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creme brulee

Creme Brulee Topped Chocolate Stout Brownies & Some Big News

I have some news.

If you Follow me on Twitter, you probably already know the Big News.

I signed a book deal on Thursday. A publisher has actually decided to pay me to write a cookbook.

How amazing is that?

Writing a cookbook has long been on my list of goals, and as I somewhat naively and idealistically jump into this process, I am reminded that it is you I have to thank for this milestone. The ones who share my posts, tell their friends about my little blog, believe in what I’m doing here,  the ones who read every silly word I write, and yes, even those of you who write creepy comments about wanting to wake up in my bed and email me about how you google stalk me on a weekly basis. I am grateful for all of you.

This isn’t just my book, it’s yours too. The ideas you give me, the way I’m inspire by your questions and humbled by being seen as a source of knowledge and beer-cooking wisdom.

I wish I could properly thank you all, over a beer and some possibly inappropriate conversation.  But for now, we’ll have to settle for some Creme Brulee Brownies made with two different types of beer. Which seems to be fitting, since chocolate stout was the first beer I ever cooked with and creme brulee was the subject of my first post. It’s an homage to my beer cooking beginnings, hope you like it.

If you are at all interested in helping me with this book, as an un-paid but thoroughly appreciated, recipe tester, for which you will receive my undying love and affection, a mention in the book, a sneak peek at never-before-seen-recipes, and possibly more, stay tuned. Once we get to that place, I’ll let you know how you can be my beer cooking partner in crime.

Creme Brulee Topped Chocolate Stout Brownies

Ingredients

    For the Brownie Layer:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 7 oz dark chocolate (60%)
  • 2/3 cup chocolate stout
  • For The Creme Brulee Layer
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup low-hop pale ale beer
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 eggs plus 2 yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • Plus 1/4 cup sugar for the brulee topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the 3 eggs, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla on high for at least ten minutes. You need a meringue type consistency in order to create a crust on top of the brownies to insure the layers stay separate. In a separate bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt, stir to combine.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, add the butter and the chocolate. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted.
  4. While the stand mixer is on medium speed, slowly add the chocolate until mostly combined. Add the beer and stir. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour batter into dish and smooth out the top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until the top is matte and a bit cracked. Don't over bake.
  6. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  7. For the creme brulee layer:
  8. In a sauce pan over medium heat, bring the cream, beer and vanilla to a slight simmer, removing from heat when bubbles start to form around the edges. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  9. In a separate bowl, whisk the 1/2 cup sugar, eggs and yolk, and cornstarch until well combined and slightly frothy.
  10. While continuing to whisk the egg mixture, slowly add the cream and whisk until well combined. Make sure the cream has cool or you will just have created vanilla scrambled eggs.
  11. Return the cream to the stove and stir over medium heat until it comes to a low simmer. Continue to whisk until thickened, between 5 and 10 minutes. The cream should leave a track when you drag the whisk through it. Allow to cool to about room temperature.
  12. Pour over the brownies, cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill until set, about 1 hour.
  13. Just prior to serving, cut into squares, cover with a light layer of white sugar and brulee the top with a kitchen torch until the sugar has melted and turned a dark amber color.
https://domesticfits.com/creme-brulee-topped-chocolate-stout-brownies/

 

 

Oktoberfest Beer Creme Brulee

I know that Oktoberfest started as the celebration of a royal wedding that would have put the recent William/Kate union to shame. I also know that it is not an actual proper Holiday.
But for those of us completly in love with all things Beer, it might as well be.
Oktoberfest, as in the one that takes place late September  to Early October in Munich, is about LOCAL beer. I love all beer, but I have a special affinity for beer brewed close to home. Although this beer isn’t actual German beer, being that I am in California, it is in line with the locavore spirit of Oktoberfest and their rule for never serving any beer at the official Oktoberfest Festival that is not brewed in their own backyard. And that backyard would be the Munich City limits.
For this recipe, which I loved SO much, I used another incredible local craft beer, this one came from  Bison Brewing. Honey Basil Beer. It’s local (to those of us in California), it’s organic and the flavors are amazing.

Beer Creme Brulee: Creme Beer-lee
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup Bison Honey Basil Beer (can sub German style wheat beer)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus another 1/4 cup for the topping
  • Preheat the oven to 300.

