Category Archives: Fancy Dancy

Diddy Dum Diddy Do


Nothing here but these boring cakes.

Supa dupa boring. I mean, simple white buttercream. Unadorned. Undecorated. Ungarnished.

Dull. Plain.

Yep. Bor-RAINBOW.
You saw it! A rainbow cake! This feller took forever to create, but it was so much fun to play with as well.

The batter was simple and delicious, very moist. However, I don’t know if it was just me, but I followed the recipe to a “T” but despite the toothpick coming out clean, the tops of the cakes felt almost unbaked, so I baked them five minutes longer than the recipe recommended. This didn’t dry the cakes out or cause them to be darkened on the edges, but the tops remained the same. Not sticky, but they left a divot. I just leveled them off and was fine and good, I just thought it was odd. I blame the butter.

Wait, what am I saying? Don’t blame the butter! The butter did nothing wrong!

In order to maintain even layers, I took the batter and weighed it in a separate bowl. This made more dishes, so I would weigh the mixing bowl first, write that weight down, then make the batter and weigh it, then take off the weight of the bowl. The batter, for me, weighed 3 pounds 10 ounces, so when that was divided into six portions, each would be 9.6667 ounces, or 9.7 ounces.

I don’t like math, but I do it for you all. You can thank me later.

Then I have to make this

    exponentially

important statement. I bolded it, but if you could do me a favor and imagine some flashing lights around it, that would be greatly appreciated.

DO NOT USE LIQUID FOOD COLORS ONLY USE GEL FOOD COLORS!

If you use liquid food colors, it would offset the delicate balance of liquid to dry ingredients in the batter, thereby messing with the baked product. In other words, it might make it too liquidy in the end with the amount of food color you might use.

Oh, gel food colors are probably about 5 or 6 times more concentrated than liquid food colors, so you will need a lot less. That’s important too. You can find them for cheap at your local craft store in the baking isle, or I get mine at a bakery supply store. You’ll find that they are super easy to use.

I’m telling ya, man, if you don’t use gel food colors, your layers will not be as blinding as these.

All in all, its a pretty normal sized cake once the layers are all stacked up, equalling to about the size of a tall double layer cake. Its not like you baked the amount of batter for three cakes, its basically the amount of a normal cake batter. Where is all this verbage and analyzing coming from? These colors are messing with my brain. Just think, if you make two of these cakes…

That would probably be my reaction too.

Even though the cake wasn’t that tall, it did require a lot of frosting, so I applied a relatively thin amount in between each layer. I do have to admit, I really don’t like massive amounts of frosting, so this amount was adequate, and I sliced really small slices. The one in the picture is an exception. Or was it? Don’t judge.

Now listen. Once your layers have been assembled, don’t dump on a massive amount of frosting and cover the cake right away. You might get crumbs to cover your cake, and we want to deceive! Any indication of color might make your cake followers curious! They may question! To prevent that, spread on a small amount of frosting all over the cake. Like in the picture, you will still see the cake layers pretty well. Now stick your cake in the freezer for about five or ten minutes.

Trust in Clara, you must.

It’s called a ‘crumb coat’, basically, the frosting will catch and hold onto the straying cake crumbs and hold them onto the cake when you frost. By sticking it in the freezer, the crumb coat becomes hard because of the butter, and so the crumbs are cemented to the thin layer of frosting, and they will not invade your lovely white buttercream which you will spread on the outside. The result? Boring, inconspicuous cake. Perfect method of deceit.

Bright and shiny. Ultra colorful. This cake is about as delicious as it is saturated in color. It will make a great birthday cake! Or if you get that sudden urge to make something wacky.

Rainbow Cake via Whisk Kid

White Cake (but not really)
Ingredients
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
2 1/3 c (466 g) sugar
5 egg whites, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 c (375 g) flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 c (355 g) milk, warmed for 30 sec in microwave to bring to room temp
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple GEL food coloring. Liquid will not be vibrant enough!

Method
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Oil and line how ever many 9” cake pans you have (I have three and I just reused them).

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites (I cracked them all into one bowl) and add them a little at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.

Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls (I did it by weight. Weigh your mixing bowl before you begin adding ingredients and then subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement after the batter is completed. Divide that number by six and add that weight of batter to each bowl), and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each.

When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly.

