This isn’t chocolate. And it’s a Valentine’s Day dessert. Who am I!?
I’m the girl who is only okay with a non-chocolate dessert (for Valentine’s Day, or otherwise), when it’s super creamy, rich and delicately flavored with seasonal fruit. Specific enough?
When I was asked to bring a chocolate dessert, or a bottle of bubbly to my monthly LA food blogger meeting, I decided I wanted to bring the bubbly in a dessert. And the inspiration for this recipe came from my recent desire to marinate blood orange segments in champagne. I just knew it would be beautiful and delicious.It developed into creme brûlée because, well, I had to add the creamy and rich elements. So from there, Blood Orange-Champagne Creme Brûlée was born.
(Oh, and I also brought a chocolate dessert (how could I not!?), which I’ll share with you on Thursday.)
- 2 tablespoons champagne
- ½ cup blood orange segments (Here's how to segment citrus.)
- 2½ cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon blood orange zest (from about 4 small blood oranges)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 8 egg yolks
- 6 thin slices of a peeled blood orange (Here's how to peel, segment and slice citrus.)
- 5 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
- Approximately 6 tablespoons super fine granulated sugar
- Place 6 (6-ounce) ramekins on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Place the the blood orange segments in a bowl and add the champagne and ½ teaspoon granulated sugar. Set aside. (Here's how to segment the orange.)
- Add the cream and blood orange zest to a medium-sized pot and place it on the stove.
- Use a paring knife to make a slit in the vanilla bean, lengthwise, and then use the back of the knife to spread each half open, and scrape all of the beans into the cream. Add the emptied pod to the cream as well.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 5 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk until it's thick and a lighter yellow, about 5 minutes.
- Now turn the heat to medium-high under the pot of cream and scald it -- it should not quite be boiling, and should just have tiny bubbles along the edges.
- Turn the heat off and use a large ladle to add a cup or so of the hot cream to the egg mixture, and whisk it immediately. Repeat this one more time, and then add this to the remaining cream in the pot. Turn the heat to medium-low and whisking constantly, cook until the mixture is thick, about 6 minutes or so. It should coat the back of a spoon and stay there. (Should it look like the mixture is separating - becoming grainy -- quickly and carefully, pour it in a blender and blend. This should bring it back together.) Set aside.
- Use a slotted spoon to add about one sixth of the champagne-marinated blood orange segments to each ramekin.
- Now add 1½ tablespoons of the excess blood orange-champagne juice that's left in the bowl, to the custard and mix.
- Pour equal amounts of the custard over the blood orange segments in each ramekin. Then very gently press one of the thin blood orange slices on top of each one. Then place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, and ideally overnight.
- When you're ready to serve, sprinkle each one evenly with 1 tablespoon of the super fine sugar and then use a small kitchen blow torch to brown the sugar to create a crust. (You can also place them under the broiler, fairly close to the flame, just until they brown, 1 minute or less.)
Check out the links below to see what the other FBLA members brought to the meeting? (Several members
- Chocolate Petit Fours – Christina Conte of Christina’s Cucina
- Chocolate Brownie Quick Bread – Dorothy Reinhold of Shockingly Delicious
- Fair-Trade Chocolate Earthquake Cookies — Alison Ashton at Nourish Network
- Pain au Chocolat and Cro-Nut Hearts – Jude at Two Broads Abroad
- Vegan Nutella Fudge – Alanna Waldron of Eat Real Food
- Brownie Buttons — Judy Weintraub of Bumbleberry Breeze
Savory Dishes (Some people like a little something savory before their dessert — I’m happy either way.)