Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rotkohl (Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage)

Anyone who has had a German meal has mostly likely had rotkohl, that sweet and sour stewed red cabbage, as an accompaniment. It might be habit, or it might just be my personal bias, but I don't think that any German meal is complete without some sort of red cabbage side dish, and this one is my favorite.

Red cabbage is often shunted to the back of the class, relegated as a sometime slaw ingredient or an occasional burst of color and crunch of texture in a green salad, or tossed into borscht and then largely forgotten. Sometimes people will stew it beyond recognition into a purple mush.

It is the red-headed stepchild of the vegetable crisper, and there is no need for that.

Marry the cabbage with the right combination of flavors, certain spices and, mostly importantly, avoid cooking it down to a flatulence-inducing mess of stewed leaves, and you've got a wonderfully fragrant and comforting dish.

The apple, the cloves and juniper, the vinegar and sugar all combine to create a satisfying dish that lures you in. The first bite grabs you with tartness, but then mellows out with a hint of sweetness and then rounds off with the notes of clove and juniper. Each mouthful always leaves me wanting another, wondering if that same progression of flavors would appear with the next forkful.

It always does.


  • 1/2 head small red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 Granny Smith, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 onion, julienned
  • 1-1/2 T butter
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 juniper berries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 T sugar
  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the cabbage, onion and apple and mix so that everything is nicely coated with the butter.
  3. Add the water, vinegar, sugar and spices and bring to a boil.
  4. Once it boils, cover and reduce the heat to low and keep simmering for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

  • I saw some recipes that called for a slurry of cornstarch and water to be added once the dish had finished cooking, but I didn't see the need for it. I don't mind if my cabbage is a little bit juicy. The spaetzle can always soak it up. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Apple and Goat Geese Galette with Honey-Vanilla Sauce

I was traipsing though the grocery store yesterday, uncertain if I was going to make a mini Black Forest cherry cake or some sort of apple thing for my dessert. I have always liked the flavors of apple and goat cheese together, and when I went to check out the goat cheese selection, I saw that in addition to the usual herbed and peppered varieties, they had this:

Honey vanilla goat cheese.

Oh my GOD. Thank you, Woolwich Dairy, Inc. for bringing us this wonderful flavor!

When I saw the honey vanilla goat cheese, I knew that I had to pair that with a Granny Smith apple. I had read several apple galette recipes that included a layer of frangipane beneath the apple slices, and I thought that this honey vanilla goat cheese would be a wonderful substitution, so I decided on an apple galette. I immediately grabbed the goat cheese and headed off to the freezer section for a box of puff pastry - no time to make my own today - and hurried back to my tiny kitchen.

Top it with a simple vanilla sauce spiked with honey, and you've got this:

Apple & Goat Cheese Galette with Honey-Vanilla Sauce

Makes four 4 in. galettes

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • Honey-vanilla goat cheese
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and sliced into paper-thin slices
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 1 T honey

For the Honey-vanilla sauce:
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 T honey
Make the honey-vanilla sauce:
  1. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add them to the cream in the top of a double boiler and heat until warm, not boiling. Let simmer for 15 minutes, then remove the bean pod.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolk and 2 T of honey. Add a small amount of the warm cream to the egg, whisking fully. Slowly add the warmed egg mixture to the cream in the double boiler, whisking well.
  3. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until it starts to bubble a bit around the edges.
  4. Remove from heat and refrigerate.

Prepare the galette:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Thaw the sheet of puff pastry for about 45 minutes. 
  3. Cut out four 4 in. rounds from the pastry by using a bowl as a guide. Lay a slightly smaller bowl on top of the rounds and press down to leave an indentation in the pastry. This will be the lip of the galette.
  4. Spread goat cheese on the pastry and top with overlapping slices of apple.
  5. Mix together the honey and melted butter and brush on top of the apple slices and the edges of the pastry.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
  7. Drizzle the honey-vanilla sauce on top and eat warm

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shrimp and Grits with Roasted Corn

I had grits once when I was younger. They were gray, lumpy, gluey and looked totally unappetizing. I was unimpressed.

