No celebratory meal (or any other meal for that matter) would be complete without an extraordinary dessert. So, the third and final course of Chef Amanda Simcoe’s “Tiny Bubbles” menu is a creamy crème brûlée, flavored with Grand Marnier, an orange brandy.
Crème brûlée is easy to make, can be prepared in advance and then chilled until close to serving time. About 15 minutes before serving, sprinkle sugar over the top and then caramelize with a small kitchen torch or even under the broiler. Chill again very briefly to cool the crispy sugar top. However, if the finished custards are left in the fridge too long, that crispy, crunchy topping will start to liquefy, so eat shortly after caramelizing the tops.
For the final wine pairing, Chef Amanda recommends Peter Brum’s Goldsparkler, which has actual flakes of 24k gold in the wine. Fantastic for a celebration, this medium-dry wine has fruity notes, which will pair nicely with the hint of orange in the dessert.
Check out Chef Amanda’s recipe for the scallops and lamb as well.
Find hand-held kitchen torches at Williams Sonoma and The Stock Pot in Tulsa.
Grand Marnier Crème Brulee
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup for the crust
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 300ºF.
In a saucepan, heat the cream until just hot, and bubbles begin to form around the edges. DO NOT BOIL. Add vanilla, Grand Marnier and salt.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and the 1/3 cup sugar, whisk together until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Slowly add in the hot cream, a ladle full at a time whisking constantly to gently temper the yolks. When the mixture is hot, return it to the saucepan and cook over low heat stirring constantly (with a rubber spatula) until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir to prevent any of the mixture from cooking onto the bottom. Gently strain the mixture, taking care not to for too much foam on top.
Divide mixture among 6 ramekins or custard dishes. Place in a water bath, and bake until set around edges, but still loose in the center, about 40-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove cups from water bath and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 tsp. sugar over each custard. For best results, use a small hand torch to melt the sugar. If you do not have a torch, place ramekins under the broiler until sugar melts. Re-chill custards a few minutes before serving.