American Buttercream (you may want to double this)
Ingredients
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
4 C. Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1 T. Vanilla Extract
2 T. Milk, plus more if needed

Method
1. In a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until fluffy, about one minute.
2. Add in powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until thoroughly combined.
3. Add in vanilla extract and milk. If the frosting is too thick, add in more milk, one tablespoon at a time, until frosting achieves your desired consistency.
4. Frost!

Happy Baking!
Clara

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A Busy Week


I’m sorry, bu I have been tremendously busy this week. Between work and baking well over 10 dozen cookies to decorate and ship out before tomorrow (which means, I’m already late 🙂 ) and having my sister and her family come over last week to celebrate my neice’s 1st birthday and my mom’s birthday, I simply have not been able to post too well! But I will show you the party favors! Don’t worry, there will be posts this week, that’s a promise, I assure you. Because I have compiled a ton of pictures and they need to be shared!

I made French Macarons! With a vanilla and raspberry filling, I could have made he green minty, but I made it vanilla because I wasn’t sure as to how mint and raspberries would get along. It all sorted out just fine though. What I did was reserved the egg whites from the ice cream that I made and aged them, covered, in the refrigerator for 48 hours as opposed to 24 hours at room temperature, because I am freaky like that.

With a little pixie dust, (i.e. confectioners sugar and cocoa powder), these puppies really stood out.

Buuut, not quite as cute as this puppy.


And don’t worry, she wasn’t light on smashing the smash cake.

Mommy (aka, my sister, Christine) was there to confirm.

There we have it!

I’ll see you tomorrow!

Happy Baking!
Clara

My Favorite Breakfast


I love yogurt, I live for yogurt, I live to die and come back to life for yogurt. When I landed back in the big city, the first thing I thought about was yogurt. Just kidding, the first thing I thought about was my happiness and glee of being home, then yogurt. Well, it would have been that, except in all actuality, the second thing I thought about was the anxiety that the airliner brought me when I discover that my larger bag, with all of my clothes and Christmas gifts (and Wii) had been misplaced and was NOT on the baggage claim. Ahhh, freakout time. Luckily, they located it, to find out that it had been misplaced and was coming on a later plane. So, I came to the airport at two, after my much needed and SUPER DELICIOUS lunch with my daddy, get my bag, then come home. Wonderful! Yogurt.

Despite what many would think, I am a health nut. I exercise, work hard to eat the recommended values of fruits, vegetables, and protein in the day, all while staying in a 1200-1300 calorie limit, according to how much exercise that I had gotten that day. I have never liked milk in the least bit, but I love yogurt, so I get my dairy and calcium from that. That being said, I am obsessed with Frozen Yogurt (Fro-Yo), I always go to the self-serve places and get 9 ounces of plain tart with vanilla, then top with strawberries and raspberries. This is a typical lunch for me, it keeps me full for FOREVER. They have two places in Savannah that I always hit up, I couldn’t live without my yogurt.

I discovered a method of creating my own Fro-Yo by using Fage Greek Yogurt. This isn’t product placement, its just the only company I really know of. Greek yogurt is an extremely thick yogurt that comes from straining . I had tried the 0% (or skim) several times, thinking it would be like the plain tart. Well, plain tart is sweetened, and I realized this after trying it. I didn’t like it the first time I had it, mainly because it is SO tart and so thick that it was always overwhelming to the palate. I was determined to find out what to do, because I wanted to enjoy this yogurt and eat it frequently, because 8 ounces of it contains 120 calories and, get this, 20 grams of protein. That’s more than a chicken breast. Just saying.

Sugar, yes, has calories, but really, there isn’t a ton of sugar in this, an 8 ounce serving is 270 calories (which is the same per ounce of self-serve Fro-Yo) and contains the same amount of protein. I could only have about 6 ounces though, it fills you up so much! 6 ounces of this yogurt is 170 calories with 13 grams of protein, with the addition of vitamin C in berries or fiber in whatever bran flakes or cereal bits that you choose to top it with. That’s the magic of all! What’s also good is the ability to control the sugar, I used about 3/4 c. of sugar, that was sweet enough for me, 1/2 cup wasn’t quite enough, it was still extremely tart. After this, I used good-quality vanilla extract to really brighten up the flavor. What tied it all together was the 1/2 tsp. of sea salt, it was a good way to round out the flavor.

Be sure to taste as you go!

