Come on Baby, Light my Fire!
Crème brûlée is a perfect dessert for a hot date night: it looks impressive (but it’s way easy to make) and who doesn’t love a little pyromania action? Lighting things on fire in the kitchen is super-fun! Our ginger & raspberry crème brûlée is sassy and sweet, just like you. The ginger-spice tingles and the magenta color that pops from the raspberry is perfect for Valentine’s Day.
The custard base for the crème brûlée is “make-in-advance-able,” so all you need to do is pull the brûlées from the fridge and light ’em up. You’ll be a Cassanova, and your date will melt. You got this!
At Hipcooks, we use frozen raspberries for this recipe. Because you only need a small handful (about half a cup), just reach into the freezer and grab a handful. Save the rest for smoothies, a quick glaze for scones or a cake, or add to whipped cream for a pop of pink. The raspberries will almost instantly defrost when added to the custard base. If you stir gently, your finished crème brûlée will have delightful swirls of color and flavor.
How do you like it (more more more)?
When it’s torching time, you have a critical decision to make. How much sugar to use for the top? Do you like your brûlée with a super-lacy caramel, so the spoon easily crunches through to reveal the silky custard beneath? Or are you the Juliette Binoche-type? She likes to tap tap tap the top of the brûlée with the back of a spoon, until the caramel breaks and shifts like tectonic plates during an earthquake. (See the picture above.)
Well, my Dearest Don Juan, if it’s lace you like, then sprinkle a small amount of sugar on the top of the chilled crème brûlée. Then, hold the ramekin upside-down to gently shake out the excess sugar. That will give you the Linda love-laciest of caramels.
For those Cutiepie’s who love a tectonic-plate style caramel, simply sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar evenly over the top, and don’t tap out any excess.
On your marks, get set, Fire!
Hold the torch to the side of the ramekin (not directly on top of custard) and brûlée section by section. It will take time and patience to caramelize the top, but you’ll impress your sweetie with your level of commitment.
For more instruction on how to create a fantastic crème brûlée, see us at Hipcooks! Look for Persian Immersion on our schedules. In that class, channel your inner Scheherazade and learn an exotic crème brûlée flavored with rose and cardamom.
5 eggs, yolks only
½ cup sugar, plus 4 tablespoons for brûlée time
1½ cup cream
a plop of vanilla bean paste
about a ½-inch piece of ginger, zested with a Microplane
a handful (½ a cup) raspberries, thawed from frozen
a dash (about 2 tablespoons) orange liquor (Citronge, Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Whisk the egg yolks with ½ cup sugar in a bowl.
Pour the cream into a small pot and add the vanilla bean paste and the ginger Scald the cream on high heat, removing the pot from the heat when you see bubbles appearing on the surface of the cream.
Pour the hot cream onto the whisked egg yolks and give it a gentle stir until all is incorporated. Taste, add a little bit of the orange liqueur and taste again. Toss in the raspberries and give it a gentle stir before you pour into the ramekins so that the raspberries just begin to add little bits of hot pink here and there into the mixture.
Fill the ramekins with the custard, place ramekins into a baking pan and pour enough hot water into the pan to come up halfway up the sides of the ramekins (a bain-marie).
Bake for about 30 minutes — you'll know they're ready to pull from the oven when the tops of the custards are set, but still jiggly when shaken. Remove from the oven and cool the custards, leaving them in the bain-marie until cool. Store in the fridge until dessert time.
When you're ready to enjoy, sprinkle each custard evenly with sugar (about 1 teaspoon). How much sugar you use depends on how you love your caramel: see the post above to determine the optimal amount. Fire up that torch and caramelize the top. Let the caramel cool for a minute, and enjoy!
You'll need ramekins to bake and serve the dessert. No ramekins? No problem! A shallow, oven-safe dish, bowl or cup will works. You'll also need a torch for the pyromania. Mini-kitchen torches are available, but we prefer the powerful plumber's torches from Home Depot. They're cheaper, too.