Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sugar Encrusted Day Dreams

I have a culinary vision just wafting around in mind, just waiting to hit the palette. I realize that waft is an interesting word to use in this opener, but it will give my mom a little giggle I think.

My dad is here visiting, well not really visiting so much as being an encaptured slave in our house. And he's a little fun to spoil. So a delightful little dinner is in order. But we have work to do. So it will have to wait until Saturday or so.. And we have work to do that day as well, but when there's a will, you know the rest..

So, I don't want to give to much away. But I can tell you that Creme Brulee is perhaps my favorite dessert. Well, it's in the family of my favorite desserts, pudding! Well, custard, technically. Perhaps I'll give you the shopping list here at the end, and then Saturday morning, we can prepare this whim together and all enjoy while miles away on a crisp fall Saturday evening. I guess you'll have to trust me, as it has never before been attempted. It's possible it has, so don't Google it, as I will like to think that it hasn't.

I'm so excited! Included in my little day dream, you'll need a steak that you find indulgent and some charcoal... Ohh, this is like Christmas! Come on Saturday!

Here's what we'll need from the store: (for dessert anyways, I'd also recommend a steak, baguette and butter, some asparagus to throw on the grill... If I think of anything else, I'll let you know) Also, grab an orange and some pecans, I'm thinking that some orange butter or an orange vinaigrette would be lovely over the asparagus and some pecans would give a nice crunch and touch of fall. I'll provide more thorough plans for that when I think of something. The ingredients below will make four servings.

1-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
Possibly 4 teaspoons amaretto, no need to buy any if you don't have on hand unless you want to
Vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar
Dash kosher salt
A couple tea bags that peak your interest, I'm torn between The Republic of Teas Vanilla Almond or Ginger Peach..

That's it. If you happened to have lavender growing and in bloom (or a neighbor who does..), I made lavender sugar a couple of weeks ago that's rather lovely and I think I'll top my brulees with it. If you have some and are interested in doing the same, I'll tell you how I did it. If you don't, just use plain sugar - no worries!

Lavender Sugar - I picked the blossoms off the plant and mixed them with a cup or two of sugar. No science here, just what ever floats your fancy. Then I wanted to dry it a bit so I didn't have to worry about something funky happening with the blossoms. So I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkled the sugar over it. Placed in the oven on it's lowest setting for a few minutes, then turned the oven off and cracked the door open and stirred occasionally. I wanted to get it nice and dry, but not risk melting the sugar. Then, I just lifted the corners of the paper together to work as a funnel and poured it into a pint jar. And the aroma, it's going to dance around the air of the entire house.

That weekend, I made French toast and sprinkled some of the lavender sugar into the milk mixture, yumm! The possibilities are almost endless! If you wanted to just dry the lavender or buy dried lavender from the spice isle, you could mix a bit with granulated sugar and then I would give it a couple whirrs in the food processor and use as the sugar in your sugar cookies, lovely as well.

As for now, lets hurry and wait for Saturday!

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