The yogurt is thick, sure, but it still has a lot of water that we can get out, it imparts no flavor to the yogurt and just adds a higher risk for ice crystals. So, an overnight trip in the fridge in a fine mesh strainer lined with two layers of paper towels set over a bowl would get all of that excess out.

Look at all of that water! There was at least 1/2 cup in there!

Look at how thick it got! Heck! It’s like cheese! Delicious vanilla-y cheese. Now, this is too thick to pour into the ice cream maker, so I added milk to thin it out a bit.

I know what you’re thinking, “We just took out all of that water…to add milk? What’s WRONG with you?” I HAVE AN ANSWER, KIDDIES! As I said earlier, the water gives the yogurt no flavor, it’s just there. The milk adds more of a rich background to the yogurt, rounding out the flavor even more without taking away the wonderful tartness that is the yogurt.

A twenty minute trip in the ice cream maker got it to the perfect consistency!

Topped with strawberries (I had frozen here, just chopped up and thawed), this was the ideal and filling breakfast that I needed! It was a hit with the ‘rents as well!

The difficulty here is storing, yogurt doesn’t have enough fat in it (or in this case, none, despite the touch of milk) to stay soft and scoopable when stored in the freezer. So, I got some small, individual serving cups and evenly divided the leftovers up into them, that way if I wanted some yogurt, I could just pull out a serving, let it thaw a bit and enjoy it all the same.

Give it a try! Please! Its SOOOO delicious!

Greek Fro-Yo
Ingredients
2 17.4 oz. Cartons of Greek Yogurt (Total [Whole] or 0% [Skim], any fat content you want)
1/2-3/4 c. Granulated Sugar, according to your taste
1 T. Vanilla Extract (Optional)
1/4 tsp. Fine Sea Salt
1/2 c. Milk (any fat content)

Chopped Fresh Fruit (Recommended: Strawberries, Raspberries, Kiwi, Blackberry, Mango, Banana, etc.) or whatever topping you want.

Method
-Freeze Ice Cream Maker bowl according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Line a fine-mesh strainer with two layers of paper towels and set over a bowl, making sure to have at least an inch of space underneath. Set aside.
1. In a bowl, mix together yogurt with sugar, starting with the lower amount and add more according to your taste. Add in salt and vanilla extract (optional) and stir well to combine.
2. Pour mixture into the prepared strainer, cover with paper towels and cover with plastic wrap and allow to strain overnight.
3. Place strained mixture into a bowl and discard the water, stir in milk.
4. Start up the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions and gently pour in the yogurt. Freeze until the yogurt reaches soft-serve consistency. Serve topped with your favorite toppings.

-To store, divide the fro-yo into individual serving cups and freeze. Allow to thaw for 10 minutes or so before enjoying in order to get that wonderful consistency back!

Happy Baking!
Clara

Lemon Meringue Pie: Haute Couture


I feel that there isn’t quite a pretty site as much a slice of pie is. There are so many different styles, colors, looks, designs, rustic, clean, edgy, safe. Pie is so pretty that it is like fashion. But we don’t wear pie. Well, your hips do, but as clothes, no. But I think that, out of the entire baking world, pie is like couture, haute couture, French Vogue, Italian Vogue. Not really, but you get the picture. Pie can look so pretty, yet ugly, but that ugliness is a sort of pretty ugly. Sometimes you look at a rustic pie and go “Oooh…no…well, I’ll have a slice though.”, and sometimes you look at a rustic pie and go, “…Mother…”

What do I think is the prettiest pie? I think that the prettiest pie, but also the safest (but oh so much my favorite), is the Lemon Meringue. A cooked lemony custard topped with a meringue and torched until golden. But what do we know about the humble lemon meringue pie? I love the stuff. A soft, lemony custard. A cloud of light and fluffy meringue, torched to a pretty golden on top. A flaky, slightly salty crust. Everything about the gosh darned thing is delicious, but let’s think here. All of the lemon meringue pies that I have had are not quite tart enough. Being a child of my father, everything has to be sour when it comes to lemon [em]anything[/em]. Our lemon bars, our lemon drops, our lemonade, lemons. Everything short of our vehicles. We don’t want those to be sour lemons. In fact, we don’t want those to be lemons. That wouldn’t be good at all.

