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Oct 21, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

Vegetize It: Monte Cristo sandwiches

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

 

My first encounter with a Monte Cristo sandwich wasn’t that long ago. I was visiting my best girls in Los Angeles, and we had decided to do something we’d never done in the six years we lived out there: go to Disneyland. By midday, we’d spun in the teacups, screamed in the Tower of Terror and had our picture taken in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Famished, we turned in to the first restaurant we spotted: Cafe Orleans.

Click here to read how Beth Styles turned a Monte Cristo vegetarian in our June issue.

-Photo by Carmen Troesser 

Make This: Barbecue cryo-pickled onions

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

 

Ideas in Food authors Aki Kamozawa and Alex Talbot have superb pickling and freezing ideas. Michael Natkin goes a step further in his cookbook, Herbivoracious, by combining the two methods into what he dubs “cryo-pickling”: freezing and thawing food in pickling liquid, a technique that results in a more concentrated flavor. Natkin gives his cryo-pickled onions a jolt of Japanese flavor. But being that it’s grilling season, we’re using his freeze-and-thaw trick to beef up a bulb destined for a burger. To make barbecue cryo-pickled onions: Combine 1/3 cup of vinegar and 2 teaspoons of your favorite barbecue rub in a bowl. (For a dash of local flavor, use Vernon’s BBQ rib or beef rub. $5: 6 oz., available at Vernon’s BBQ.) Thinly slice half of a medium-size yellow onion. Place the onions in a freezer bag and pour the seasoned vinegar over them. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Shake the bag a bit to make sure the onions are covered in vinegar. Freeze for at least 12 hours, thaw in the refrigerator, then pile them high on a burger fresh off the coals.

- Photo by Greg Rannells

 

By the Book: Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel’s Bouchons

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

 

My most memorable food moments while travelling have centered around baked goods. That’s probably because my pocketbook is thin and bread is cheap. Now nearly 20 years removed from college, I can still navigate my way to the panadería in Madrid where, for a good year at least, I popped in regularly for a palmera. That bakery’s version of the puff pastry shaped like a palm tree (or scroll or ear, depending on your perspective) was not baked to a crisp like other places. It was fluffy and chewy with a perfect smear of sweet glaze. A panadería is likewise were my son first flexed his teenager linguistic muscles one summer abroad in Spain. Being courted by pan del día, Spain’s version of a baguette, will get you to speak up. Because really, who can pass up freshly baked goods?

That’s the reasoning behind Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel’s Bouchon Bakery, an impressive collection of nearly 150 bread and pastry recipes. As Keller explained in the foreword, the pains, meringues, mille-feuilles, tarts and other boulangerie pièces de résistance that he discovered during his Parisian period in the 1980s are still firmly entrenched in his memory, and they’re the source for his interest in pastry.

I wanted to bake a Keller classic. Bouchon – the cylindrical little brownie that is the namesake for Keller’s Bouchon Bistro – was the obvious choice. These are so signature, in fact, that Williams-Sonoma sells the special baking mold needed to reproduce this decadent chocolate dessert.

The recipe is easy to follow, although a few steps differed from what I am used when baking. For example, when working with the butter, half of it is cut into chunks and set into a bowl while the other half is melted in a saucepan then poured on top of the cut butter. Once the batter is prepared, it is set aside for 2 hours. (The batter is so decadent that you need to leave the house at that point or risk eating the whole thing right out of the bowl.) I would have liked an explanation for why these procedures are necessary.

 

 

The only hiccup I encountered was upon removing the bouchons from the silicone mold. They did not fall out when I turned the mold upside-down, so I used the dull edge of a knife to loosen them from the mold and then carefully lifted each one onto a cooling rack. Curiously, the directions on the Williams-Sonoma box in which the bouchon mold is packaged give instructions to grease the mold; those instructions are not included in the cookbook recipe. Next time I bake bouchons, I’ll take the greased route.

 

 

I have yet to step foot inside one of the five Bouchon Bakery locations around the country, but biting into such grand chocolate goodness brought me one step closer.

