Crème brûlée – you expect delectable vanilla bean custard topped with the crunch of caramelized sugar. The fun and tasty element to this version is the surprise at the bottom.
For our anniversary, Jack and I dined at the best restaurant in Point Hope. To begin the meal, the sous chef prepared a simple salad while the head chef created individual plates of Alaska sashimi appetizers: thinly sliced Kodiak scallops along with perfect crescents of Alaska Gulf sweet shrimp presented beautifully with a small mound of wasabi and a side dish of soy sauce. The next course was a pair of tender USDA prime filet mignons pan-seared to perfection and served with sautéed shiitake mushrooms and sweet onions. The main dish was accompanied by baked Yukon gold potatoes and a dollop of dill sour cream.
The pastry chef thought we should enjoy something creamy at the end of this meal, but she wanted to provide a pleasant surprise. As we cracked the caramelized tops and dipped through the vanilla bean infused custard, our spoons hit a layer of chocolate ganache that made the dessert truly special. Marital bliss and a perfect meal – another day in paradise.
Two-Tone Crème Brûlée for Two
- chocolate ganache (see below)
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- tiny pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp granulated sugar for topping
- Fill bottoms of two 4-ounce ramekins with chocolate ganache. Ganache should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Set ramekins aside.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place an oven rack in the slightly lower than center position.
- Whisk milk, heavy whipping cream, sugar, salt, and vanilla paste in a medium pot over medium heat. Whisk until mixture steams and almost boils. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Stir cream mixture into the eggs one tablespoon at a time until the egg mixture is warmed. Once mixture is warmed, increase addition of cream mixture to 1/4 cup at a time. This will prevent eggs from cooking and scrambling.
- Gently pour mixture into two 4-ounce ramekins.
- Set ramekins in a baking dish. Pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the ramekins.
- Bake uncovered in preheated oven until desserts are softly set, about 45 minutes. The centers will jiggle.
- Remove baking dish with ramekins from oven and let desserts come to room temperature while in water bath on counter.
- Chill ramekins in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Right before serving, sprinkle 1 teaspoon granulated sugar evenly on each dessert.
- Use a kitchen torch to slightly brown and caramelize the granulated sugar. Let cool for ten minutes and serve.
- 1/2 cup quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- Place chocolate chips into a small glass bowl.
- Pour cream into a small heavy bottomed pan.
- Heat cream until it comes to a boil.
- Pour cream over chocolate chips, ensuring all chips are immersed.
- Let bowl sit for about 4 minutes.
- Whisk mixture just in the center of bowl in order to emulsify the chocolate and the cream. Once emulsion occurs, begin to mix the rest of the melted chips.
- Continue whisking until mixture is silky smooth and shiny.