Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book #7: Créme Brülée The Bonjour Way

By Randolph W Mann

I really enjoy this cook book as a source for not just the typical créme brulées.  A huge variety include s'mores créme brulée (ok, what dessert book doesn't have a s'mores variation these days...) , espresso, orange praline, etc..

For the second family Thanksgiving (with W's family) I wanted something not quite the typical pumpkin pie.  Enter pumpkin créme brülée.  Wow, it was delicious.  It is quite similar to pumpkin pie, but even smoother.  The crunchy sugar on top is the perfect touch--I'd be tempted to add that to every pumpkin pie.  

A surprising discovery--I know it says to serve immediately, but a couple ramekins I decided to torch even though they wouldn't be eaten right away.  When I ate one two days later, lo and behold, the crunchy sugar crust had disappeared!!  It was like a light sugar syrup on top.  In the trend with unflattering photos, here is one without the crust!

I searched on this recipe and found many others enjoyed his recipe also as the go-to pumpkin créme brulée.  

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
Makes 4 servings
1/4 cup canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sour cream
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch salt
1/2 cup whipping cream (35% MF)
6 tsp granulated sugar, for caramelizing
Preheat oven to 300º F.  In small mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the hevy cream.  Stir the pumpkin mixture with a small whisk or spoon for a full minute.  Set aside.
Pour the mixture through a fine strainer into a large measuring cup or another bowl. Place 4 (4-ounce) shallow ramekins in a hot water bath. Fill with the pumpkin mixture and place on an oven rack slightly below the middle of the oven.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or less if centers are softly set.
Cool the ramekins in the hot water bath until comfortable to handle. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate from 1 hour to 2 days before using. When ready to serve, remove from fridge and sprinkle 1 1/2  tsp sugar on top of each ramekin and torch to caramelize.
Serve immediately.

Book #6: Fleischmann's Yeast: Best-Ever Breads

I love any Fleischmann's book.  Really it comes down to loving bread, and that fragrant yeast smell that reminds you how fantastic fresh bread can be, not to mention poring over the pages and salivating over all the different forms that most delicious bread can take.  

buy from Amazon.

For Thanksgiving, I made the Classic Dinner Rolls, which can be shaped into a variety of shapes.  I chose knots.  I had just previously that day tried my hand at some whole wheat rolls and they were rising very badly, so I was quite tentative and concerned with this attempt.  Talk about paranoid.  These rolls  turned out fine and my need to rise them extra long was unwarranted.  

I love that the link on the image takes you to an amazon page offering the cookbook for $1000.  A worthy price!

Unfortunately, as always, the Thanksgiving prep was a rush, and when finally sitting down to lunch, did not take the time to take a quality photo--but at least I remembered one.  Here is my artwork, resting atop the rest of dinner.  Not necessarily a flattering shape, but I'm not picky when eating bread!

The recipe is pretty similar to what I found here, but somehow slightly different, I guess modernized?  Like, who needs more than a dozen rolls?  (ME!  If you're going to the trouble to do something as antiquated and time consuming as bake rolls, it had sure better make dozens and dozens!!)

Classic Dinner Rolls

Makes: 11/2 - 2 dozen rolls 
4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 envelopes Fleischmann's® Active Dry Yeast ( 4 1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup warm milk  (105° to 115°F)
3/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
2 eggs
Poppy or sesame seed, optional

In large bowl, comine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt.  Gradually add warm milk, warm water, and butter to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.  Add 1 egg and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed.  With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Grease top; cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.

Remove from refrigerator.  Punch dough down.  Remove dough to lightly floured surface. Shape as desired. Place rolls, about 2 inches apart, on greased baking sheets (or in other pans as directed). Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 20 to 40 minutes.

Beat remaining egg; brush on rolls. If desired, sprinkle with poppy or sesame seed. Bake at 375ºF for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from sheets or pans; let cool on wire racks. 

KNOTS: Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece to 9-inch rope. Tie loose knot in center of each rope.