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  • Meatless Monday – Crème brûlée

    Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and for this year, there are no plans of returning children, or trips to see children. Just Madam Bad Wolf and myself.

    Given that, may this is the time for some over the top food. One item I know Madam has a weakness for is custard, but we know I can not just leave it at that.. Maybe a custard with a caramelized sugar crust and a serious hint of lemon….

    Crème brûlée also known as burnt cream, crema catalana, or Trinity cream is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. It is normally served cold. The custard base is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but is also sometimes flavored with lemon or orange (zest), rosemary, chocolate, coffee, liqueurs, or other fruit.

    The earliest known reference of crème brûlée as we known it today appears in François Massialot’s 1691 cookbook, and the French name was used in the English translation of this book, but the 1731 edition of Massialot’s Cuisinier roial et bourgeois changed the name of the same recipe from “crème brûlée” to “crème anglaise”. In the early eighteenth century, the dessert was called “burnt cream” in English.

    In Britain, a version of crème brûlée (known locally as ‘Trinity Cream’ or ‘Cambridge burnt cream’) was introduced at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1879 with the college arms “impressed on top of the cream with a branding iron”, The story goes that the recipe was from an Aberdeenshire country house and was offered by an undergraduate to the college cook, who turned it down. However, when the student became a Fellow, he managed to convince the cook.

    Crème brûlée usually is served in individual ramekins. Discs of caramel may be prepared separately and put on top just before serving, or the caramel may be formed directly on top of the custard, immediately before serving. To do this, sugar is sprinkled onto the custard, then caramelized under a broiler/salamander, with a butane torch (or similar), or by flambéing a hard liquor on it.

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