Then I actually tasted them.

Color me even more unimpressed.

Over the years I've heard people talk longingly of shrimp and grits and cheese grits and I would shudder and think, "How can anyone possibly EAT that?"

Then Renée set me straight about grits and corn grits.  She gave me her favorite recipe for corn grits with roasted corn, told me exactly what type of corn grits to buy, what to serve it with, and I was very interested. It sounded good, for sure- what's not to love about roasted corn, butter and heavy cream? So I filed it away for future reference.

For some reason, when I woke up today, I said to myself, "Now is the day for those grits, and I feel the need for spicy shrimp to go with it." Maybe it's the cold and dreary weather making me yearn for something hot. Maybe it was the fact that I caught sight of the bag of corn grits yesterday when I was hunting around for the bag of tapioca pearls. Who knows? Long story short, the recipe is fantastic and I am a grits convert.

The spicy and still sweetish shrimp contrast perfectly with the creaminess of the grits. It's insane.

I can't wait to try out cheese grits next. :)

Shrimp and Grits with Roasted Corn

Serves 3

For the grits:
  • 3/4 cup stone-ground corn grits
  • 3 cups water
  • salt
  • 1 t Creole seasoning or Old Bay
  • 2 T chives 
  • 2 T butter
  • heavy cream

For the corn:
  • corn from 2 ears of fresh corn (about 1-1/2 cups kernels)
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 1/8 t granulated garlic
  • 1/8 t smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper

For the shrimp
  • 9 medium cleaned shrimp, raw
  • Old Bay or Creole seasoning
  • chopped green onion

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Toss the kernels of corn and onion in a bowl with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and smoked paprika.
  3. Add the melted butter and toss well.
  4. Spread in the foil-lined pan and roast for 25 minutes, stirring them once half-way through.
  5. While the corn is roasting, bring 3 cups of lightly salted water to boil and add the corn grits, lowering the heat to low. Stir frequently to be sure that it doesn't stick. Careful, like oatmeal, bubbles might burst out and splatter you with wicked-hot starchy grain. Ouch.
  6. After about 10 minutes, add 1/2 teaspoon of Creole seasoning or Old Bay and fresh chives. Stir well and let cook another 15 - 20 minutes.
  7. Once it has cooked through and is the thickness you like, add about 1/2 of the roasted corn and onion to the grits and stir well. Set aside the remaining corn and onions. 
  8. Add the butter and stir well to let it melt. Then add heavy cream to achieve the consistency you like. I only used a few tablespoons. Taste to check and adjust seasoning. You may want more spice or more cream.
  9. Season the shrimp with Creole seasoning or Old Bay. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat and sear the shrimp for 2 minutes on the first side, then flip them, cover the skillet and let them cook another minute or two until done, but be careful not to overcook them.
  10. Divide the corn grits between 3 bowls and top with the remaining roasted corn and onion. Sprinkle with chopped green onion and top with seared shrimp.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fun With Food

The Easter Bunny came a day early to my house since I won't have my kids on Easter morning. The Easter Bunny is accommodating that way. Anyway, I the Easter Bunny recalled that the kids had been screaming for Peeps, so I, that is, the Easter Bunny got some purple and yellow Peeps.

So today, I suggested PeepS'Mores.

Yum. Even  I  had one.


Here's how you do it:

Catch a Peep and skewer it. Assemble your chocolate and graham crackers and get a reliable source of flame. I used my new little blowtorch until I ran out of butane.


So then I just used one of the gas burners on the stove and prayed that I wouldn't have a melted mess of blackened marshmallow to clean off. 

It worked great.


Torch the Peep. He may catch fire.

That's ok. Blow out the flames.

Smush the Peep down

Make sure he's melting and oozing and then eat it.

 Kid #2's PeepS'More, chomped.