Put the cream, and beer in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook just until its bubbly around the edges but not boiling. Remove from heat, cover and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of sugar. Whisk until frothy, about 3 minutes.

While continuing to whisk, slowly add the cooled cream mixture until well combined.

Put 8 ceramic ramekins in a baking dish, filling the baking dish with about 1 inch of water (don’t get any water in the ramekins).

Pour your custard through a mesh strainer into ramekins.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the edges are set and the middle is still slightly wobbly.

Remove from oven and allow to cool, at room temp, in the water filled baking dish for 30 minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to chill and set in the fridge for 4 hours. Right before serving, cover the top of your set custard with an even, thin layer of sugar (about 1/2-1 tsp). Then run a culinary torch over your sugar, slowly, until it melts and turns an amber color.

Notes

Cooking tip: Don’t brulee the sugar until you are ready to serve. After about an hour of sitting, the sugar will start to liquefy again.

Oktoberfest Recipe: Beer Creme Brulee

Beer Week Continues!
Germany is goregous. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit this amazing Country a few years ago. I even took a 7 hour train ride across the contry side on a beautiful day in September. And although tourist are flocking to Munich by the millions this month, and no offense to the Capitol City, my favorite place was Idar Oberstein.  I like to travel off the beaten path, although the Festival in Munich does sound like a helluva good time.
For this recipe, which I loved SO much, I used another incredible local craft beer, this one came from  Bison Brewing. Honey Basil Beer. It’s local (to those of us in California), it’s organic and the flavors are amazing.


Get the recipe on my other blog, The Beeroness!

Apricot Mango Creme Brulee Tart

I remember the very first time I had Creme Brulee. A friend of Mr. Fits (a very fancy friend) order it for me while we where all out for dinner at a little restaurant in Pasadena. I was young, in my last year of college, and I was too embarrassed to say that I had no idea what Creme Brulee was. So I waited. Every dessert flanked waiter who came within ten feet of my table was given a thorough visual molesting as I tried to figure out if what he was carrying was, in fact, Creme Brulee. Is that cake-like thing it? Nope. What about that Chocolate thing in that tiny ceramic pot? hmmm, wrong table. And then it was in front of me. I was intimidated. Do I pick off this thick, hard crust on the top? What do I do? I stalled and waited to see what Fancy Friend did with his. Oh..you crack it open by smashing it with the tip of your spoon. I like dessert that involves very subtle violence. I loved it. The fleeting thought did cross my mind that I would love this vanilla custard with the hardened sugar top in a tart shell. Six years later, I did just that.

This week I wrote another article for the Glendale Examiner on the Montrose Farmers Market. It was there that I discovered that apricots are in the last few weeks of their season. I was so drawn to these huge bins of beautiful pale orange fruit they became the center of my recipe. I wasn’t until I was leaving the market that I noticed the lovely Manilla mangos begging to join the party. I obliged.

Apricot Mango Creme Brulee Tart

Tart Crust:

1 1/4 cups of flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

3-5 tbs ice coldwater

Apricot Mango Filling:

1 cup chopped apricots

1 cup chopped mango

1/4 cup of honey

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

Custard:

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup of sugar

1 1/4 cup of heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp slt

1/4 cup granulated sugar for brulee crust topping

In a food processor, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the cubes of butter and process until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Your dough should resemble course meal. Start with 3 tbs of water, pulse until combined. If the crust doesn’t hold together add more water, a bit at a time, until it does. Dump the dough into a tart pan with a remove-able bottom. Starting with the sides, form the crust inside the pan, trying your best to make it all as even as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a least 3 hours (don’t even think about skipping this step).

Heat your oven to 375.

Once your tart is all chilly cold, remove from the fridge and poke holes in it with a fork.

Place a sheet of parchment paper inside your tart and fill with pie weights. If you don’t have any, dried beans work great. Just don’t forget which beans you’ve used as pie weights and accidentally try to make soup out of them later.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your tart is a light golden brown.

