Orange Creme Brulée (Revisited)

Long ago, I used to have a cookie and baking blog and business.  Since closing my professional bakery doors, I've not thought much about that old site or the cookies I used to bake and decorate.

Last evening I took a walk down memory lane and visited the old site, viewed the cookies that I have such fond memories of, and realized that I have several REALLY GOOD recipes on there that I thought I could copy, paste and share here.  I hope you don't mind that they're "double-dip" recipes but instead, please  consider them "re-gifted"  from me to you....LOL.

The first recipe up is for orange creme brulée and I think you'll really enjoy it.  I posted it a few years back and since then I'd like to think that my photography skills have improved a little (and my writing, but I doubt that).  Alas, this is what I have to share so please forgive the quality of the photos and I hope you'll enjoy the recipe and little story involved with my first ever making of: orange creme brulée.  Here goes:

Orange Creme Brulée Recipe

We had our best friends over for dinner the other night and I really wanted to “WOW” them with something special for dessert.  They have been extra helpful and supportive of my cookie business (me), and I needed to let them know how much it has, and does mean to me (plus, I’ve always wanted to own one of those little blow torches, lol).  What better way to someone’s heart then through their stomachs, right?  And… I just so happen to know that Crème Bruleé is their favorite desert.  How convenient!

This recipe is adapted from "The Barefoot Contessa's" Ina Garten.  Who doesn’t love Ina?  Actually, the only thing that drives me a bit crazy about Ina is the sound of her juicer on television.  It shoots right through me like fingernails on a blackboard.  How I do wish she would juice her citrus before the taping of her shows (but I digress).  Back to the crème bruleé.   The only change I made to Ina’s recipe was to add orange zest into the custard.  In the great words of Ina Garten “How bad can that be?”

-Preheat oven to 300°
-In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, the orange zest , 1/2 cup of the sugar, vanilla and orange liqueur together on low speed until just combined.

-Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan until it’s very hot, but not boiled.  With the mixer on low speed, SLOWLY add the cream to the eggs.

-Carefully pour the mixture into 6 (8 oz) ramekins until almost full.  Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. 
-Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until the custards are set when gently shaken.  Remove the custards from the water bath and cool to room temperature.  Then refrigerate until firm and ready to serve.
-To serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with that little kitchen blowtorch until the sugar caramelizes evenly or you get it the color you each individually want.  Allow to sit a room temperature for a minute until the sugar hardens and will so wonderfully crack with a spoon when you dig in!  Ahhhh....

Now, for the best part…  I didn’t want to come right out and tell our friends what we were having for dessert, I wanted it to be a surprise.  Throughout the evening,  we kept giving them clues to see if they could guess.  First clue: Would you like some Grand Marnier and orange slices in your rum and coke? (everybody did).  Second clue:  I show them the spoons (tough one).  Third clue:  It’s interactive (everybody got to flame their own bruleé).  Fourth clue:  There is a special device. (I’m starting to scare people now).  Fifth and final clue: I bring out the sugar. (a possible light blub moment).

Orange Creme Brulee Recipe

I don’t remember if our guests actually guessed correctly or not.  It was a long evening with good food, good drink and the best part of all, good friends.  What I do remember is that the Orange Creme Bruleé was a giant hit and at the end of the evening everybody was happy and full.  You can’t ask for more than that!

Until we eat again,

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