 

 

Bouchons
12 servings

141 g. or 5 oz. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
50 g. or ¼ cup, plus 1 ½ Tbsp. all-purpose flour
50 g. or ½ cup, plus 2 Tbsp. unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
0.4 g. or ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
75 g. or ¼ cup, plus 2 tsp. eggs*
162 g. or ¾ cup, plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1.5 g. or ¼ tsp. vanilla paste
112 g. or ½ cup chocolate chips
Powdered sugar for dusting

• Place half the butter in a medium bowl. Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir the melted butter into the bowl; all the butter will come to room temperature and become creamy looking, with small bits of unmelted butter. Set aside.
• Place the flour in a bowl and sift in the cocoa powder. Add the salt and whisk together.
• Combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla paste in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix on medium-low speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer running, alternate between adding the butter and flour mixtures in three additions each. Then mix to combine well, scraping the bowl as necessary.
• Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and fold in the chocolate chips. Set aside in a cool spot (not the refrigerator) for 2 hours. The batter can be refrigerated for up to 2 days but should be returned to room temperature before filling the molds.
• Preheat the oven (convection or standard) to 350 degrees.
• Transfer the batter to the pastry bag, or use a spoon. Pipe or spoon the batter evenly into the molds, stopping just below the top rim.
• Bake for 12 minutes in a convection oven, 16 minutes in a standard oven. Test a bouchon with a cake tester, making certain not to hit a chocolate chip; the tester should come out clean (if it comes out with chocolate on it, try again). Remove the mold from the oven and let the bouchons rest for 10 minutes (so that they will hold their shape), then unmold the bouchons onto a cooling rack, turn right side up, and cool completely.
• The bouchons can be kept in a covered container for up to 3 days. Just before serving, dust the tops with powdered sugar.

* Before weighing eggs, crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them with a fork to combine the yolks and whites. Strain the eggs; this will remove the chalazae (white spiral bands attaching the yolk to the membrane) and any small bits of shell and allow the eggs to flow freely when you weigh them.

Special thanks to La Patisserie Chouquette for its generous donation of Cocoa Berry brand cocoa powder for use in this recipe.

What’s your favorite bakery or pastry shop? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Bouchon Bakery. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Marla, whose comment on last week’s  By the Book has won her a copy of This Is a Cookbook. Marla, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

 

 

Just Five: Pecan-Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Bleu Cheese and Bacon

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

This recipe is a homage to my inner 1996 cook. Nut crusting, compound butters, chives, bacon! It takes me back to when garlic mashed potatoes were found only in high-end restaurants, when Caesar salads and iceberg wedge salads were the only vegetables on the menu. Sometimes I need to relive those final days of hedonism, before everything was locally sourced, small batch, organic and so darn healthy.

A chicken breast stuffed with bacon and bleu cheese compound butter is in no way good for you. But it is wickedly delicious. So crank up The Cranberries, Red Hot Chili Peppers or Smashing Pumpkins (even the music was food-centric) and serve this with a lightly dressed arugula salad.

Just Five: Pecan-Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Bleu Cheese and Bacon
Serves 2

3 slices bacon
1 stick unsalted butter
3 oz. bleu cheese
3 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
½ cup raw pecans

• Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
• Mix butter, bleu cheese, crumbled bacon, chives and pepper in a small bowl.
• Place the pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the skillet to cool.
• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
• Carefully loosen the skin from the chicken breasts with your fingers. Stuff about 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture under the skin of each breast and press the skin to evenly distribute the butter. Place the breasts on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spread 1 tablespoon of the compound butter on the top of each chicken breast.
• Grind the pecans in a food processor (or smash into a coarse powder with a rolling pin). Sprinkle half of the ground pecans over each breast.
• Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Leftover compound butter can be mixed into mashed potatoes or served with biscuits.

 

This week, Stacy Schultz is obsessed with …

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

 

{Wasabi peas are a great snack. Problem is: I despise the flavor of wasabi. Instead, I strain and rinse a can of chickpeas and let them dry for a few hours on layers of paper towels. Then, I spread them out onto a lined baking sheet, toss them in a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil, some cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon and a little kosher salt, and roast them in a 400-degree oven until they’re golden and super crispy, about 30 to 40 minutes. They’re great atop salads like this one, in your desk as a workday snack or even as a bar snack at your next cocktail party.}

 

{When temperatures climb past 90, finishing a 2- or 3-mile run can feel like returning from the surface of the sun. So I fill a Mason jar with water, drop in a few slices of cucumber and lemon, screw on the lid and pop it in the fridge. When I return from running all hot and sweaty, I have a cold and refreshing beverage that’s scented with the fresh flavors of the season. Don’t have Mason jars? Make your summer-ready water in a pitcher, carafe or even a plain old drinking glass. And feel free to swap out lemons for oranges, cucumber for fresh mint leaves, or any other infusions you’re craving.}

 

{I’m a whiskey-on-the-rocks kind of girl, so recipes have never been required for happy hour at my house. But lately I’ve been basking in Manhattans everywhere I go, and I’m finally ready to start stirring them up at home. An avid cookbook collector, I can’t wait to add Vintage Cocktails to my at-home bar. With all the classic gin and whiskey recipes I could ask for, it’s a great read for the novice at-home bartender. And thanks to the sleek cover, vibrant pictures and quirky handwritten typeface, it will look great on my newly minted butler’s tray.}

 

 

By the Book: Nigella Lawson’s One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Last night was a late night. I was at the office until around 10 p.m., drove through what felt like a hurricane and arrived home weather-beaten and starving. Luckily, I found some takeout in the fridge and the energy to make Nigella Lawson’s One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream, although it didn’t require much energy at all. It literally took 7 minutes to make the ice cream base and stick it in the freezer.

