Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Beast Within

A tip of the toque to Ken at It Comes in Pints?

I don't know what sickens me more -- What this monster did or what I want to do to him in response.

It's Been a While...

since I posted a recipe. Mostly because all of the recipes I've been using lately have been the ones assigned to me at school, and none of them are of my own doing.

But today I had a chance to do it my way. My team is on the bake shop/dessert station rotation in the Renaissance Room. I was inspired by one of the desserts served at the restaurant where I work, and though I didn't have their recipe, I had a basic recipe from school that I was able to modify, and created the following:

Mexican Chocolate Creme Brulee
Serves 8

4 ounces dark chocolate, coarse chop
3 ounces pasteurized egg yolks
1 whole egg
3 1/2 ounces sugar
24 ounces heavy cream
1 teaspoon rum
2 teaspoons cinnamon
granulated sugar

In a large stainless steel bowl combine the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, rum, and cinnamon, whisk until smooth.

Place chopped chocolate in a double boiler and melt over simmering water. Do not overheat.

Place heavy cream in a heavy saucepan and heat over medium heat until you see steam begin to rise. Remove from heat and stir in melted chocolate until completely combined.

Slowly pour the hot cream and chocolate mixture into the egg mixture to temper it, whisking it as you go. Continue until all ingredients are well combined.

Pour through a fine sieve into a large pouring container. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, skim off any foam.

Pour into creme brulee dishes (large ramekins will do) to just below the rim. Place in a shallow water bath and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, until set. Remove from oven, let stand for a short time and then remove from the bath, taking care not to splash water on the creme brulee. Cool, cover and refrigerate.

Just before serving:

Sprinkle a thin layer over the top of the creme brulee. With a lit torch, slowly melt the sugar until it begins to cramelize. Move the torch back and forth across the sugar and pull away if necessary to avoid burning the sugar. Serve.

The results were pretty good, though I think I'm going to tweak a couple things. For one, I tried using turbinado (raw) sugar instead of whiote sugar for the crust, but the big granules would burn on the outside before they'd melt on the inside, so we switched to white sugar. Tomorrow I'm going to try putting the turbinado in the food processor to get it finer, because I do like the flavor profile. Also, I'd love to try a Mexican liquor, maybe some Kahlua or something. Just not tequila. But I'm open to suggestions.