Another view of melting marshmallow:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Coming Soon on Crisis Brownies

I am 99% certain that I will be making Jaeger Schnitzel for myself this weekend. I don't have my kids this weekend, so I can really feel free to make only what I know will appeal to me, and the German Potato Pancakes from earlier this week got me craving German food. I haven't had a good Jaeger Schnitzel since the Gasthaus Edelweiss days. Another dish would would be yummy now, and ironic, considering it's Easter weekend, would be Hasenpfeffer, but where in the hell would I get a rabbit?


So, it may be a German-food weekend. In keeping with the German + Easter theme, I'll probably be listening to the St. Matthew Passion all weekend long, taking a break only long enough to squeeze in the Rachmaninoff Vespers, so maybe I'll make Russian Black bread or something.

And now, for your listening pleasure, my favorite aria from the St. Matthew Passion, the gorgeous bass aria "Mache Dich, Mein Herze Rein," performed by one of my favorites, Matti Salminen:

And a beautiful choral piece from the Rachmaninoff Vespers, the Hail Mary:


One of my favorite quick, I-have-no-idea-what-to-cook-for-dinner meals is a simple omelette. It's quick, it's versatile, and you can tart it up any way you like. I'm sure the French would scoff at my omelettes and my omelette-technique - though they'd probably approve of my spelling - but eggs are one area where I don't really care about what others think is "the only correct way" to do them.

For example, I will not, ever, eat eggs that are sunny-side-up, and rarely will I eat them over-easy. I like my fried eggs over hard, yolk cracked and cooked all the way through. Bonus points for a little browning on the egg and the crispy edges on the egg whites. Likewise, the scrambled eggs I saw Jacques and Julia doing on one of their shows once were way too moist and loose for my taste. I like them scrambled a bit more on the dry side, still fluffy, but drier.

They'd probably shudder at the fact that I usually use an EggBeaters-type of liquid egg product, though if I have an omelette on the weekends, I usually make a 3-egg omelette and go crazy. The whole eggs and touch of heavy cream make it fluffy and monstrous and delicious.

Omelettes are great because they are such a versatile vehicle for so many different ingredients: smoked salmon, caviar and dill; taco-seasoned ground beef, cheese and vegetables; pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella; hey I've even put leftover potatoes in an omelette. Vegetables? Yes. A smidge of seafood in a cream sauce? Why not? Go CRAZY.

Of course, they are just as delicious on their own with just a bit of cheese and topped with some salsa.

Omelette with Cheese and Salsa

  • butter
  • 1/3 cup EggBeaters
  • cheese
  • salsa
  1. Over medium-high heat, melt butter in 9 in. skillet.
  2. Pour in your liquid eggs (or 3 eggs beaten with a bit of milk), tilt the pan so it's spread out evenly.
  3. Sprinkle some cheese on the top and cover with a lid to let cook for 2 minutes or so until the edges are set. Then fold in half and sprinkle a little more cheese on top.
  4. Cover again and let cook for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and let it finish cooking for another minute or so.
  5. Plate and top with salsa.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fettuccine Alfredo

Pasta is another classic comfort food, and although my favorite pasta dishes number in, oh, probably all of them, fettuccine alfredo is pretty near the top of the list for me. The thing about alfredo is that it is almost always a disappointment when I go out to eat and order it.

I really am not a fan of the Olive Garden. I think that their food is overpriced and mediocre, although I will admit I love their butter-drenched breadsticks. The times I've gone there, I've usually ordered the alfredo and when it came, it was already a mess of separating sauce and overdone pasta, or it was a pile of pasta absolutely drowning in sauce. I prefer a lighter touch with the sauce, with the fettuccine barely moistened by the sauce, but that's just me. Another great thing about making it yourself is that you can add as little or as much of the sauce as you like.

