not. (yes, the blog's my excuse this time. wonder what i'll think up next time i get the urge to indulge ze cravings).

To say this is is an understated dessert is, well, an understatement. The silky texture blew my mind. It is basically just a cream based custard that is baked in a waterbath and then refrigerated. Before serving, sprinkle sugar on top and then try burning the top as best as you can to achieve a thin sheet of delicious brittle caramel. And serve! Seriously!! How difficult was that? It is the perfect (can i add classy too?) and easiest finish to a dinner with guests. or otherwise! -we all know we can all do with a little pampering when we can sneak it :)


(Recipe adapted from here with slight changes)
-1 cup fresh cream
-3 yolks
-1/3 cup sugar
-3 inch stalks of vanilla
-1 teaspoon almond extract
-2 cups of boiling water (for the water bath)
-Pour the cream into a heavy bottomed saucepan and add the scraped vanilla beans along with the innards. Bring it to a very gentle boil. Take off the flame and leave covered and allow it to steep for 15 minutes
-Preheat oven to 150 C
- Whisk up the yolks in a bowl. Add the suagar and almond extract and continue to whisk till thick. Add 1/4 cup of the cream through a strainer. Continue to whisk to temper the yolks. Add this mix to the remaining cream mix (make sure there are no vanilla stalks). Continue to whisk (do not over beat).
 -Pour in equal measures into ramekins (all the way to the top, leaving just a few centimeters). Place the ramekins in a baking tray. Pour the hot water into the baking tray to make a water bath of sorts. This will make sure that the custard is cooked gently and evenly.
-Cover the tops of the ramekins with aluminum foil halfway through, leaving half of it uncovered. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (depending on the depth of your ramekin) or till it has just set but the center still appears to be jiggly.
-Refrigerate till 5 minutes before you need to serve it.


Onto the brulée-ing: 5 minutes before serving, preheat the oven to 190 C and leave just the top coil on. Take the ramekins out of the refrigerator, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar evenly over the top of the custard. Pop the ramekins in for 3-4 minutes. Keep checking to make sure the crème brulée does not get overcooked/burned.

Serve immediately with a side of fresh berries or as is.
  
P.S: You will notice some sugar crystals on top of my brulée. That is one of the perils of doing it in the oven. If you have a blowtorch, nothing like it, fire away. and if you are going to use the oven, don't fret. just make sure you put just a really thin and really even layer of sugar on top. I know i will next time! i erred on the side of caution and didn't want to brulée it too much and get it all splotchy, but its entirely upto you and how you like it!


On another note, the much awaited CFG anniv was celebrated with much pomp, splendor, fun and frolic. It was an evening spent hobnobbing with the greats from the restaurant business, chefs, bloggers and foodies. It was a fun, fun fun evening all the way through that was brilliantly organized. Amongst the highlights that night, CFG launched its own url and, hold your breath, it's own android app! How neat is that?! One of the other highlights of the event was the comedy show by the talented standup comedian Aswin Rao who had us in splits right from the beginning, taking digs at practically everybody and everything: all in great spirit and appreciated by all.
There was a foodie quiz as well. 12 teams. 30 questions. 30 seconds to answer. The better half or Pavan, his brother Divyan (who blogs here) and i participated as a team. and well, whaddaya know? we won the first prize (loads of goodies!!)!! :D More than anything, we got to share stage space with the brilliant entrepreneur/restaurateur Mr M. Mahadevan when he handed over our prize! Woohoo!! Another fun achievement for us!
All in all, it was a great evening spent learning, laughing and rubbing shoulders with like minded folks. Here's to many, many more eventful and fun years for CFG!

9 comments:

  1. Your creme brulee looks delicious! It's one of my favorite desserts, and I make it all the time.

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  2. Wow looks so perfect... Am drooling here

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  3. Creme brulee looks super yum...I have been planning to make this from past few days...Din't happen...Anyways urs is tempting me a lot...

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  4. Super cool, George! And, congrats on winning :)

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  5. Wow what a delicious treat !! The pic looks super too,loved everything about this post :)

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  6. Agree blowtorch would have been perfect but this is the best you could do it in Oven . looks fabulous though....

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  7. Delicious treat,pics are awesome..drool

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  8. mmm sembra ottima!
    c'è un nuovo post sul mio blog, ti va di passare?

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