blankets and brulee

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. I was going to post yesterday, but then I looked around and noticed that not many people were blogging, so I thought perhaps I should give some semblance of having a life and refrained from posting. Are you convinced?
I managed to finish the baby blanket for my friend Beth. Good thing, too, since I’m going to see her in a couple of days! WARNING TO QUILTERS: This photo may contain offensive images. No quilting rules were followed in the assembly of this blanket.
taavi blankie.JPG
In other weekend news, I made some no-bake creme brulee. I got one of those mini torches at Christmas, and I’ve been dying to try it out ever since. Here was my chance!
creme brulee.JPG
Custards are finicky, or at least they are for me. I think it came out pretty tasty, though, and it’s nice that you don’t have to do the whole water bath thing with these. Read on for the recipe …

No-bake cinnamon creme brulee
2 cups heavy cream (not for the lactose intolerant, this recipe!)
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten and strained through a sieve
1/2 cup sugar
2 3″-long cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces*
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Raw/turbinado sugar for caramelizing
Place the cream and the cinnamon sticks in a heavy saucepan and heat on about medium heat until bubbles form at the edge of the pan and the cream begins to quiver slightly. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 30 minutes so the flavors can infuse.
Beat the yolks and the sugar until pale and thick. Strain the cream mixture into the egg mixture then transfer into a heavy saucepan (if you had the forethought to use a medium sized heavy saucepan to heat up the cream, then you don’t have to wash an extra pan because you can reuse it!). Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon (some recipes say that you should be able to run your finger down the back of the spoon, and it will leave a path. Well, I experimented and tried this at the onset of cooking, and there was a path, so I don’t think this is very good advice). Do NOT let the mixture boil. This step took me at least 10 minutes. You will know when the mixture has thickened up because it assumes a different texture (well, duh, but it’s true).
Remove from heat and stir in the nutmeg. Place plastic wrap directly onto the custard and let cool to room tempearture. Divide the mixture among ramekins, smoothing the tops. Refrigerate about 3-4 hours or until set.
Before serving, sprinkle the tops with turbinado/raw sugar and caramelize the tops. This can be done with a handy little butane torch, a small, handheld propane torch, or under the broiler. Let the carmelized tops cool slightly before serving.
*You can use just about anything to flavor the creme brulee. Just add the flavoring agent when you heat the cream. Suggestions include vanilla bean (scrape the seeds into the cream), tea (Earl Grey would be yummy), or ginger.

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13 Responses to blankets and brulee

  1. kerrie says:

    oooh – that brulee looks gorgeous. I might have to try that. Especially as Brooke just looked at the picture and said yummy yummy I’d like to eat that.

  2. rae says:

    yummm! i LOVE creme brulee, didn’t know there was a no-bake, no-bath version (that almost sounds disgusting!) i’ll have to add that to my list of recipes to try. i usually just make box mixes. pretty sad, i know.
    the baby blanket is adorable! great colors, much better than the pastels one usually sees.

  3. Melissa says:

    The baby blanket is very fun. Did you tack it down in any way (knots or quilting)?
    I have never had creme brulee. Am I missing something?

  4. Em says:

    I don’t bake much, but I may have to take it up for one of those mini blowtorches. Cuz they look like so much fun, mwah ha ha hahaaaa.
    That blanket is gorgeous. Excellent use of the animal fabric!

  5. Bethanie says:

    I recently ordered some Caramel Creme Brulee tea. Very yummy and very decadent. Hey, wait, I sent it for our Valentine’s tea swap – you’ll be getting some! Silly me!

  6. Jan says:

    Yes, Melissa, you are missing something! Mmmm..creme brulee, my absolute favorite dessert! If you’ve never been tempted, I admit, it doesn’t look like much sitting on a dessert tray competing for attention among fancy confections. But after one bite…ahhh…no turning back!! (Especially with fresh raspberries on the side.) Looks delish, Mariko!

  7. Elaine says:

    Well, just so you know, I missed you yesterday. But wow, that quilt is so cool. What a nice friend you are. And Creme Brulee…yum!

  8. Sharlyn says:

    Beautiful quilt! One of these days, I’ll teach myself to sew so that I can make one of those :). The creme brulee is beautiful too. I’m sure it was yumm with all of that cream (2 cups?).

  9. Meg says:

    Noone could think you don’t ‘have a life’ reading your blog – you’re always doing something interesting! Custards are touchy with me, too. I love creme brulee!! Must, must, must try this. Maybe my poor little Grammie can be tempted. Tough to get her to eat sometimes these days. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  10. susan says:

    That blanket is adorable!!!! You always have the coolest fabrics! Thanks for the creme brulee recipe – yum yum yum! The last time I had creme brulee was on my honeymoon so I think dh needs to make this for me as a belated Valentine treat! 🙂

  11. melissa says:

    the quilt looks amazing. i love your fabric choices!

  12. Jenn says:

    I’m very impressed with your quilt. The fabric is adorable. I can’t imagine trying to quilt, I don’t think I have the patience for it. Although people say that to me all the time about knitting. I can sew clothes, that tests my patience enough. I can only imagine the frustration of quilting.
    How did your hair cut turn out? Hope it was better than you expected (as I know you weren’t expecting much.) 😉

  13. Diane U says:

    Creme brulee! Yum! I had a Cuban version this weekend that was flavored with expresso, then the carmelized sugar, some fancy whipped cream (I forget what they called it. It was French) and big chunks of chocolate all served in a big Latte cup. Hmmmm Just thinking about it makes my mouth happy. I will try your recipe but I fear I have been ruined for no-bake.
    Diane in Omaha

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