Blood Orange and Vanilla Crème Brûlée

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Crème Brûlée | Le Fermier

Crème brûlée…just saying the words out loud is enough to glaze over the eyes of most dessert lovers as they start to daydream about the <crack> of the toffee crust as it’s tapped with their spoon, or how the velvety vanilla cream almost dissolves as it hits their tongue, and the surprising <crunch> every now and again as their teeth find a shard of toffee.

Having grown up and studied cooking in France, this quintessential dessert has always been a big part of my life – both the cooking of and eating of it (eating it is definitely my favourite of the two).

Though the origins of this dish may not in fact be French at all (there are strong claims from both the English and the Catalans and its inventors), it’s safe to say the crème brûlée as it exists today is almost so synonymous with French dessert, it could be considered cliché.

I really enjoy making this dish for family and friends as there is an anticipation that builds up when guests know it’s on the menu, a kind of gastronomic foreplay if you will that makes the air feel electric. Thankfully, this little ramekin of decadence always satisfies, while still managing to leave the diner longing for just one more spoonful…

Ingredients:

  • 600 ml Thickened Cream
  • 2 orange zest and segments ( blood orange if in season)
  • 1 vanilla bean ( cut in half and seeded)
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 8 egg yolks

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Method : In a medium saucepan bring the cream and vanilla bean to the boil. In the meantime, in a mixing bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla seeds and the orange zest until the mixture become slightly white. Once the cream has boiled pour it over the egg mixture while whisking. Mix well for about a minute to make sure everything is dissolve. Pour the mix back into the saucepan and cook over a medium to low heat while stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon, occasionally whisking as well. Cook until you see a swirl of fat at the top, or, using a digital thermometer, until the mixture reaches 85 degrees Celsius. Then, pour the crème brûlée mix into a clean bowl and whisk for 2-3 minutes to cool it down. Put a couple of orange segments at the bottom of some ramequins and pour the mix over the top and leave to rest overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of caster sugar over the top of the crème brûlée and caramelise it using a cooking blow torch. A glass of chilled sweet white wine would compliment this wonderful dessert perfectly.

Bon Appétit,
Le fermier

How to make a Gratin Dauphinois

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Gratin dauphinois is a traditional regional French dish based on potatoes and crème fraîche, from the historic Dauphiné region in south-east France. There are many variants of the name of the dish, including pommes de terre dauphinoise, potatoes à la dauphinoise and gratin de pommes à ladauphinoise.The first mention of the dish is from 12 July 1788. It was served with ortolans at a dinner given by Charles-Henri, duke of Clermont-Tonnerre and Lieutenant-general of the Dauphiné, for the municipal officials of the town of Gap, now in the département of Hautes-Alpes.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 500 ml cream
  • 100 ml milk
  • 50 g butter
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper

 

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Method:  Preheat oven at 200 degrees Celsius (392 F). Thinly slice the potatoes (about a coin   thickness) and season well with salt and pepper. Boil the cream, milk, butter and crushed garlic together, then add your chopped thyme to it. Rub the soft butter all over you deep baking dish, then start layering the potatoes in the dish, it should be about ¾ full. Pour the cream mix over the top of your potatoes, and sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top of your potatoes. Cover with foil and cook the gratin in the hot oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. About half way through the cooking, take the foil off and put the gratin back in the oven for the last half of the cooking.To check if your gratin is cooked, simply put a small knife through the potatoes, if it goes in easily then your potatoes are cooked.

Gratin dauphinois is the perfect winter dish, rich and creamy it will warm you up and satisfy your appetite. It is the perfect side dish for a roast chicken or a roast beef for example or even just with a green salad on the side for lunch and a glass of red wine!!!!

To check out my how to video click on the following link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og2JlU5mbZE

 

Bon Appétit

Le Fermier

 

hot jam doughnuts filled with chocolate ganache and sour cheery jam

Hot jam doughnuts :

250 g strong white bread flour

50 chilled unsalted butter, diced

7 g dried yeast or 21 g fresh yeast

4 Tbsp caster sugar

1 medium free range eggs

100 ml whole milk ( lukewarm)

Sunflower oil for deep frying

Method : Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large salt, then rub in the  butter with your fingertips. Mix the yeast and a 1/3 of the lukewarm milk and 1 tbsp of sugar then stir through the flour. Make a well in the centre, mix the rest of the lukewarm milk and the eggs and pour into the well. Mix quickly  and bring together into a soft dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes or until smooth. Put in a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film or a lightly wet towel and leave in a warm place for an hour or until double in size.

Divide the dough into 12 evenly size balls, and shape them into smooth balls using the palm of your hands. Place them well apart  on a baking tray lined with baking paper then loosely cover them with a greased piece of cling film. Leave for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Heat the sunflower oil to 190 degrees. Carefully lower the doughnuts into the oil using a slotted spoon, in batches of 2 or 3. Fry for 30 seconds each side until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain a kitchen paper.

While the doughnuts are still warm, make a whole on the side of the doughnuts and pipe the ganache in the doughnuts. Use the cherry jam a dipping sauce.

Roll the doughnuts in the remaining caster sugar to coat them completely. Serve warm or allow to cool.

For the ganache:

300 ml thickened cream

300 g dark chocolate

Method: Boil the cream and pour it over the chocolate, leave for a few minutes, whisk and leave to cool.

For the cherry jam:

1 jar sour cherries

1 orange peel

1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Method:

Cook the cherries with the orange peels and cinnamon for about 15 minutes then blend and pass it through a thieve.

Grand Marnier and Orange Crème Brulée

creme brulee blog photo 5   Orange and Grand Marnier Crème Brulee: The  Crème Brulée  was  born in the XVII  century. During this period dishes were served to guests in  three different service , by the time all the quest received their meals it would be cold. During a dinner organized by Phillip D’orleans, he complained that his “ Crème”  was too cold. They had the idea to apply a hot iron on top to warm up the cream. Instead it caramelised the top without warming up the cream, the “ Crème Brulée “ was born.     creme brulee blog photo 2

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Recipe:

18 yolk

350 g sugar

orange zest

20 ml Grand Marnier

1.2 litres cream

Method: Boil the cream and orange zest , whisk egg yolks and sugar together• Pour the cream in the egg and sugar mix and whisk, then pour the mix back in the pot• Wash your bowl and dry it with a clean towel• Cook the Crème on a medium heat stirring it with a wooden spoon and whisking it from time to time.  Using a thermometer cook the Crème until about 80 degrees, you should see a swirl of fat forming at the top• Pour the cream back into the cleaned bowl and whisk for a few minutes until it cools down a little bit. Place an orange segment at the bottom of your  Crème brulée dish and pour the crème over,  put the crème  in the fridge overnight or until set• To caramelised it, sprinkle a thin layer of caster or raw sugar over the top, and caramelise it with a small blow torch or a Crème Brulée iron•   Can also be served with some almond tuiles •

grand marnier photo blog