Recipe: Toasted Hazelnut Crème Brûlée
I'll take Classic Desserts for $200, Alex!
This dessert is a sweet and rich baked Custard with a glass-like, caramelized Sugar top. The question?
What is a Crème Brûlée?
A well-executed Crème Brûlée is the ultimate illustration of perfection in simplicity. Cream, Egg Yolks and Sugar come together in a silky smooth Custard. A crunchy, brûléed (i.e. caramelized) Sugar top creates the ideal textural contrast.
Any pastry chef worth his Salt (or more appropriately, his Sugar) should be able to make a Crème Brûlée in his sleep (although I would advise against using a culinary torch while semi-conscious). As you might imagine, it featured prominently in culinary school. So, too, was a Crème Brûlée an appropriate test for the fourth episode of The Great British Bake Off, which focused on plated desserts.
A basic Crème Brûlée is delicious, but a simple Custard is also an amazing blank canvas for some culinary creativity. Forever swayed by the Italian influences of my first restaurant job at Osteria Morini, my mind immediately went to a Toasted Hazelnut incarnation. That's not an inexpensive choice (oh, Whole Foods pricing!) But, my god, is it delicious!