But I’m not on the subject of cars here, that isn’t something that I established this blog on. So, let me get started. When we want something to be more tart, we add more lemon juice and less sugar, which is what I did. I had a supremely LARGE lemon (I mean, almost the size of a small orange!), and a regular sized one. This, combined, yielded about 2/3 cup of lemon juice. Also, I zested the small one, and zested half of the large one. By doing this, we add a significant amount of lemon flavor (and ZING!) to the custard. I added 2/3 plus 1/4 cup of Sugar to sweeten it (only a bit!) it out. And, of course the cornstarch!

Let me explain the science of the starch of corn (or kerrrrn, as I always say). First, we dissolve it into the liquid. At this point, the starch granules are just hanging out, they won’t really have anything to do with the water molecules at this point. This is why the liquid is an opaque white color, instead of a translucent, yellow-y tone that we are familiar with. This is when heat comes into the picture. We heat the mixture to basically activate the starchy molecules, so that they will basically turn into sponges and absorb the liquid around them. When they absorb the liquid, they get bigger. They get bigger and bigger with the more liquid they take in, until they POOF, explode! Sending their magic starchy innards all through the solution. They bind and do all sorts of natural chemistry-type stuff, resulting in the thickening of the concoction. Ka-chow! Gel! Immediately after this happens, the yolks are added and as a result, cooked, then butter follows promptly.

Then you pour it into your prebaked pie shell. I don’t know how this crust recipe manages to work every time, but it does, and its just wonderful. My secret here in this specific recipe (for the lemon meringue) is that I add just a LITTLE bit extra salt. Not too much. Instead of a scant 1/2 tsp, I add a full 1/2 tsp, this makes the crust just slightly salty, which makes it sour and sweet and salty all at the same time. It’s a mind game, I’m tellin’ ya! A MIND GAME.

So many complimentary flavors, so little time!

Since I formed the crust in a more rustic-looking manner (I’ve never been able to adequately do the pinched crust-dealio, so I just kept it rough looking), I decided to go purty with the meringue. I made a seven-minute frosting (basically a cooked meringue, no raw egg whites for me, please) and piped it on using a Wilton #1M tip.

I’m so obsessed with this torch, its not even funny.

Alternatively, you can place the pie with the meringue in a 375 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, just to brown the meringue.

Awh! It’s purty! Purty enough to eat! *withdraws knife* Buahahahaaaa!

Imagine now the legendary actor Jack Nicholson, hide the pie in the bathroom, shut the door, and give him an axe.

That didn’t make me happy at all.

Now, I’m just scared.

Oh! Now I feel better!

*plays “Feelin’ Good”*

Meet the tart lemon meringue pie. My version of Versace Couture.
It will make you feel good too.

Almost-Puckeringly-Tart Lemon Meringue Pie
Ingredients
1/2 Recipe Seven-Minute Frosting
PIE CRUST
1 1/4 C. All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Granulated Sugar
6 T. Unsalted Butter, cold and cut into chunks
1/4 C. Vegetable Shortening, cut into chunks
2 T. Ice Water

FILLING
2/3 C. Lemon Juice (about 3 small lemons)
Zest from 1 & 1/2 lemons
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/3 C. Corn Starch
2/3 plus 1/4 C. Sugar
3/4 C. Water
3 eggs, separated (use the whites for the meringue)
3 T. Unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Method
-Prepare Crust-
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl, whisk together to combine. Add in butter and shortening, and blend using a pastry cutter until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add in water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough clumps together. Combine into a ball and allow to sit for about five minutes, wrap with plastic wrap first.
2. Roll out into a 10″ round, and gently transfer and press into a 9″ pie pan. Dock the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork, and on the sides. Gently press tin foil along the bottom and sides of the crust and fill with pie weights/rice/dry beans. Bake in preheated oven for ten minutes, remove beans and foil, bake for 12 minutes longer, or until crust is lightly golden. Allow to cool completely.
3. Prepare filling. Combine water, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and corn starch in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisking occasionally, bring the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture has thickened into a gel, remove from heat.
4. Whisking vigorously, add egg yolks, one at a time, making sure to get each incorporated thoroughly before adding the next addition. Once egg yolks are in, add in butter and whisk until the butter is melted. Pour mixture into cooled pie crust.
5. Prepare seven-minute frosting according to linked recipe. For a rustic look, spoon frosting on top of pie and spread all around, being sure to cover the filling completely along the sides. Smooth or make spiky on top. Alternatively, you can pipe decoratively.
6. Torch the meringue until golden, or bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, until the meringue is golden. Allow to cool to room temperature, then chill until cold.

