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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ginger Cardamom Creme Brulee

Creme brulee. What is it about these two little words that makes it sound so difficult? Admittedly, the first time I thought about making this delectably creamy dessert I felt a little twinge as well. Perhaps I was nervous at turning the silky smooth texture gritty or maybe it was that I might overdo the golden, crunchy sugar crust that defines this dessert.

Set those fears aside with this easy version. The ginger and cardamom combine as a super delicate flavor; it was a perfect ending after our Curried African Bobotie; but since these flavors are delicate they can easily end any meal.

Funny that I can't really remember why I was afraid to make this mouth pleasing treat, but I'm not anymore. Making a creme brulee once will give you super sonic confidence to make more. And because everyone thinks this is a difficult dessert, you will come across as a Fat and Happy star!

Tips and techniques: Do strain the custard mixture one final time before adding to the ramekins, this will ensure a super silky texture with no little hidden lumps or bumps.

Ginger Cardamom Creme Brulee

2 cups cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbls grated or chopped ginger
5 cardamom pods, crushed
1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tsp vanilla
6 egg yolks
1 cup Greek yogurt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, heat the cream and the sugar to just below boiling, remove from heat and add the ginger, the cardamom and the vanilla. Cover and steep for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, whip yolks until they are fluffy and pale.  Strain the cream mixture and slowly add into the whipped yolks. Fold in the yogurt and strain one final time.

Pour the creme brulee into the ramekins, place the ramekins into a cake pan and pour boiling water into the pan until it reaches half way up the ramekins (this makes a water bath). Carefully place in the oven and cook until  center is just set.

Remove from the oven, allow to come to room temperature then cool in the fridge up to 1 day before serving. Sprinkle each with a few teaspoons of sugar, then melt the sugar with a hand held torch or under the broiler until browned and crispy.

Depending on the size of your ramekins, you should be able make 4- 8 desserts.

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