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.
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!
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.