Happy Baking!
Clara

A Stroke of Genius?


I was totally inspired by the Creme Brulee that I made the other day, I was also inspired by the probably too-dangerous-to-be-held-and-functioned-by-Clara kitchen torch.

So, I made cupcakes.

I made the white cupcakes, filled them with vanilla bean pastry cream, topped them with some sugar, then TORCHED EM.

It took a lot of figuring out, the cupcakes were fussy, and I filled about a dozen of them too much, and they…weren’t pretty enough to even mess with. So, I took the ones that I filled just right (the batter worked for about 1/2 full in the liners). I cut a hole in them, filled, topped, topped again, and buuuurrrnnned until crispy.

Don’t you love it when things worked?

The concept is a lot of fun, but it is a bit time consuming, as the pastry cream is homemade and has to absolutely cooled, but that’s alright, if your bored.

So what are you waiting for?

Give it a go!!

Creme Brulee Cupcakes
Ingredients
1 Recipe Pastry Cream (NOTE: I used scraped vanilla bean seeds in mine!)
About 2 1/2 Dozen White Cake Cupcakes
Sugar

Method
NOTE: Make the pastry cream a few hours beforehand, so that it can cool completely.
1. Take a paring knife to the center of the cupcakes, and gently cut a circle around the top, then lift out the center of the cupcake as gently as you can. Its alright if you are messy, though. Reserve the tops.
2. Gently spoon in the cooled pastry cream into the cavity of the cupcake, filling almost to the top, then gently press the top of the cupcake back on.
3. Sprinkle each cupcake with about 1 tsp. of sugar, making sure to get sugar everywhere on the top of the cupcake.
4. Start up your kitchen torch according to the manufacturer’s instructions and hold it directly above each cupcake, while constantly moving. Melt the sugar until a caramelly-color forms, if some turns a bit black, that is alright. Allow the caramel to cool a couple minutes so that it has a chance to harden.
5. Enjoy! These are best if served immediately, because the caramel won’t stay hard if kept in the refrigerator. That doesn’t mean they won’t be great the next day though! Will save 2 days, covered in the refrigerator.

Happy Baking!
Clara

Crème Brûlée


There’s something absolutely rewarding about burning things because the recipe requires you to. It gives you the opportunity (or me..) to go out and buy a kitchen torch because the sheer idea of owning one makes me glee.

What are you looking at me like that for? I’m not a pyromaniac…maybe. But that’s not the point here, the point here is that we are making crème brûlée, or the most-obnoxiously-lettered-yet-hyper-delicious-custard that will make you feel like a saint and a sinner all at the exact same time. There ain’t nothing wrong with that, admit it, there isn’t.

I told my parents that, one of my baking goals on the baking-pre-college-bucket-list was to make crème brûlée. The idea of it seems intimidating. I mean, custard? I’m a surefire flan fan, but I’ve heard so many stories about how difficult it is to achieve correctly, so I was a bit nervous. But that’s the fun of it, really, the challenge. At least, for me it is. For all I know, you have made crème brûlée a billion times before and you are merely scoffing at my insecurities. Yooooou.

Anyway, when I completed these, I got the happiest feeling when I got to tap the spoon on the hardened caramel and heard that exciting “crrrk!” that told me I had SUCCESS. Ahhh, excuse me, I just got really happy.

If I can make it, then you can too! Come on! Let’s go!

First, let’s start with the basics. Like preheating the oven, making sure your torch has butane (or skipping this step entirely when you know that having a broiler works JUST. FINE. it’s true, dang, why didn’t I think of that at first), and getting your crème brûlée mixture at the ready. First, bring your cream and milk to a GENTLE simmer with the sugar and vanilla bean paste. What is vanilla bean paste? Why, its a genius mix of ultra concentrated vanilla bean seeds and a little extract. The flavor is so powerful, you won’t believe it. I had some of this left over from when I had gotten it from Williams Sonoma on a gift card months ago. It works wonderfully in cookies if you wan’t a little extra kick of vanilla without having to use an expensive bean. Ahem. Anyway, once your cream mixture has cooled a bit, go ahead and temper the eggs. Add a little cream them while whisking vigorously so that you don’t get any scrambled eggs in your custard, since that makes anyone cry like a little baby. Pour slowly, and you can speed up a bit when you have warmed the eggs enough, just keep whisking. Be sure to scrape the saucepan down as well! There are TONS of vanilla seeds left in it always.

