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Snickers Cupcakes

Easily one of the best cupcake recipes I've come across, these chocolate cupcakes have middles that are filled with bits of snickers covered in homemade caramel sauce. What, did your teeth just tell you to stay away from these? You may want to make a dentist appointment after eating them, but they're amazing and will charm the pants off of your everyone at your party when you bring them out!

Chocolate Dump Cake

It may not have the prettiest title, but this chocolate cake is so easy that you'll actually volunteer to bring it to family functions. No kidding! With a shockingly low amount of ingredients, this chocolate cake spans seasons. Need a quick dessert for dinner? Dump cake. Need to bring a cake into work when you don't care enough to bake something for people you don't even like? Dump cake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes + Cream Cheese Icing

You only turn 26 once, and when you do you should celebrate with Red Velvet! These cupcakes come with a long line of recommendations and will not disappoint. Scouts honor.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Easy Crème Brulee

Ahhh, a new year. A new you? Why change, I like you the way you are.

I hope you all had a festive holiday season! Mine was amazing. I got to spend a whole week at home with my family (a week!) and got to eat as much sugar as I could stand. It was glorious. Plus, this year for Christmas Santa brought me a torch!

Yeah, a torch.

I know what you're thinking, and yes I look like this when I use it:

While it’s not quite the same, it can still do some damage. My dad keeps telling me it’ll burn my house down if I'm not careful, but I like to think that if I haven’t burnt it down already, the thing is just not going to burn.

I asked for Santa to bring me the torch, so for a month or so I’ve been thinking about the very first thing I’d douse in butane. For a while the answer was always Smores Cupcakes because I’ve been dying to make them for close to a year. But as I was reading the torch manual (which is very extensive for the size of the actual torch) I decided that the first torched baked good from YIBT would be Crème Brulee. Right?? How often do you ever eat Crème Brulee? In my case, the answer was never, so what better time to start than when you’re at your parent’s house, using their nice oven, and if you accidentally burn the house down it’s not yours. Sound thinking, and dad appreciated it. I think.

The recipe that we eventually used was really basic. The Crème Brulee wasn’t flavored, and was a good recipe for us beginners. In fairness, I wouldn't call my dad a beginner but in this case, he was pretty  tired and was more focused on how I didn't read the recipe all the way through, than the fact that we were baking Crème Brulee. What I hadn’t anticipated with the recipe (aside from a water bath which I’ll explain later) was how custard-like it was when it was finished. I had figured it would be a cross between jello and pudding and flan, but ours came out more solid than that. Plus, I’m not going to hold back here – torching those ramekins was one of the best 5 minutes of my life so far. I'm no pyro (actually, I probably am) but watching sugar burn is exciting. Must be the welder in me.

So in honor of the new year, and getting to burn stuff, I'm going to give you this recipe for an easy Crème Brulee. The title says it's the perfect recipe, but I'll let you be the judge.

Perfect Crème Brulee Recipe

WARNING: Refrigerating time ahead

6 chilled egg yolks
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
4 tablespoons granulated sugar for topping (although I definitely used more than that)

*Recipe yields 6 servings

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Make sure the oven rack is in the center. Butter the six ramekin cups and put them in a glass baking dish. (If you're cooking the custards in a metal pan, cover the bottom with a layer of newspaper to make sure they cook at an even temperature.)

At this time, it'd also be smart of you to start boiling some water. You'll need it for step 2. Nobody told me that! 
Ramekins from the Christmas Tree Shop 
(that were heavily washed and only cost $1) Pre-butter.

2. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until slightly thickened. Add sugar and mix until dissolved. Mix in cream, then pour mixture into prepared cups. 


3. This is where things get crazy and dad started making fun of me. After the water is boiled, you need to pour it into the glass dish NOT the ramekins. The water should come up to the level of the custard. If you think this is weird, here's a link to help explain "the water bath"


4. Bake approximately 30 to 40 minutes or until set around the edges but still loose in the center. Cooking times change depending on how big your ramekins are so it's a good idea to start checking on them after the 30 minute mark and go back every 4 minutes. The temperature should read 170-175 degrees. Although I'm all for cutting corners, checking the temperature on this recipe was pretty vital for my experience. It was hard to tell when the edges were set and the center was loose, so keeping an eye on the temp was important. 


5. Remove from the oven, and let the custard cool in the water baths until they're room temperature. Then remove ramekins from water, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

This is also where I realized that we would have to refrigerate until the next day. Whoops.

 6. When ready to serve, take the plastic wrap off and sprinkle sugar over each custard. I was pretty generous with the sugar because I wanted to watch it burn. 



 7. Using an industrial strength small kitchen torch, hold the flame 4-5 inches away from the custard and move in a slow clockwise motion. The instructions say to stop torching just before the desired degree of doneness, as the sugar will continue to cook after you've stopped torching. 

Safety goggles are not necessary, but highly fashionable. 


 8. The recipe I used said they should go back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, but we served immediately because they chilled over night.

Check out the final products!



 All in all, I would deem this experience a success. Whenever you can combine safety glasses, fire and desserts you're doing something right. 


The recipe also mentions a way to burn the sugar if you don't have a torch by placing the ramekins 6 inches below a broiler for 4-6 minutes or until the sugar starts bubbling.

For anyone who's interested, the torch I used was the BonJour Chef's torch, that you can find on Amazon. 

Thanks again for coming back in the new year! Next weeks recipe is going to make a few people happy. You know those soft, sweet cookies that everyone loves buying from the grocery store? Come back for the recipe!

And check out YIBT that on Pinterest

Source: Whats Cooking America
URL: http://whatscookingamerica.net/CremeBrulee.htm


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