In a pot over medium heat, combine the apricots, mango and the honey. Sprinkle with the cornstarch and stir. If you hate mangos, or apricots or maybe have an undying love for one or the other, this recipe is easily altered. You need 2 cups of chopped stone fruit, you can use whatever ratio of each that you want or 2 full cups of either. You can even sub in some peaches if you wanna get craaaazy. Cook the fruit, stiring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until it is thick and the fruit is broken down a bit. Add to the bottom of the tart crust.

In a bowl, combine the yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar and whisk until light and frothy. In a pot, combine the cream, salt and vanilla and heat until steamy but not boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. While you whisk the eggs, slowly, slowly add the cream, whisking until combined. If there are any lumps or "eggy bits" in your cream mixture (possibly because you didn’t let your cream cool down) strain the custard through a mesh strainer. Pour into the tart shell on top of the fruit.

Bake at 300 degrees until the edges are set and the middle is still wobbly (it will continue to set as it cools) about 40-45 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and keep cold until ready to serve. Just before serving, top the tart with an even layer of granulated sugar. Pass the flame of a kitchen torch slowly and evenly over the tart until it’s liquified and a light amber colored. Serve immediately. The sugar crust will start to break down after about an hour.

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Lemon Creme Brulee

I had this brilliant idea to serve the lemon creme brulee in a hollowed out lemon. Looks adorable right? Well…don’t try it. It turns out, it’s not a good idea. However, I was smart enough to make this delicious citrusy custard in ramekins as well and that turned out amazing. Next time I make this, and I will make it again, I’ll make it in this tart shell and serve it with this whipped cream.

Don’t be afraid of Creme Brulee. If you’ve never made it, you should try. All home cooks should have a list of five recipes that they want to master. Shoot high. Really. Nothing is off limits and Creme Brulee is a great place to start. It’s a classic recipe, its beautiful, sounds super fancy, and it’s pretty simple.  Creme Brulee tarts are also a great dessert to pull out for guests, guaranteed to evoke major OOOOOHHHH’s.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 tbs vanilla extract

2 tsp lemon zest

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar, plus another 1/4 cup for the topping

2 tbs lemon juice

Special equipment needed:

Culinary torch. Don’t be affraid of this either. Easy to use and not expensive. Mr. Fits bought me one at Crate and Barrel. But you can also buy them at Target and Amazon. You’ll also needbutane for it.

Most people cook them in ramekins, but you can use any oven safe, small, shallow dish, a tart or pie shell.

Once you have these three things you can make as much Creme Brulee as much as you want! You’re all set.

Preheat the oven to 300.

Put the cream, vanilla and the zest in a sauce pan over medium heat. cook just until its bubbly around the edges but not boiling. Remove from heat, cover and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of sugar and the lemon juice. Whisk until frothy, about 3 minutes.

While continuing to whisk, slowly add the cream mixture until well combined.

At this point, I cut up about 4 lemons to make the cups. Because the custard has to bake in the cups and then sit for 4 hours until set, the dessert leached too much bitterness from the white rind making it borderline inedible. The cups where really beautiful, so if I ever make a dessert that doesn’t need to be baked and can be served immediately (mousse, curd, pudding) I would make them again. I would coat the inside with lemon juice, then with sugar. I’d serve Lemon Mousse in these.

Using a paring knife and a spoon, I cut out the pulp and juiced it.

lcb-cutlcb-rind-cup

But, for this recipe DON’T make these. Use a ramekin or a tart shell (just have to reiterate that. It was a waste of perfectly yummy custard)

Put your ramekins in a baking dish, filling the baking dish with about 1 inch of water (if you are using a tart crust or pie shell, skip this).

Pour your custard through a mesh strainer into your designated Creme Brulee vessel.

lcb-pourlcb-ramakins-po

Cover the baking dish or tart with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool, at room temp, in the water filled baking dish for 30 minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to chill and set in the fridge for 4 hours. Right before serving, cover the top of your set custard with an even, thin layer of about of sugar (about 1/2-1 tsp). Then run your culinary torch over your sugar, slowly, until it melts and turns an amber color. Don’t touch it. I know, sounds like it should go without saying, but sometimes you get curious and you really WANT to touch it to see if its set or not, and it burns you and you yell profanities and scare your husband.

Another tip: Don’t brulee the sugar until you are ready to serve. After about an hour of just sitting there, the sugar will start to liquify again.