A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

“Master Chef” Espresso Creme Brulee January 9, 2010

Filed under: dessert — frappqueen @ 11:03 pm

Oh my! My dish is finally done and ready for inspection tomorrow! As you hopefully read in my previous entry, tomorrow I’m auditioning for the FOX reality show Master Chef!! I do not really think I will be on it, but I am pleased to say that I DO think my dish came out amazing!

I was not sure what to prepare at first. They say to come with a prepared dish that can be served at room temperature. It is open casting, so you wait in a long line most likely for hours. So, what to prepare seemed daunting.

I LOVE making risotto and I know that Gordon Ramsey loves a good risotto, but the problem with that was serving it. It’s no good once it cools down, it becomes gluey and gross. Besides, this is purely for fun, so why stress myself out over it? And of course, I can’t serve something that I KNOW is no good! So, the idea of dessert became more appealing. It is really my favorite thing to cook and of course it can be served at room temperature usually…but it had to be impressive!

Finally, I found a great recipe for low-fat espresso crème brûlée! Winner! As I was shopping for the ingredients though I realized it was silly to try a brand new recipe that was low fat on judges of a cooking contest. They do not care if it is good for you, they only care about taste. Besides, the recipe called for dry milk and they only sell it by the crate-load! So, I opted to sort of meld two recipes together using real heavy cream like a good pastry chef would, and then added a bit of my own invention. The result? Amazing if I do say so myself!

ooh la la!

I must say, preparing them was NOT one of my easier projects. It took a LONG time. The eggs were being crazy and cracking lengthwise! I had never seen anything like it! I ended up adding a fifth egg yolk as mine seemed small and I was afraid it would not be custardy enough. Then as I was preparing it and tasting it, it didn’t taste like espresso enough to me. That’s when I thought quickly and brewed a cup of Kona on my Keurig and tossed some in. Success!

Here is what I did:

Master Chef Espresso Creme Brulee

1 extra-large egg

4 extra-large egg yolks

1 cup espresso beans

1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving

3 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 tablespoons bold brewed coffee (I used Kona)


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In your electric mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together on low speed until just combined. Meanwhile, heat the cream in a small saucepan with the vanilla and espresso beans until it’s very hot to the touch but not boiled, if you have a thermometer it should be about 180 degrees. Remove from heat and cover with a lid. Let the cream steep with the espresso for about a half hour…longer if you want more of an espresso taste, but not so long it cools down. Strain the liquid into a measuring cup or bowl. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream to the eggs. Add the brewed coffee and give the liquid a taste. Adjust it as you see fit! You do not want it to taste excessively of coffee; more like a cup with much cream and sugar added. Using a ladle or measuring cup, pour the liquid evenly into four or five ramekins, but do not fill all the way to the top.

Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. or at least 1 inch.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken. Mine took about 40 minutes. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm. I must confess, we could NOT wait and ate ours at room temperature and they were still amazing!

Now comes the fun part! spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar carmelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens. Pick up your spoon a la Amelie, and crack into that sugary crust! Enjoy!

*This recipe was adapted from a combination of recipes found on Foodnetwork.com and CookingLight.com! Though I must confess, I added the coffee all on my own 🙂


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