The thing is, it is so easy to make you'll never go out for alfredo again. Alfredo should be devoured eaten almost as soon as it hits your bowl. You may curse me when you try this for yourself and see how easy it is.You can suit just about anyone's taste for ingredients and the amount of sauce, too, so it is totally win-win.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Serves 2

  • 4 oz. whole wheat fettucine
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 T salted butter, cut into 1/2 T slices
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated  parmesan or romano
  • granulated garlic
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • parsley

  1. Cook the pasta until it's al dente, still firm when you bite into it, not mushy, but not still crunchy. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the cream in a skillet until it starts to bubble at the edges. Add the butter, a smidge (oh, a pinch, less than 1/8 t) of granulated garlic, salt and pepper and let cook until the butter melts into the cream. Taste it to check for seasoning.
  3. Add  1/3 cup of the cheese and stir well until it melts into the sauce.
  4. Toss the pasta into the skillet and mix well, serve, topped with fresh herbs like parsley or basil, plus additional grated cheese and eat immediately.

  • You can mix in all sorts of things: shrimp, chicken, vegetables, but I like it plain with just the peas and really good-quality cheese.
  • I used some locatelli pecorino romano which I usually use in risotto, but man, it works nicely in this too.
  • I used whole wheat fettuccine, which is why it looks a bit dark in the photo. I usually try to make the dish a little less of a perilous assault on my blood sugar levels.
  • If you like a lot more sauce with your fettuccine than you see in the photo, you can easily adjust the amount of pasta.
  • This recipe easily doubles or quadruples to feed more people or people with enormous appetites.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

German Potato Pancakes

Here's another favorite from the annals of comfort foods: Potato Pancakes. The thing is, what most people know as potato pancakes bear no resemblance to the potato pancakes we had growing up.

Most people know the kind of potato pancakes made from shredded potatoes (latkes), or those made from leftover mashed potato which have been mixed with egg and then fried. I've never cared for latkes because it seems that sometimes they'd be burned on the edges and pretty-near raw in the middle, and the mashed-potato kind are usually too gluey and lumpy. These pancakes are smooth-textured, with a definite potato flavor and even a bit fluffy, unlike the other two types.

These were the potato pancakes I'd been looking for when I had my German dinner on Christmas Eve in 2009. It was surprisingly difficult to track this recipe down. most of the recipes were for some variety of latke, with the occasional Leftover Mashed Potato Pancake recipe.

Finally I found Ann Chandler's German Potato Pancake recipe, and I knew as soon as I saw the pictures that these were the potato pancakes we'd had growing up. When the batter hit the sizzling-hot oil in the skillet, again, I knew that these were them, and then when I had the first bite of the first "tester" pancake, I had flashbacks to childhood at the Oktoberfests and Schlachtfests at Gasthaus Edelweiss.

Yep. These're them.

Herbed German Potato Pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer)

Makes 12 small pancakes

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch black pepper

  1. Wash, peel and quarter the potatoes and onion.
  2. Puree the eggs, herbs and onion in a blender, not a food processor.*
  3. Carefully add the potatoes one piece at a time and continue to blend until everything has liquefied.
  4. Pour the mixture in a large bowl and slowly add enough flour to thicken to the consistency of pancake batter, stirring well. I like to add the flour 2 Tablespoons at a time.
  5. Add the salt and pepper and stir.
  6. In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the heat starts to shimmer, add the batter by the ladleful and cook until nicely golden brown around the edges. I use a 12 in. skillet and fit 4 pancakes in it.
  7. Once the edges are nicely browned, carefully flip the pancakes and let cook a few minutes. The pancakes will puff up slightly, and you want to flip them only once, so check the color underneath.

    You'll want them to look like this on both sides:

  8. Add olive oil to skillet for each new batch of pancakes. Let them rest on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil.

  9. Serve hot with salt and pepper, butter, sauerkraut or sour cream. If you omit the herbs, you can top them with applesauce, jam, vanilla yogurt or even maple syrup.

  • A food processor isn't strong enough to really liquefy this into a batter, so use a blender. 
  • A word of warning: Do NOT attempt to bend the potatoes, eggs and onion all at once, because the potatoes will gum up the blades. You want to liquefy the eggs and onion first and then gradually add the potato for a smooth batter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peasant Breakfast

Crisis Brownies and other comfort foods is the title of the blog. Yesterday I brought you the crisis brownies - so named because sometimes when you have a crisis, the only solution is chocolate - today I'll bring you one of my favorite comfort foods; but first, a comment.

