Creme Brulee Tango
But I did some research and found quite a few recipes, bought a blowtorch, and decided to conquer this custard.
Now, I still make this dessert, but with a twist. The chocolate / chili lining come together in a sweet and spicy tango with the thick, creamy custard housed beneath a crunchy caramelized top.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE AND CHILI LINED RAMEKINS
16 Tbspmilk chocolate chips (just under 1 bag)
1 tspcayenne pepper (more or less depending on taste)
FOR THE CUSTARD
2 cheavy whipping cream
2 cwhole milk
1/2 cwhite sugar
1whole vanilla bean
1/2 tspkosher salt
FOR THE TOPPING
8-16 tspturbinado sugar
How to Make Creme Brulee Tango
- First, there is some equipment that you will need for this recipe. (1) You'll need 8 ramekins (7 oz) (2) a kitchen blowtorch (I know "they say" that you can caramelize the top using the broiler, but try as I might I have never been able to accomplish this without destroying the custard beneath the sugar topping - which is just a crime. Even if you only ever get a blowtorch for this recipe - it'll be worth the $15-$25).
- Drop in 1/8 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper and mix it into the chocolate until well blended. Then, using a small spatula, spread the chocolate out in an even layer up the sides and along the bottom of the ramekins. You want to leave some room at the rim, so stop about half an inch or so down. Then place the ramekins into the refrigerator until you're ready for them.
- Preheat the oven to 325 and move the rack into the center of the oven.
- To prepare the vanilla bean, use a paring knife to carefully slice it in half lengthwise; then you can use the paring knife to scrape the seeds out of their pods and get ready to infuse the milks with their flavor.
- Once the milky mixture finished, remove the vanilla pod. Get a kettle or another sauce pan filled with water over high heat and start that to boiling while you assemble the custard.
- This is when you're going to build your water bath. Place the entire pan onto the rack of your oven (you'll need to pull the rack out a little bit to allow yourself enough room to work). Then carefully pour the boiling water into the pan (hence the use of the kettle; if you don't have a kettle, use a sauce pan to boil the water and move the water to a pitcher before pouring into the pan. This will give you added control). Do not let any water get into any of the ramekins. Fill the cake pan with the water until it comes up to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. I usually start check at the 40 minute mark. You're looking for the custards to be set, so as you pull them out of the oven you should not see them jiggling very much.
- At this point, you can serve whenever you're ready. The custards will keep for a a week or two in the refrigerator like this, but you'll probably want to dig in before that.
- To serve, top each ramekin with 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of the turbinado sugar. You can tilt the ramekins to spread the sugar out evenly. Then, get ready to torch them. Make sure you hold the blowtorch about 2-3 inches away from the sugar - and keep moving. If you leave the torch sitting over one spot for too long, you'll puncture through to the custard which is not what we want. Continue to evenly heat up the sugar until it melts together into a caramel colored crust. This is only going to take you about a minute or two per serving.