Full disclosure: I have been a fan of Nigella Lawson for years, because so many of her recipes are easy and I’ve had success with them. In her newest book, Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes, she applies her signature style – “Recipes that excite the imagination without stressing the cook” – to dishes like: Shortcut Sausage Meatballs and Spaghettini with Lemon & Garlic Breadcrumbs. But I wanted to try out her ice cream recipe. I’ve watched her make various no-churn ice creams over the years from bitter orange to pomegranate that don’t require making a custard, which can be a pain, or an ice-cream maker. This last part is exceptionally great, because most people don’t have one.

The recipe was really easy, the longest step being making the whipped cream, which I did in a stand mixer. The ice cream turned out wonderfully, with a strong coffee flavor from the liqueur and espresso powder, and a velvety richness from the condensed milk. This book has a plethora of low-maintenance dishes like this one, making it awesome for cooking for a crowd – or even at 11 o’clock at night when whipping up a dish by yourself is the last thing you want to do.

One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream
Makes 1 pint

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
2 Tbsp. espresso liqueur
1¼ cups heavy cream
1-pint airtight container

• Put the condensed milk in a bowl and stir in the espresso powder and liqueur.
• In a separate bowl whisk the cream until it reaches soft peaks.
• Fold the cream into the condensed milk mixture, then pour this gorgeous cafe-late-colored airy mixture into an airtight container and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
• Serve straight from the freezer.

Who makes your favorite ice cream in town? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Nigellissima. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Mary, whose comment on last week’s By the Book column has won her a copy of Cindy’s Supper Club. Mary, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

Make This: Lu Lu Seafood and Dim Sum’s Singapore Noodles

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Singapore Noodles
Courtesy of Lu Lu Seafood and Dim Sum
Serves 2

1 lb. baby shrimp, peeled, deveined, rinsed and drained
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into ¼-inch strips
2 Tbsp. thin soy sauce
¼ cup white wine
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. ground white pepper
Canola oil
1 Tbsp. freshly minced ginger
½ cup scallions, cut into 1-inch strips
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
½ lb. bean sprouts
1 red bell pepper, de-stemmed, de-seeded and julienned
1 onion, peeled and julienned
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 lb. thin rice noodles, soaked in cold water for 2 hours and drained
2 Tbsp. Madras curry powder

• Place the shrimp and chicken in a medium-size bowl. Add the soy sauce, white wine, cornstarch and white pepper and stir to coat. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
• Place a wok over medium-high heat and coat with canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger, scallions and garlic, and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
• Add the shrimp and chicken (with their marinade) to the oil, and stir-fry quickly for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove the shrimp and chicken from the wok and set aside.
• Add the bean sprouts, bell pepper and onion to the hot wok. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove from the wok and set aside.
• Wipe the wok clean and coat well with a new layer of canola oil. When the oil is smoking hot, add the eggs and rotate the pan so as to quickly spread the egg into a pancake shape. While the egg is still partially fluid, add the rice noodles to the wok.
• Stir and fold the noodles and egg into small pieces, so they are uniformly dispersed. Continue to stir to keep the noodles from sticking to the pan.
• Add the curry powder. When the noodles are steaming hot, add the shrimp, chicken and vegetables back into the wok, and stir until everything is steaming hot.
• Serve immediately.

Lu Lu Seafood and Dim Sum, 8224 Olive Blvd., U City, 314.997.3108, luluseafood.com

— photo by Carmen Troesser

The Ultimate Margherita Pizza

Friday, May 3rd, 2013



Crust. Tomatoes. Mozzarella. Basil. The queen of Neopolitan pizza is understated in her simplicity, yet efforts to achieve this crowning beauty have caused countless headaches in the kitchen. Finally, area experts reveal their essential tricks to making the ultimate Margherita pizza at home.

“Pizza is the most easiest, complicated thing to make. I know people who have been trying to make the perfect pizza for 20 years!” – Vito Racanelli, chef-owner, Mad Tomato

The Tools: You don’t have to have a wood-fired oven to get the thin, crispy crust and great chew of a Neopolitan pizza (See the heat trick below.). But a tricked-out pizza peel and stone will elevate your pie to new heights.