Sometimes, I derive comfort from making something elegant or fancy, like crèmes brûlées:

Other times, I'll be comforted by taking something simple and homey and presenting it attractively, like kimchi bokeum bap:

But then there are those dishes which are neither fancy nor plated professionally. I have been known to eat Stovetop Mac and Cheese straight off a wooden spoon from the saucepan as I stand in the kitchen.

This next dish is never plated attractively, does not use an elaborate recipe or expensive ingredients. There is no real name for it, and I've called it many things: Potatoes, Eggs and Vegetables, Mess-in-a-Bowl, but most often, I call it Peasant Breakfast.

It is just chunks of potato cooked in butter with vegetables, usually onion, bell pepper and mushroom, and once they've cooked down and browned nicely, I crack some eggs over it, let them set, and then mix it all together. Top it with a little grated cheese and serve. Presto. Yum. Really, for pure comfort bang for your buck, you just can't beat it.

When I was in Korea, I used to make this dish for my friends after a long night of partying in I-Tae-Won. We'd go back to my place, usually at 3 in the morning, and I'd make a huge mess of this in the name of hangover remedies, then we'd crash, sleep late and go out for kong namul guk (spicy bean sprout soup) or budae jjigae ("troop" stew) as additional help with staving off the hangover.

I also craved this dish throughout all of my pregnancies, and still crave it at times when I am cold and need something deeply warming. I made it last night as a mini-celebratory meal. I like to adjust with slightly different ingredients and spicing it differently.

Yesterday, I found hedgehog mushrooms:

They were almost too cute to eat. But I ate them, and yes, I washed them first. :)

Peasant Breakfast

  • butter
  • potatoes
  • onion
  • green bell pepper
  • mushroom
  • Creole seasoning
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • eggs
  • grated romano
  • salt and pepper

  1. Brown potatoes in butter. You can use leftover boiled potatoes if you have them, though I usually just use fresh. If you use uncooked mushrooms, you'll want to cover it and let them steam. Season with Creole seasoning.
  2. Add the chopped onions, bell pepper and mushrooms and stir well. Add Old Bay or more Creole seasoning to suit your taste.
  3. Cover and let cook through until the potatoes are tender and the vegetables browned. I like it when the onions get almost crispy.
  4. Push the vegetables aside to make three holes, and crack an egg into each. Cover and let cook until the eggs are set, then stir the whole mess together and let cook. Dump into bowls and top with a bit of cheese and season with salt and pepper.

  • I change up the seasoning, sometimes using fresh thyme and rosemary, but I usually go for something spicy, and this does it for me. 
  • I also will add in bits of leftover ham or sausage if I have them. I really like linguiça and chouriço in the spicy version or maple sausage in the rosemary and thyme version.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dark Chocolate Coconut Brownies

I've been absent thanks to a new full-time job, so I no longer have the luxury of indulging in meals that take hours to prepare. I have been seriously into baking lately - mostly on the weekends - and today, though we had those marvelous crèmes brûlées yesterday, I had a serious craving for chocolate, so I whipped up a batch of the Crisis Brownies, but with a few modifications: coconut extract and flaked coconut instead of vanilla and nuts, and the Dutch-process cocoa.

