You may know by now that we never get to spend Valentine’s Day together. Chef couples make the ultimate sacrifice on the most romantic days of the year to guarantee that yours will be most memorable. It’s harder for others to accept that we never get to be together on Valentine’s but it is really not an issue for us.
It’s kind of mushy but we both feel really happy to help to ignite new romances, sustain the fires of flaming ones and ruffle up the feathers of those that have all but gotten dormant. I delight in hearing my hubby plan his menus using food to get people in the mood for love. So, while he is busy with full covers on V-Day, I will be having this hedonistic treat by myself. I will leave one behind for him.
Crème Brulee is the gold standard of French desserts and practically everybody’s favourite and for good reason. This individually portioned treat oozes with sweet creamy decadence, which makes if an oft-ordered final course in restaurants.
Until recently, I never bothered to make it at home. It would appear that anything tasted so sinfully delicious and refined ought to require a painstakingly difficult preparation right? Not so!
If you have already booked your table for two on V-Day, skip dessert and come home to these and a nice glass of your favourite wine. If you have no plans, just make a nice tasty one-pot meal and grab these babies from the fridge. If you are doing it solo, you will delight in these self-indulgent delights. They can be made the night before and taken out of the fridge 30minutes before serving.
Orange Ginger Creme Brûlée
Creme Brûlée is easier to make than you think. Here is the best foolproof recipe and method for a scrumptious portion controlled dessert that is perfect for entertaining.
6 egg yolks
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon orange zest (about 3 oranges)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ginger extract (optional)
¼ cup caster sugar
For caramel top:
- ½ teaspoon sugar per ramekin
- Handheld butane torch/broiler
In a mixer, add egg yolks and sugar and beat with whisk attachment until thick and light yellow in colour. Add the lemon zest, ginger extract, vanilla and cream and stir until incorporated.
Pour the liquid in a large measuring cup through a sieve catching all the foamy bits and zest or any container with a pouring spout. Pour gently into four ramekins in even proportions.
Place ramekins in a bain marie (water bath) filled half way up ramekins and place in oven at 180C for 50-55 minutes until sides are cooked through. Centre will be slightly soft even when done. Cool completely on a wire rack then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Before serving, add ½ teaspoon sugar and dust it all over the ramekin so that the top is evenly coated. Caramelize with a small butane torch or under the broiler (at least 5 inches below for about 2 minutes).
CHEF’S NOTES: To get rid of all air bubbles, after mixing the custard, refrigerate for a few hours our overnight for all the air to rise to the top, producing a smoother top when baked. You may also substitute orange zest and ginger extract for other preferred flavours including espresso chocolate, cinnamon or nutmeg. Or you can go totally classic and stick with vanilla only.