G.I. Metal Perforated Aluminum Pizza Peel
Aluminum peels are durable, flexible and don’t dry out like wooden ones. The perforation lets you shake off excess flour before sliding the pizza onto the stone to avoid burning, and the rectangular shape gives you more surface area, making it easier to lift, slide and adjust the pizza. $96. (model A-45RF/50) gimetalusa.com

Emile Henry Ceramic Baking Stone
This rectangular, heat-tempered, scratch-proof, chip-proof, coated stone won’t crack in your oven and has more surface area than round versions, a crucial factor in achieving that crisp crust. $40 to 60. Kitchen Conservatory, 8021 Clayton Road, 314.862.2665, kitchenconservatory.com 

The Ingredients: We queried quite a few chefs about the brands they’ll bet the house on. Bonus: These high-quality products are all made in the USA.

Hodgson Mills Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
You don’t have to spend extra dough to make great dough. Unbleached, all-purpose flour is fine. This near-local company offers a high-quality product that’s available at most supermarkets.

Stanislas Alta Cucina “Naturale” Style Plum Tomatoes
“We tried every single Italian one,” said Gerard Craft, owner of Pastaria, who settled on this domestically grown tomato because it offers “a nice bite of acidity” and “the right consistency, just crushed on its own.” For a fresh sauce, simply crush the whole, peeled tomatoes in your hand and season with salt. A couple ladles is all you need; you should be able to see the dough through the sauce. No. 10 Can, 6 lbs. 7 oz.: $4.89. DiGregorio’s Market, 5200 Daggett Ave., St. Louis, 314.776.1062, digregoriofoods.com

Calabro Fior di Latte Cheese
Buffalo mozzarella? Not so fast. Cow’s milk can produce a cheese with fabulous flavor. This fior di latte has a lovely creaminess, mild saltiness and melts beautifully into the sauce. Cut it into slightly larger chunks (4 ounces cut into 6 slices for a 12-inch pizza); the cheese will take longer to melt, so it won’t burn by the time the crust is done. ½ lb.:$6. Pastaria, 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.862.6603, pastariastl.com

Fresh basil
Some chefs add the leaves before popping the pizza in the oven; others wait until after. Place the outer, shiny side of the leaves up. If you add prior to baking, when drizzling olive oil over the pizza, drizzle some on the leaves to keep them from burning and discoloring.

The Technique: Creating a great pizza at home is all about technique. Let Ted Wilson, who trained under pizza god Jim Lahey, take you through it.

Find Wilson’s recipe for The Ultimate Pizza Dough, here.

GETTING INTO SHIPSHAPE
Cover the dough with just enough flour so it doesn’t stick to your hands or the lightly floured work surface. Use the pads of your fingertips to gently push on the center of the dough until you feel the work surface but don’t break through the dough. Flatten and stretch the dough by pushing from the center of the dough and moving outwards until you get within 1 inch of the rim of the circle that’s taking shape. Give dough a quarter turn and repeat. Continue until a round disk forms. While stretching and shaping, place a hand under the dough to ensure it isn’t sticking. If so, toss a little flour onto the work surface. Gently guide dough outward from its underside as it rests on your fingers to stretch it further.

TOP IT OFF
Ready the toppings before shaping the dough. Once the dough is shaped, quickly add the toppings in this order: sauce, cheese, basil (optional), drizzle of 1¼ to 1½ tablespoon of olive oil and a 4-fingered pinch of kosher salt. Leave the outer rim of the pizza untouched.

RAISE THE HEAT
To get your home oven to reach restaurant-high temps, toggle between the bake and broil functions. Place the stone in the oven on a rack set in the topmost position with enough room for the pizza. Preheat the oven to its highest baking temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. Just before shaping the dough, switch to broil. Shape the dough, add the toppings, then use the peel to slide the pizza onto the hot stone. Switch the oven back to its highest bake temperature for 2 to 3 minutes, then back to broil. The pizza is done when the cheese is bubbling, the crust is charred but not burnt, and the underside is golden, about 3 more minutes (5 to 6 minutes total).

Pictured: Margherita pizza from The Good Pie, 3137 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.289.9391, thegoodpie.com

— photo by Greg Rannells

Just Five: Fried Tofu with Dipping Sauce

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013



My 15-year-old recently announced that she’s become a vegetarian. This isn’t the most uncommon thing for a teenager to do and is far less upsetting than multiple piercings or tattoos, but, nevertheless, this does mean I have to tweak my day-to-day cooking. Back in college, when I was a vegetarian, I mostly subsisted on boxes of macaroni and cheese along with the occasional falafel wrap and salad. I tried eating tofu frequently but never really loved it, except when it was fried. Fried anything is good! A friend told me that the secret to great fried tofu was to drain out as much moisture as humanly possible, and then dredge it in cornstarch, which gives the tofu a nice crispiness.