Very good, very deep and intense, these are not cakey or milk-chocolatey.I needed a full glass of milk after one small brownie, bit wow, did it hit the chocolate craving square in the face.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Brownies

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 6 T cold, unsalted butter, cut into large, 1-T pieces
  • 2 T heavy cream
  • 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 t coconut extract
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F and spray an 11 x 7 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour and cocoa with a whisk to break up any clumps of cocoa.
  3. Bring about 1 ½ inches of water to a boil in the bottom of your double boiler; reduce heat and then in the top pan of the double boiler heat the butter and sugar until the butter starts to melt, add the heavy cream, and then gradually add your chocolate, stirring constantly to be sure that the mixture doesn't burn.
  4. Once the chocolate is all melted, add the coconut extract and then remove from the heat immediately and scrape into a large bowl.
  5. Set this bowl inside a larger bowl which has some ice water in it and let the chocolate mixture cool before adding the eggs.Or you can temper the eggs by whisking in a bit of the chocolate mixture while it is still pretty hot.
  6. Add the eggs, mixing well.
  7. Gradually stir in the flour mixture and mix until smooth. add the chocolate chunks and flaked coconut and mix well.
  8. Spread the batter into prepared pan.This is not a loose, pourable batter like some recipes - this is thick, almost like cookie dough. Don't worry. It's supposed to be like that.
  9. Bake 25 minutes until a toothpick jabbed into the center comes out clean. This recipe makes very dense, moist and fudgy brownies.
  10. Transfer pan to a rack to cool before cutting the brownies.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Crème brûlée

We've been on a custard-kick lately. For my older daughter's birthday a few weeks ago, she requested that I make a layered pound cake with strawberries as her birthday cake. We decided that the cake needed more than just sliced strawberries in between the layers, so I made a thick vanilla pastry cream and set the strawberries in that in between the cake layers. Wow, was it ever good!

May daughter was impressed with homemade stove-top vanilla custard and we've been looking through various recipes lately. She decided that she really wanted me to make us all crèmes brûlées as a treat, and using this as justification to buy a mini blowtorch, I said "Sure thing!"

The torch was a bit of an odyssey in itself. I didn't read the box carefully enough, so I didn't realize that the butane canister was sold separately. Naturally, by the time I had made this discovery, I was already in my flannel lounging-around-home clothes and was in no mood to get dressed again and haul us all back out into the pouring rain. I did eventually, though, and then was faced with figuring out how exactly to fill the torch; long story short: I filled it, it worked, it was delicious, and everyone was happy, The End.

Crème brûlée

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 yolks
  • turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw is one brand)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325.
  2. Place the cream in a heavy saucepan. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Place the seeds and the bean into the cream and scald over medium-high heat until it almost boils. Remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes.
  3. Beat the 1/4 cup sugar with 3 eggs yolks until light yellow and smooth.
  4. Place a fine-meshed strainer over the egg-sugar mixture and carefully strain a bit of the warmed cream mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly. Gradually pour in the rest of the cream mixture, stirring well.
  5. Divide the mixture between four 4 oz. ramekins.* Place the ramekins into roasting dishes or even cake pans and pour hot water (near-boiling) into the pans about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven until the custard has set, but still jiggles slightly in the center, about 40 minutes.
  7. Remove and immediately cool on wire racks until cool. You can refrigerate them if you like.
  8. When you are ready to serve them, check that the tops of the custards are dry. You can blot them with a paper towel to get rid of any condensation. Then coat the tops of the custards with turbinado sugar and, using your handy-dandy mini blowtorch (see right), to melt the sugar until it turns browns and hardens into a lovely caramelized crust.

    This video gives a good demonstration of how to do it:

  9. Then I'd say serve immediately :)

  • This was my first time with the brûlée aspect; I've made this type of custard cooked in a water bath before, but my first time with a blow torch. After looking at the video (which I only saw today for the first time) I think perhaps I'll scorch the sugar more next time. I was wary of turning the sugar into an inedible, burnt-solid black mass. Don't get me wrong, even lightly-torched, it still was an amazing dessert.
  • * Yeah, this recipe made way more than could be filled into four 4 oz. ramekins, but then I did not fill them all the way to the top because I was afraid that they may flow over. I had enough left over for about 2 more 4 oz. ramekins (I filled two 8 oz. ramekins halfway), so I'm not sure exactly what's going on there. I am always very careful about my measurements - "Measure twice, dump once" is my motto - lol So, just be aware that you may need an extra ramekin hanging about just in case.
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