July 31, 2012

Chocolate Bourbon Creme Brulee

A month or so ago, I got an email from Dianna, a former colleague, asking if I'd consider a personal chef gig...she wanted to make a fabulous birthday dinner for her husband Jim. Of course, I said I absolutely would do that! 

The menu we designed featured some of Jim's favorite foods & flavors:

Salumi & Cheeses from Salume Beddu 
Lemony, Garlicky Kale Salad with Parmesan Crisps 
Coffee & Chili-Rubbed Ribeye Steaks
Pommes Dauphinoise
Creamed Summer Corn with Lime
Vanilla & Chocolate Bourbon Creme Brulee

Dianna mentioned that Jim's favorite dessert is creme brulee, so I suggested a bourbon creme brulee to fancy things up. I decided to make half of them chocolate because Dianna doesn't like traditional custards. In fact, she commented that if she liked this recipe, it would be the first creme brulee she's ever liked! 

The pressure was on.

However, everything turned out great. I felt comfortable & relaxed (as opposed to stressed & panicky). Dianna & Jim liked their meal, and I think they learned a little bit about cooking (since they were sitting around the kitchen island chatting with me and watching as I cooked). But, the best part was that Dianna ate ALL of her creme brulee! Success!
Chocolate Bourbon Creme Brulee
Thanks to the birthday boy Jim Rockwell for taking the photo.

9 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped *
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place six 3/4-cup souffle dishes or creme brulee cups in large roasting pan.
  • Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, bourbon & vanilla extract in a large bowl to blend. 
  • Bring the cream to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually & slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture.
  • Whisk the chocolate into the warm cream mixture. Ladle into the souffle dishes.
  • Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. 
  • Bake the custards until just set in center, about 30 minutes. Remove from water and cool completely. Cover &refrigerate at least 6 hours before topping with sugar & melting with a brulee torch or under a broiler. (Custards can be prepared up to 2 days ahead & kept covered in the refrigerator.)
* NOTE: To make the vanilla version, just leave out the chocolate.

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