Making an Asian-style sauce with only three ingredients is no small feat. I knew hoisin and peanut butter would make for a good base. I then tried adding fish sauce, teriyaki, soy sauce and, finally, seasoned rice vinegar. The first three just added saltiness that the sauce didn’t need, but the vinegar added just enough of a sweet and acidic note to give the sauce more depth. If I had more ingredients to play with, I would have added chopped cilantro and Sriracha, but my daughter happily ate it as it was.

Fried Tofu with Dipping Sauce

1 block extra-firm tofu
Oil (vegetable, peanut or canola)
1 cup cornstarch
¼ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup chunky peanut butter
1 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar

• Drain the tofu on paper towels for 30 minutes, changing the towels regularly to make the tofu as dry as possible. Cut the tofu in half and then into ½-inch slices.
• Fill a large skillet with a ½-inch layer of oil.
• Cook the oil over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering.
• Working in batches, dredge each piece of tofu in the cornstarch, shaking off excess. Carefully place pieces in the skillet. After about 2 minutes, turn each piece over and fry for 1 to 2 more minutes. Each should be lightly browned. Remove to a paper towel-covered plate.
• Mix hoisin sauce, peanut butter and rice vinegar together in a small bowl. Serve alongside the tofu.

By the Book: Christophe Felder’s Crème Brûlée Vanille au Zeste de Citron Vert

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013



Christophe Felder’s Patisserie is an encyclopedic tome of French pastry. Wanna learn to make croissants or macarons? The book has complex recipes like these, broken down step-by-step and interspersed with process photos to guide you along the way (particularly useful for novice bakers). The vast collection of French desserts in this book is impressive alone. I chose to make crème brûlée because, surprisingly, I’ve never made it, and I’ve always loved it. It’s a quintessential French dessert but so much easier than the odyssey that is Marronnier (chocolate-chestnut layer cake) on page 346.

Many crème brûlée recipes have you bake the custards in a bain marie, which is a water bath, but this one didn’t, which I thoroughly appreciated. It’s always a pain to set those things up, and I inevitably spill water everywhere. Instead, the recipe instructs to place the custards in a 200-degree oven for an hour and fifteen minutes.

When they came out, I was excited that they were solid but trembling slightly in the middle – just like the recipe described.

The recipe does not tell you to chill the custards but to just let them cool completely. Well, my impatience got the best of me. I chilled one in the freezer for about 30 minutes and then brûléed the top under a broiler. It was not good. The custard was still loose, and because it wasn’t completely chilled, it still had a really strong egg taste, like a vanilla-citrus-scented soft scramble. Weird.

However, the next day, I tried another custard and the time-alone-to-itself period made a difference. The custard had a chance to condense; albeit, still runnier in texture than the thick, velvety versions I’m used to, it was much better. Perhaps an hour and fifteen minutes was not long enough to make it set in my oven. The flavor improved overnight too … less eggy and a lot more like the flavor of well … crème brûlée.

Crème Brûlée Vanille au Zeste de Citron Vert
(Lime-Vanilla Crème Brûlée)
Serves 4

Special equipment: individual gratin dishes

2½ vanilla beans
1 cup milk
5 eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
½ lime
½ cup light brown sugar

• Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a paring knife. Bring the milk and vanilla seeds and beans to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let infuse.
• Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a bowl. Whisk the sugar into the egg yolks, just until the sugar dissolves. The mixture should not pale in color.
• Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
• Add the cream to the egg yolk-sugar mixture, whisking until smooth. Then whisk the cooled milk into the mixture until smooth.
• Using a citrus zester, remove the colored zest from the lime in fine julienne strips, leaving the white pith. Or use a vegetable peeler and cut the zest into julienne strips with a knife.
• Divide the zest among the grain dishes. Ladle the custard into the dishes
• Depending on the size of the ramekins, bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, just until the custard is slightly wobbly. Let cool completely.
• Sift ½ of the brown sugar in an even layer over the custards. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar. Or broil the custards on the top shelf of the oven. Sprinkle the crème brûlées with the remaining brown sugar and caramelize again.
• Serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from Rizzoli International Publications.

What’s your favorite dessert to order out and why? Tell us about it in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy Patisserie. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Katie, whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won her a copy of French Bistro. Katie, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew. 

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