Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Chocolate Liqueur Creme Brulee

Alright fellas this one is for you! Valentine's Day will be here before you know it, so why not start planning the menu for your loved one now! When choosing a menu you need to pick something that will be sure to make the lady blush and since we can't cook with diamonds, the next best choice is chocolate. Creme Brulee is one of my favorite deserts to make because it is delicious and versatile. The classic vanilla creme brulee is delicious, but it is fun to infuse it with different flavors. For example, a few months ago I made a basil infused creme brulee that played on the concept of savory and sweet. I will definitely be posting more creme brulee recipes in the future, Bon Appétit!

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1-ounce chocolate liqueur
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces cocoa powder
  • 1-ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 11 large egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the heavy cream, sugar, liqueur, and vanilla. When the mixture is warm add the cocoa powder and chocolate and whisk until blended. 

Place the egg yolks in a large stainless steel bowl. Slowly add the warm chocolate mixture to the eggs, a little at a time, while whisking. Strain and pour into individual porcelain ramekins. 

Place the ramekins in a large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until firm in the center, about 30 minutes.
Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let cool completely. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Dust with sugar and caramelize with a propane torch. 

**Note: the downside to making creme brulee is that you'll need to purchase ramekins and a propane torch (unless you already have them). Don't waste your money on a culinary torch, go to either Home Depot or Lowe's and purchase a basic torch (I got one for $20).** 

Prices subject to change

 Kitchen Word of the Day

Caramelization: Is the browning of sugar, a process used extensively in cooking for the resulting nutty flavor and brown color. As the process occurs, volatile chemicals are released, producing the characteristic caramel flavor.

Like the Maillard reaction, caramelization is a type of non-enzymatic browning. However, unlike the Maillard reaction, caramelization is pyrolysis, as opposed to reaction with amino acids.

When caramelization involves the disaccharide sucrose, it is broken down into the monosaccharides fructose and glucose.

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