Saturday night was my graduation party with my fellow students. This is how it started:
And then this is the last thing I remember:
Apparently I made a lot of travel plans.
While I should have been writing papers, I decided to do something much more delicious. Baking.
My lovely auntie was coming for a very exciting visit and emailed me a recipe with a demand: make this for me.
Usually I’m up for anything, but this particular request was a little terrifying. You see, I’ve tried to make this before- and it was a disaster. I haven’t tried since Thanksgiving 2003. The failure was utterly devastating ten years ago.
You see, my aunt sent in a recipe for creme brulee.
My absolute favourite thing ever in the world to eat for dessert. I was given a torch for my birthday. It was going to be amazing. It was a soupy mess. Even on my scale it was less than a 1. It was a -10. Inedible.
But, I do like this auntie. And I did not want to disappoint. And I was bored of writing about social enterprise.
So I went for it: Coconut Creme Brulee.
Here’s the tricky thing about this evil recipe: it only has four ingredients. It appears incredible easy to make.
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
200 milliliters of whipping cream
200 milliliters of unsweetened coconut milk
8 tsp sugar
Totally easy. Totally make-able. Sign me up. I could totally make French food better than any other pastry chef west of Paris.
I was determined.
Cream sugar and egg yolks. Perfect.
Make breakfast with left over egg whites.
Heat cream and coconut milk. Don’t let that stuff boil. Bad news.
Tidbit: Don’t buy “lite” coconut milk. It’s a waste of money for basically watered down coconut milk. Just water it down at home.
But don’t use “lite” coconut milk. Also, don’t buy things that spell light wrong.
Then add in the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks. Be careful. The last time I tried doing this I made scrambled eggs, and was horrible.
Then get your mom’s ramekins and fill those suckers up.
At this point you have to learn from my mistake. BE CAREFUL. Don’t put the water in before you put it in the oven. You will spill and you will be devastated.
Once it’s on the rack in the oven pour in some hot water from a kettle. For you cosmopolitan folks this is called a “bain marie”. Literally “Mary’s bath”, which according to cooking sources is described as “whose proverbial gentleness can be likened to the gentleness of this cooking technique”. It is the holiest way to bake a dessert. Baking like a virgin.
Here’s the tricky part. It said to cook it at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Or until custard is set. Here’s the problem I ran into, at 25 minutes it was still soupy. It reminded me of my previous failure. So I let it keep cooking for another 20 minutes. Then I took it out. I was terrified that I had ramekins full of scrambled eggs.
But at this step I feel as though I have committed. No looking back- we’re going to the end.
When you bring them out, let them cool, and put them into the fridge, then carefully transport them to home.
And here’s where I decided to make some decisions on my own. I personally hate when I have creme brulee and the custard is cold. It doesn’t taste right, it needs to be room temperature, but creamy. So I decided to take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before I burned that sugar.
Last time I did this I had a kitchen torch to use, but it is packed away. This time I used the broiler to make it all nice and burnt.
What the what? It looks good. But I was slightly terrified. Let’s get some coconut toasted.
I was more than terrified to crack into it. But I was delightfully surprised.
Not bad. If I had to critique my own it would definitely be a huge improvement from the last time. It would be at least a solid 5/10. We could improve it. But at least it wasn’t a soupy mess.