Monday, November 14, 2011

Birthday Weekend

I had a wonderful birthday on Sunday.  Our daughter came home for the weekend.  We ate lots of great food and had a good time all around.

My birthday dinner was a crock pot chicken cacciatore (an Emeril Lagasse recipe) over brown rice, mixed greens salad with tomato and cucumber, a glass of Asti Spumante, and a fabulous dessert of creme brulee!  Heaven!

The recipe for the creme brulee is so easy.  It's from Paul Deen.  The first time I made this was in a very large batch for a traveling French dinner when the kids were in high school French Club.  One year we hosted appetizers, but the last year, I pleaded to be the dessert house.  Other people provided desserts, too, and there just happened to be enough for a host parent or two to try them!  Yum!

Creme Brulee

2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a heavy-bottomed, medium saucepan, heat cream and vanilla over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring to ensure it does not scorch.  Do not let it boil.  Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes, then do the remaining steps.

In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in 1/4 cup plus one tablespoon sugar.  Add about half the cream mixture, a little at a time, to the egg mixture, mixing until well blended.  Then pour the egg mixture into the remaining cream mixture.  Stir until completely blended.

Pour the custard into 4 (9-ounce) ramekins or custard cups.  Place the dishes into a large baking pan.  Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and set in the center (it should still wiggle when shaken).  Carefully remove the dishes from the baking pan.  Let cool to about room temperature; then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.  Let creme brulee stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving (I skip this warm-up period and go straight to the next step after removing from the fridge.)

Sprinkle one tablespoon brown sugar on each custard in a thin, even layer, covering it completely.  To caramelize the sugar, light a propane torch and hold it so the flame just touches the surface.  Start at the center and spiral out toward the edges of the ramekins.  Serve immediately.


  1. Happy belated bday! Sounds like you had a perfect bday =)

    the creme brulee looks yummy! I will have to try that recipe. Hopefully it comes out good-- i somehow always manage to mess up a simple baking recipe.

  2. Happy birthday (a bit late)! Wonderful that you were able to share it with your daughter.

    Used to make creme brulee a lot. It's a fabulous dessert and really not hard. I was so proud of having a little torch to get the candied crust on top! Tres professional ;-)!

    Dough, Dirt & Dye

  3. Happy Birthday Lynette.Glad you had a good time with lots of pressies and good food.

  4. This looks really good!!! I'm your new follower!! thanks for stopping by at


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