Wednesday, April 18, 2012

States in Play Créme Brulee

There are nine truly swing states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin — where the election will be decided. Those states will hand out 110 electoral votes in November, roughly 41 percent of the 270 votes President Obama or former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney need to win.

States in Play Créme Brulee
Makes 4 servings

Playing with a torch is fun, in contrast to the expected fireworks in these hotly contested states!

2-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar, divided
5 egg yolks
3 Tbsp. Irish cream liqueur (e.g., Bailey's)
1-1/2 qt. hot water

Heat oven to 325°F.

Bring cream and vanilla to boil over medium-high heat; let cool 15 minutes off heat.

Whisk 1/3 cup sugar with egg yolks in medium bowl until well blended.  Gradually add combined cream and liqueur, whisking continuously.  Pour mixture into 4 (8 oz.) ramekins or small glass bowls.  Place ramekins in 9x13-inch baking pan.  Pour hot water into pan until it is halfway up sides of ramekins.  Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until just set but still jiggly in center.  Remove ramekins from pan and refrigerate at least 2 hours to cool.

Allow crème brulee to stand at room temperature 30 minutes before proceeding further.

Sprinkle remaining sugar evenly over tops of desserts (about 2 tsp. each).  Use a torch to melt sugar and create a crispy layer on top.  Allow 5 minutes to cool before serving.

Substitute white chocolate liqueur for Irish cream liqueur, or omit liqueur, if desired, and increase heavy cream to 2-2/3 cups.

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