Crème Brûlée

This Christmas I received a very exciting present: a chef’s torch, which neatly combines my love of making fancy desserts with my love of setting things on fire. I have wanted one since I was about 15 years old, and this year my husband obliged me. It was easy to fuel and use, not to mention being a (literal) blast!

The recipe I used was from King Arthur Flour’s website: Crème Brûlée. Straining the custard is very important for achieving the incredibly smooth and creamy texture. I used turbinado sugar instead of demerara, but it worked fine and caramelizing it was really fun. The instructions are simple, but so is the dish! Aside from all the equipment required . . .




Cherry Clafoutis

This is the first clafoutis I ever made. Traditionally, clafoutis are made with cherries, but other fruits can be used. Also traditional for this French dessert is not pitting the cherries. I did, though. Spitting out cherry pits can be great fun, but it’s not really a dining table activity.

I based it on two different recipes; the one in Joy of Cooking and one from Cook’s Illustrated. (Unfortunately, I didn’t write it down, so I can’t replicate it here.) On the recommendation of Cook’s, I added cinnamon, which has one of the same chemicals as the cherry pits I removed. So you get the flavour without the broken teeth! Huzzah.

I thought it would be smooth and custardy, but it was firm and eggy. It was actually rather like bread pudding, without any bread.

If I made it again:

I think it would go very well served with whipped cream.

I would take it out of the oven sooner and see how that affected the texture.