I like to think I’m a good cook – and most of the time think that I am. But then I remember that I have some *amazing* cooks for friends. Not only do I have friends who have worked in restaurants and/or have had chef training, but I have a number of friends who are just genuinely interested in cooking. And that means that they, too, spend time to make elaborate dishes and generally come up with really, really tasty food.
Aaron & Diana Minster are the latter of such friends. Diana in particular has taken it upon herself to become a master baker. I knew her baking skills far surpassed mine when she brought an *amazing* chocolate cake to our thanksgiving dinner. Seriously, folks, it tasted like a cake made with the best fudge ever… incredibly rich and decadent, and no matter how good it was you couldn’t dare eat more than a sliver due to the sheer richness of this cake.
I knew we were in for a real treat when we went over to their house for dinner over the weekend. The entire meal was amazing – from the chickpea soup (which I will likely feature later when I make it myself), to the homemade ravioli (with an egg yolk inside! OMG SO GOOD), to the two awesome quiches, and finally, finishing with a crème brûlée. Can you tell we rolled home?
Diana tries a ton of different recipes before she chooses a favourite, and then adapts it to make it her own. Yeah, like a real cook. I’m more the type that will try something, think “Wow! Yum! I should share this!” type of cook. Sure, I tweak recipes sometimes and dont’ follow things exactly, but if I find something I think is great I usually just stick with it and call it a day. But I may have to convert to Diana’s way of doing things, because this crème brûlée was the result of many attempts, and I dare say she’s made it perfect. So so good!
I’ve yet to make it, but I did ask for her recipe. Hopefully I can make my own batch soon, and hopefully it turns out as good!
Her recipe (posted with permission):
adapted from Anna Olson
- 3 cups whipping cream
- 2 vanilla beans
- 7 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- dash of salt
- Heat cream with the scraped seeds from vanilla beans and add pods to the cream until just below a simmer.
- In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or with an electric mixer), whip egg yolks, sugar and salt until pale and thick. With mixer on low speed, gradually pour hot cream (with pods removed) into egg mixture, stopping to scrape down sides occasionally.
- Strain and chill completely. Brulee mix can be made up to 2 days in advance.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place 6 ramekins in a pan with at least an 1 1/2-inch lip (I use a Pyrex lasagna dish). Stir the chilled custard and fill the ramekins and space them out ensuring that they don’t touch. Open oven door and place pan on door. Pour boiling water around cups to come up halfway to the ramekins.
- Bake brulees for 40-45 minutes, when tapped the custard will still wobble in the middle. Remove from water bath and chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
- To serve, heat oven on broil. Sprinkle tops of custards with sugar and broil for 1 minute or use a butane kitchen torch. (I prefer the torch as the broiler heats up the custard)
Unfortunately I have no photos of the crème brûlée or any of the other yummy dishes from Saturday night (it is weird to bring your camera to someone’s house when you go for dinner, right?), but I can assure you they were all picture perfect!
Tags: creme brulee