These guys almost got away! Phew. Maybe next-time-I-mean-NEVER.
There will be a lot of foam on top, that just comes from the cream and the eggs. Skim the foam from the top and discard or eat, what have you. It just isn’t what you want here, because if that foam gets into the ramekins, then it will bake into, you guessed it, custardized foam.

Pour the custard (oh, prettiest color EVER) into your ramekins, I managed to get about seven ramekins worth of custard in here, so be wary of that. Be sure to stop a little shy of the rim, we don’t want to spill any! Also, make sure that your ramekins are in a baking pan that can hold them all (I used two separate ones in two ovens, four in one, three in the other). Then get your hot water.

And gently pour it in, make sure you don’t get any water in your custards! Fill until the water is about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set. When I put a paring knife into one, it came out a little wet, but clean. Just make sure that it’s CLEAN, you can’t avoid the wet.

There we go! Now, to achieve absolute creaminess and yumminess, you have to chill these for a few hours. Distract yourself, or at least try to. I assure you, you won’t regret the time when you try these later on!


Mine all got a bit wrinkly when they chilled, but that’s alright, I’m TORCHING THEM! It’s time to break out the RING OF FIREEE. So, sprinkle about two teaspoons of superfine sugar over the custards. Superfine sugar will melt more easily and caramelize quickly so we won’t have to worry about heating the cold custard, just put some sugar in a food processor and process for about a minute or two, that’ll give you the right granule size! Start up your torch, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and hold it parallel to the sugar. Keep it moving as you go and make sure that you don’t hold it in the same spot. If you do, you will have one spot of burned sugar and hot custard while the rest is still granulated. Be careful. When your sugar is melted and nice and dark, leave it alone for about three minutes for the sugar to cool and harden, at this point, its sticky and hot, it will not crack when you think it will. I promise, your patience will be rewarded.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a kitchen torch, turn your oven’s broiler onto high and allow it to heat for about three or five minutes, we want it nice and hot. Sprinkle the sugar on the custards and place them on a baking tray, then put them under the broiler on the top rack. Watch them CLOSELY it shouldn’t take more than thirty seconds for the sugar to melt and caramelize. Remove immediately and allow the sugar to cool and harden.

I was impatient and didn’t take it any darker, but I know that would have been amazing.

Tap tap tap crack! Oh, what a wonderful noise!

So rich and decadent, you can’t stand it!

Excuse me, I need to run about three more miles.
Crème Brûlée
Ingredients
1 C. Heavy Cream
1 C. Whole Milk
1/4 C. Granulated Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean (or 1 T. Vanilla Bean Paste or Extract)
4 Egg Yolks
1 Whole Egg

Hot Water
Superfine Sugar
Method
-Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare seven to eight ramekins inside a large baking dish (or split them up and use two ovens). Set aside.
1. In a medium saucepan, combine cream and milk with the vanilla and sugar, heat over medium heat, stirring until the mixture comes to a simmer and the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
2. Place egg yolks and eggs in a bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Temper the eggs by slowly adding in the cream mixture while whisking thoroughly, speed up when you come toward the end, making sure that no scrambled eggs are in the mixture. If you like, you can strain it.
3. Pour the custard into the ramekins, filling just shy of the lip. Pour hot water into the baking dish until it is halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the middles barely jiggle and a paring knife inserted into the center comes out wet yet clean. Place ramekins in the refrigerator and allow to chill for several hours (2 hours minimum).
4. Sprinkle chilled custard with 2 tsp. superfine sugar and start up a kitchen torch, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and hold the flame parallel over the sugar. While continuously moving the flame, melt the sugar and allow it to caramelize to an amber color.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a kitchen torch, turn your oven’s broiler onto high and allow it to heat for about three or five minutes, we want it nice and hot. Sprinkle the sugar on the custards and place them on a baking tray, then put them under the broiler on the top rack. Watch them CLOSELY it shouldn’t take more than thirty seconds for the sugar to melt and caramelize. Remove immediately.

Allow custard to rest for 3-5 minutes, so that the sugar may cool and harden.
5. Enjoy!

Happy Baking!
Clara