Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sugar + Fire = YUM

Photography by Ian Wallace
Crème Brûlée. Do you think of the creamy custard? Do you remember the crunchy top shell? Or perhaps of the smell of burned sugar because you were a little heavy handed with the culinary torch? Many people have never attempted to create this dessert, perhaps due to the fact that it requires a miniature blow torch. Recently I attended a party and *happy dance* there was Crème Brûlée.  The Brûlées were served individually, in soup spoons. You know the ones they have at Chinese food restaurants? While licking the last bits from my fifth third one, I thought, maybe I could create this deliciousness in my kitchen. Visions of little spoons lining my countertops, the sweet smell in my kitchen, me expertly caramelizing sugar with a TORCH! Why the sudden loss of intimidation? For some reason this seemed like a less daunting way to create the dish. If you ruin one, you haven’t ruined them all. The ingredient list is short, eggs, vanilla, sugar, cream, and of course, fire. If you have a favorite recipe tucked away, or one you haven’t had a chance to use, now is the time to break it out. The only extra step with the spoons would be to let your mixture firm up before you place it into the spoons. There are many variations on the traditional recipe. A fun idea would be to serve your guests an assortment of Brûlées, perhaps using different colored spoons.  Mango, chocolate, chili…what flavors could you use? And are you ready to become a torch wielding cook?

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