Saturday, May 17, 2003

Bergamot pots de creme with hazelnut brittle topping:

4 egg yolks
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of one bergamot

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Simmer the cream with the bergamot zest and vanilla bean (scrape the seeds into the cream). Meanwhile, whisk the eggs together with the sugar. Remove the vanilla bean, add the vanilla extract, and pour the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Whisk together and pour into 4 ramekins. Bake in a water bath, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

Brittle = bad (too bitter and hard as a rock), but if you want to make it:
Toast 1/2 cup hazelnuts and rub off the skins while still warm. Chop coarsely and divide over the tops of the custard cups.

Mix 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water and boil until the sugar caramelizes. Pour over the nuts. Chill till caramel hardens.

Hit caramel with hammer until it breaks and try to suck the custard off the rock-hard pieces of nut brittle.

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