Yes, we are crazy for almonds

With all the egg whites we have been using lately we have found ourselves with an abundance of rich orange yolks. Waste in our household is not an option, besides there are a plethora of baked goods (as well as savory dishes) that incorporate egg yolks. Crème Brulée just so happens to be a favorite of Sydney’s…and has recently become ONE of DF’s treasured pastries; so it was clear a crème brûlée was in our very near baking future, we just needed to decide on a flavor. Almond Caramel had our tastebuds dancing with anticipation; so with those beautiful egg yolks waiting we began weighting the rest of our ingredients.

Poor DF didn’t realize the custards needed to set in the refrigerator for a day prior to torching and serving them; he had Sydney and I pulling our hair out (by the roots) with his pleading to just have one.

Apple brandy would have been tasty as well

Almond Crème Brûlée with Caramel:

The Caramel:

  • 210 grams, ¾-cup sugar
  • 59grams, ¼-cup water

Prepare your caramel mise en place.

Caramel mise en place. Pour the water and then add the sugar

Add sugar and water to a heavy stainless steel saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Once the syrup is a light, brown color, remove from the heat and pour directly into molds (ramekins); swirl each ramekin to coat the bottom  evenly with the caramel, and set aside.

Be careful Caramel is hot

 Swirling into ramekins.

Swirl til the bottom is coated

Almond Crème Brûlée:

  • 305 grams/ 1 3/8-cup heavy cream
  • 305 gram. 1 1/4-cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 2-teaspoons almond extract
  • 100 grams/ 1/2-cup  sugar
  • 3 eggs yolks
  • 3 eggs
  • Boiling water
  • Raw sugar or sanding sugar

Prepare your mise en place and preheat the oven to 150 degrees C/ 300 degrees F.

Mise en place

Place the cream, milk, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, and extract the vanilla pod.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks and eggs until well blended and it just starts to lighten to a pale yellow and thickens, do not allow the mixture to foam.

If you use a hand mixer keep it on speed 2 or lower

Add the cream-milk mixture in a steady stream, whisking continuously, to temper the the egg mixture.

The stream should be about as thin as above, to prevent curdling the egg mixture

Pour the liquid through a chinois or a fine sieve into a large measuring jug.

This step insures a smooth custard

Boil about 2 liters/ 2 quarts of water.

I find an electric kettle boils fastest, but a kettle on the stove works just as well

Pour the custard from the measuring jug into 6 (6-ounce) ramekins.

We have found pouring from a measuring jug is easier than pouring from the sauce pot

Place the ramekins into a large roasting pan or large baking dish. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

For extra assurance pour the boiling water into the pan close to the oven to prevent the water from splashing onto the custard

Bake just until the creme brulee is set in each ramekin, but still jiggly  in the center, approximately 30 to 40 minutes depending on your oven. Transfer the custards immediately, with tongs, to a cooling rack.

Please use tongs the ramekins are extremely hot.

Allow the ramekins and custard to cool down to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, a full day is best, but it can be stored up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Sprinkle the raw sugar evenly over the top of the custard.

Start from the center and work out, in a circular motion, to the rim

 Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top.

I find a normal torch works best

 Allow the creme brulee to sit for a few minutes before serving.

Top torched sugar should be shiny, warm, and have a crunchy top

 Once the Crème Brûlées have been torched they best served within minutes for optimum flavor.



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