Monday, April 8, 2013

Honey Rosemary Crème Brûlée

I always love to try new crème brûlée recipes, and I've had this one on my list for awhile.  The husband must have known it was on mind because when I came back from work this weekend he had made a favorite soup of ours - Sweet Potato & Rosemary Soup.  And that meant there was some leftover rosemary, and I happened to have some leftover cream from the cupcakes earlier this week - perfect!

It came together very quickly, as crème brûlées do.  I really wasn't sure what to expect with the flavor, but it really turned out well.  It's an uncommon flavor combo for a dessert, but it really works.  Even the husband, who was particularly unsure of it, really liked it.

I thought a little fanned strawberry would be a lovely addition, and it was!  Not necessary by any means, but the fruity sweetness complemented the herbal note of the rosemary.

The verdict: I love the unique combination of flavors!
The husband's thoughts: The flavors worked better than expected - it was excellent.
Changes for next time: None!
Difficulty: Easy!  The only special equipment needed is a torch.

Honey Rosemary Crème Brûlée
(from Je Mange la Ville)
Makes 4 one cup or 8 half cup servings

7 egg yolks
1/4 cup white sugar plus more for topping
1/4 cup honey
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup half and half
3-4 sprigs rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour cream and half and half in a small saucepan and put in rosemary sprigs.  Bring to boil, turn off the heat and let rosemary steep for about 15 minutes.

Whisk together egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup honey in a medium bowl until smooth.  Remove rosemary from cream and half and half.  While whisking, slowly pour cream into egg mixture.  Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Set ramekins in cake pan/casserole dish.  Divide mixture between ramekins (I had 1/2 cup ramekins, but full cup would work as well).  Pour boiling water into dish, making sure to avoid getting any into the filled ramekins.  Water should be halfway up the side of the ramekins.

Place in oven and bake for 30 or more minutes.  Test by jiggling the ramekins - the edges should be set and the centers still a little jiggly.  Remove pan from oven and let ramekins cool in the water bath for a few minutes.  Remove the ramekins from the water bath, let cool a bit before placing in the refrigerator.  Chill for a few hours or overnight.

To serve, sprinkle roughly a teaspoon of sugar over the top of the crème.  Caramelize using a kitchen torch (or if your desperate, about 60 - 90 minutes under the broiler might do the trick).  Serve immediately!  You know it's done well when there's the great crack under your spoon!


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