Monday, July 21, 2008

Trio of Mini Burnt Creams

During my last trip to a well-known Scandinavian furniture and housewares manufacturer, I brought back with me a set of twelve egg cups. Joyously I noticed they also happen to be heat-resistant and soon the idea was born to use the egg cups to make mini crèmes brûlée. At a recent dinner for four, I finally tried it out, but had to make modifications to my basic recipe for two reasons: (1) the cups and their content, because they are so small, will heat much faster and produce pudding rather than creams and (2) I wanted to make a "trio" so everyone could sample three different flavors, so I decided to add the flavoring only right before heating the cups.

With this in mind, I settled on truffle-honey (because I had some), vanilla (the classic) and Earl Grey (because so far this was the favorite of my own creations). In addition, I used more cream than milk and egg yolks instead of whole eggs. Also, due to the size of the cups, I performed the bain marie on the stove top.

  1. Prepare twelve (12) small heat resistant procelain egg cups as follows. Divide in groups of four. Place a teaspoon of truffle honey in the first four. Place a teaspoon of vanilla sugar or a knives point of vanilla seeds in the second four. Place a pinch of Earl Gray tea leaves in the last four.
  2. Mix 250ml of cream and 125ml of whole milk in a pot, bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk three egg yolks and two tablespoons of sugar in a bowl.
  4. Remove cream mixture from heat. Slowly pour the egg mixture into it, constantly stirring. Let sit for two minutes. Do not let eggs set (keep stirring if necessary).
  5. Fill the twelve egg cups with the egg mixture, stirring each with a small spoon (or the back of one).
  6. Place cups in a circle along the edge of a large pot. Fill with hot water approximately half way up the egg cups. Cover. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat for five minutes or until creams are set. Remove and place in fridge for about an hour.
  7. Remove from fridge right before serving. Spead half a teaspoon of sugar on surface of each egg mixture. Burn using a kitchen torch.

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