Friday, March 07, 2014

Chai Creme Brulee

Was walking home from the Market a month ago with some chai tea powder from the tea store. Is smelled so amazing that I immediately started thinking about the best way to make this into a dessert. First thing that popped into my mind - Chai Creme Brulee.
When I got everything mixed together I realized I had only 1 ramekin. ONE! For those that know me, that is just weird. Started scanning the kitchen (as I had guest coming over shortly and no time to go find some) and spotted my grandmothers teacups that I never use.
Use them all the time now!


4 cups whip cream
2 to 3 tablespoons chai tea mix
4 whole eggs
4 egg yolks (make coconut macaroons with the egg whites) -or 2 two whole eggs if you prefer
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon chai spice powder (with no tea)

kettle of boiling water

For the sugar lid:
1/2 cup sugar
few tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 300°

1. Combine whip cream and chai tea mix in a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a simmer. Keep on low for 5 minutes to let the tea steep.
2. In a bowl combine 4 eggs and 4 egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla, stir to mix. If you prefer, you could substitute 2 whole eggs instead of the 4 yolks - I prefer the texture of the brule with the extra fat from the yolks. Your call. 
3. After the cream has steeped, stir a little of the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking as you add the cream. Continue diluting the eggs with cream until you have used about 1/2 the cream, then dump the egg mixture into the pot of remaining cream - whisking steadily.
4. Stir in the chai tea powder and then strain the lot through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl or measuring cup. Ladle the liquid into ramekins (usually 8 to 10 4 oz ramekins) or 7 to 8 teacups (depending on size).
5. Place the teacups into a 3 inch deep dish that can hold them all.Slowly pour about 1/2 the kettle of water into the bottom of the pan to a water bath. This will help cook the custard very gently. Place the dish in the oven, top up with remaining water until the ramekins/cups are at least half covered with water....two thirds is even better. Bake at 300 for 45 minutes, checking from 30 minutes on to see if they have set around the edges but are still a little jiggly in the middle.
6. Remove the ramekins/cups from the water bath and let cool for a few hours (in front of an open window in the winter works very well!) or better yet, in the fridge overnight.
7. About 20 to 30 minutes before serving make the sugar glaze on the stove - because I don't have a blow torch - by combining water and sugar in a heavy bottomed sauce pan set on low. Let the water/sugar warm until the sugar has dissolved, then turn the heat up to medium high and boil until the sugar turns amber. It is smokin' hot at this point and if you spill any on yourself or small humans it is going to HURT (hospital hurt!), so be careful. Remove from the heat and using a spoon, attempt to apply a very thin glaze of the dangerous amber liquid over the top of all the custards. Let set, and serve.