I like to think that I keep my blog pretty fresh. Indeed, things are set to get even fresher with a whole new blog design coming soon! I try to post at least twice a week, and I truly appreciate every comment and Twitter re-tweet I receive when I post new content.
Today, though, I’m standing up in front of everyone in the virtual food blogger self-help group and announcing, “Hi, my name is Gerry and my last post was on November 19.”
I can see the group covering their eyes and shaking their heads in utter disbelief. Feeling pure remorse for me, maybe even chanting to get my blog mojo back. The leader tells me it’s okay and things will get back to normal, then group hug…
Okay maybe things aren’t that dramatic, but seriously, I don’t like it when I fall off the posting wagon. I feel a certain responsibility to my readership and I actually really do
enjoy constructing a post and all of the work that goes along with it. However, the reason I haven’t posted for 16 days is a little mundane, but nevertheless the truth: I have been busy. The reason for being busy is anything but mundane, though, and in fact extremely exciting: my fledgling caramel business, Toot Sweet Artisan Caramels
, is growing and the orders have been coming in strong, particularly during this holiday season. A dream come true!
I managed to squeeze this super easy and decadent dessert in between boiling vats of sugar. I love to make crème brulee for a few reasons. It screams to be made a day ahead, which is useful if your plate is already full (like mine), it has minimal ingredients and requires little oven watching – just look for the jiggle and it’s done! Chocolate and peppermint are the hot flavor tickets right now and instead of sprinkling boring old plain sugar on top, I took a rolling pin and some pent-up aggression to some candy canes and turned them into dust. This is what I sprinkled on top of the crème brulee before I took the blow torch to it and gave it that crunchy, minty topping. The silky chocolate combined with the crunchy candy cane topping is a must-have dessert for your Christmas dinner in a few weeks….trust me. Look out for more regular postings and a new blog after the holidays!
Prep Time- 15 minutes plus cooling time Bake Time- 40 minutes Serves- 4
Recipe for the creme brulee
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 egg yolks
6 candy canes
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Boil a 4 quart pot of water.
Heat the cream and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small pot until simmering and the sugar dissolves. Add the chocolate and stir gently until it’s all melted. Add the mint extract.
In a bowl, whisk the other 3 tablespoons of sugar along with the egg yolks until well combined, about 5 minutes. Slowly pour some of the cream mixture into the eggs and stir. Pour the rest of the cream in and mix well but gently with the whisk.
Pour the custard mixture into 4 four ounce ramekins. Carefully place them in a roasting pan and fill with the hot water until it reaches about halfway up the side of the ramekins. Transfer the pan to the center rack in the oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until no longer jiggly when moved.
Let cool and refrigerate for at least two hours. Place some candy canes into a sandwich bag and seal to close. Take a heavy rolling pin and bash the candy until it becomes like sand.
Once the creme brulee has set, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of the crushed candy on top of the dessert. Take your blowtorch and burn the sugar until bubbling and brown. You could also do this under a broiler if you don’t have a torch.
You’ve out-done yourself, Gerry. With that last photo, I lost it… teared up almost! I need this for the holidays. I finally am sick and tired of the pumpkin, and ready for some chocolate & minty goodness!!! Congrats on your caramel business too, that’s really fantastic!
Pull yourself together woman :) Thanks Natalie..looking forward to The Big Potluck!
It’s like brulee peppermint bark! GREG
I never thought of it like that Greg! I wish I had added some white choc chunks to the bottom of the dish before baking…
Oh my goodness. How much do I want this in my life???? This is genius. Pinned!
Wow Gerry you are so funny! I made caramels based on your recipe – be sure to check it out. Also love this recipe – it looks amazing. We (bloggers) all understand about being busy. When I am really busy my recipes usually flop so I don’t have anything I feel is blog-worthy. I wish I didn’t have to work and could bake and blog all day! I appreciate your posts and love your humor. Can’t wait to see your new design. Have a wonderful evening – I’m up late trying to catch up with blog visits. So much to read, so much to bake, so little time!
Your caramels look awesome!! Great job :)
What a clever idea to add some Christmas colours into your creme brulee!
Love your new blog look! I’m also following you now at Twitter and Pinterest.
This creme brulee has so many flavors going on, it looks luscious, and I’m looking forward to your blog makeover! I’m heading over to your caramels now…
Thanks Sue, have fun!
wow, that bite on the spoon looks so amazing — smooth, creamy and decadent. i want some. and where can i get some Toot Sweet?
Valentina, click on the link and it’ll take you to my Etsy store :)
Sounds like a delicious combination. I love creme brulee already and adding chocolate peppermint to that would be the perfect holiday twist to brighten it up. Yum! Great idea!
YUM! I WILL make this! I have a kitchen torch and everything, but I’ve never made creme brulee. I feel like less of a person for this reason. Congrats on your business!! I’ll click on the link to check out your Etsy store!
Omg that looks sooooo good! The chocolate + peppermint is a total winning combo for me, and so is anything made with 2 c of heavy cream. I love creme brulee. I love mini blow torches, too! :)
Thanks Averie, I don’t use my torch a whole lot but wouldn’t trade it for anything!
To be honest, I’d much rather someone “fall off the posting wagon” than just post a bunch of crap, just to update. You’re posts are always show stopping, this one included. :)
Aww, I appreciate it :)
What a great recipe for this time of year, love the candy cane in the topping, very nice. And welcome back. I have a great no fail recipe for creme brulee that you need not heat up the cream with the eggs — works every time. http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/moroccan-inspired-creme-brule/
Wow, Eva I’m definitely going to check yours out!! Thanks
What a great idea for a Christmas dessert…everyone loves creme brûlée.
Loving the combination of flavours in this creme brule. Lovely for the holidays
All is forgiven since you have presented this FANTABULOUS pepperminty delight in supplication for your long absence…
…don’t let it happen again.
And congrats on the success of your new business! Wishing loads more orders your way :)
OK, group hug. But Gerry, come on. It’s not the quantity but the quality, eh? Great news and bravo on the business taking off and super idea with the crunchy toasted candy. You’re turning so American with the peppermint candy bars too. I just don’t see these bars here – feel we’re missing out in France – it looks so much fun!
I mean, this is brilliant. YUM!
Welcome back! This is a great way to make a comeback :)
PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE This is pure delight for your taste buds.
CHERRY-MINT CHOCOLATE a burst of cherry zest
Both are great flavour