Guest Post: Food Snob

Today, we are lucky people, because right here is a recipe/guest post from a Chef, I think really highly of. She brings desserts to my Harvest Parties as well as family gatherings, and it is always the most sought after, talked about item. Once in a while she will post pictures of her decadent, lovely desserts on Facebook and I will swoon to myself, thinking: I wish I could do that. I’m looking forward not only to seeing what unfolds in her culinary career but to the gems she will offer this blog when she has free time.

Food snob is, “a person who cooks in a restaurant and doesn’t make that much money. But turns their nose up at any convenience foods. Likes to make up some fancy sauce to serve over ahi, and likes to name drop famous chefs’ names. Critical of other people’s food choices, thinks he can deem your social class by the temperature of your steak.” – Urban dictionary

Yup, this describes me quite well. I am a Pastry Chef at an upscale steak house in Manchester, New Hampshire. Even though I have lunch at Wendy’s twice a month with my Grandmother, I will “deem your social class by the temperature of your steak.” I’m sorry, but if you request ice cream to go with your already fattening crème brulee, I will question your social class status. Either trust the Chef who put effort into the menu development or request the addition of berries to perfectly balance the crème brulee.

My first memory of becoming a food snob was shortly after culinary school. I had a craving for Hostess Ring Dings. My first bite was disappointing. The chocolate coating was waxy and didn’t even taste like chocolate. The cake was very dry and the filling was limited. Not a perfect balance of cake to cream ratio. While attending culinary school, we were exposed to the creation of chocolate and the many couverture brands. So many different varieties and subtitle flavors, like coffee and berries.  Oh and the wonderful snap sound tempered chocolate makes! How is this not exciting when compared to dry cake?

As a Pastry Chef food snob, we all have our favorite crème brulee recipes. Here’s a vanilla bean crème brulee recipe.

VANILLA BEAN CREME BRULEE

INGREDIENTS

1 quart heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1 each vanilla bean, split
¾ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown Sugar
3 eggs
6 ounces egg yolks (about 9)

METHOD OF PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Boil heavy cream, half and half, vanilla bean, and sugar
Combine eggs, yolks, and brown sugar
Once the cream mixture has boiled, turn off the burner
Temper the hot cream with the egg mixture
Do this by warming the egg mixture up with a bit of hot cream and whisk the batter thoroughly
Then slowly whisk the egg batter into the hot cream mixture
Strain the custard batter, to remove the vanilla pod and any curdled eggs
Pour custard into a single or several shallow ramekins or pans (you can always save extra custard in the fridge for another time)
Place the dish(s) in a larger pan, like a sheet pan or casserole dish, to hold a water bath
Place the pan in the oven and fill it a quarter of the way with water
Cover the top of the pan with another pan to provide even cooking
Bake for a half hour and check on the custard
At this point tap the pan to see how much longer the custard needs before finishing
If it’s still liquid form, rotate pan and bake another 15 minutes
If the edges are baked, but the center jiggles like Jell-O, rotate and bake another 5 minutes
Custard is done when the center does not jiggle, the whole custard is thick and moves as one
Allow the custard to get cold and dust the top with a single layer of granulated sugar (or Sugar in the Raw for first timers)
Use a blow torch to “brulee” or burn or caramelize the sugar
You can also try the broiler on your oven if you do not have a blow torch

Serve with fruit and enjoy!

Want to add flare? Add fresh berries or herbs into the crème brulee batter before baking.

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