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About Me

Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

CREME BRULEE (from Nigella Bites)

The first thing you should know about creme brulee is that it's not hard to make.  And few desserts are as voluptuously, seductively easy to eat. I never make mine in little individual ramekins (though there's nothing to stop you if that's what you prefer) but in one large dish: there is something so welcoming about a big bowlful, the rich, smooth, eggy cream waiting to ooze out on the spoon that breaks through the tortoiseshell disk
on top.

You don't need me to tell you about the blowtorch bit; this has been rehearsed enough. But it isn't a gimmick or a gratuitous act of showmanship: just the best way of burning the sprinkled-over sugar to instant, brittle compactness. You can get a blowtorch now from more or less any kitchen shop; and there's something curiously satisfying about wielding it.

2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
8 egg yolks
3 generous tablespoons granulated sugar
approx. 6 tablespoons brown sugar

Put a pie dish of about 8 inches in diameter in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. Half-fill the sink with cold water. This is just a precaution in case the custard looks as if it's about to split, in which case you should plunge the pan into the water and whisk the custard.

Put the cream and vanilla bean into a saucepan and bring to the boiling point, but do not let boil. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl, and, still beating, pour the flavored cream over it, bean and all. Rinse and dry the pan and pour the custard mix back in. Cook over medium heat until the custard thickens, whisking almost constantly: about 10 to 12 minutes should do it. You want this to be a good, voluptuous creme, so don't err on the side of runny caution. Remember, you've got your sinkful of cold water to plunge the pan into should it really look as if it's about to split.

When the cream's thick enough, take out the vanilla bean, retrieve the pie dish and pour this creme into the severely chilled container. Leave to cool, then put in the refrigerator till truly cold. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar, spoonful by spoonful, and burn with a blowtorch till you have a blistered tortoiseshell covering on top.

Put back in the refrigerator if you want, but remember to take it out a good 20 minutes before serving. At which stage, put the bowl on the table and, with a large spoon and unchecked greed, crack through the sugary carapace and delve into the satin-velvet, vanilla-speckled cream beneath. No more talking: just eat.

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