Monday, February 8, 2010

Creme Brulee Trio ~ Sole Memphis Recipe



Valentine’s Day is just a week away, and I’ve only picked out the dessert recipe for the at-home gourmet dinner I’ll make for my two special men, Atticus and Christopher. Actually, they probably won’t even care what else is for dinner with this dessert. A classic vanilla crème brulee is probably my favorite dessert but Chef Matthew Crone of Sole Restaurant in Memphis takes it up a notch in a crème brulee trio that serves the classic vanilla along with rich chocolate and blueberry versions.

I spent some time with Chef Matthew in the kitchen to document the process and get a lesson on preparing crème brulee for the first time. He was kind enough to share the recipe that you can make at home too.

***
Crème Brulee Trio

Ingredients ~ Total

3 1/2 quarts of heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup of vanilla extract
20 egg yolk
8 eggs
3 cups of sugar


Ingredients ~ Chocolate Brulee

2 whole eggs
6 egg yolk
1 cup of sugar
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup of chocolate
Desired amount of chocolate shavings for topping

Method

1. Bring cream to just about a simmer
2. Take cream off the heat and add chocolate and whisk vigorously
3. Let the cream sit while cracking the eggs and put the sugar in to a bowl
4. Whisk the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar
5. Strain the chocolate Brulee mix through a fine mesh china cap
6. Put a selected amount of ramekins in a shallow hotel pan and fill the pan 1/4th of the way with water
7. Wrap the hotel pan with aluminum foil and bake at 250 degrees for 60 minutes
8. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
9. When ready to serve, sprinkle a generous coating of sugar on top.
10. Rapidly move torch flame over sugar to melt. { It will be a golden brown color for the vanilla or blueberry version as shown in the second photo below.} For safety, especially if you have not used the torch before, place the brulee on a flat surface when melting the sugar. Make sure not to burn the sugar.

{Vanilla/blueberry recipe continued below.}



Ingredients ~ Vanilla Brulee / Blueberry Brulee

14 to 16 egg yolk
6 eggs whole
2 cups of sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup of vanilla extract
21/2 heavy cream

Method

1. Split the vanilla bean into the cream and add the 1/2 cup of vanilla extract
2. Bring the cream to a simmer
3. While cream is coming to a simmer crack the eggs and put the sugar into a bowl
4. Gradually whisk the cream into the eggs and sugar
5. Strain the vanilla Brulee mix through a fine mesh china cap
6. Put a select amount of ramekins in a shallow hotel pan and fill it up 1/4th of the way with water
7. Cover the hotel pan with aluminum foil and bake at 250 degrees for 60 minutes
8. Repeat step 9 & 10 above.

Note: For blueberry brulee stir fresh blueberry into ramekin before baking off custard. Fresh blueberries also top this version. In the photo, the vanilla brulee is topped with an amaretto cookie.




Another item you may need to purchase is the crème brulee torch {also called the culinary or cooking torch}. You may purchase it online, at Target, or local chef/kitchen supply sotre. In Memphis, you can find it at Lit, downtown Union Ave near the ballpark. Lit offers the torch for $29.99 and set of four ramekins for $9.99. I actually like Sole’s idea of small coffee mugs pictured above if that’s what you already have.

Chef Matthew also suggested experimentation with added ingredients such as other fruits and berries and even mentioned an advanced avocado version of the recipe. For now, I think we’ll stick to his original trio. Based on the last photo, which one do you think Christopher will taste first?

Note: They are open for Valentine’s Day but will probably not serve the dessert that night. Make sure to try it another night if you would rather sample the original creations before creating your own.

Bon appétit.

SOLE restaurant and raw bar
At the Westin Hotel across from the FedEx Forum
221 South Third Street
Memphis, TN 38103
ph +1.901.334.5950
f +1.901.334.5959
Website and Menu
On Twitter

Special thanks to Chef Matthew Crone.
Photos by Sophorn.

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