if its not yummy, then we better make it funny.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Secret recipe revealed for limited time!!

OK Folks, this will be here until Tim tells me to take it down. This creme brulee has made tens of millions of dollars and Tim is a very good teacher. I just spent a ridicules chunk of time documenting this recipe for my boss and wanted to have the effort go farther. So I'm sharing it with my wide and faithful readership (also tens of millions) Consider it a math task to reduce the recipe, if you don't have 25 guests coming for dessert. I tried to call Tim three times to see if I could share it with the world at large but that rascal doesn't answer the phone. So I'm guessing he wont mind....

Tim Barrette's Creme Brulee
Makes about 52 food service sized portions or 26 regular dessert portions

4 split vanilla beans
3 litres (or quarts) fresh cream

Combine in stainless steel pot and heat until almost boiling.

Remove from heat, set aside to cool, a little.


Separate 24 egg yolks and two whole eggs. (Save whites for meringues or pavlova, or low cholesterol eggs or discard)

Beat yolks with barely two cups (scant) sugar.

Slowly add 1 or 2 cups of the hot cream into the yolks and stir briskly to avoid cooking the yolks!

Continue adding hot cream in small amounts until it half of the cream is added and then pour the rest in at once- no need to beat. Stir gently to avoid foam.

Pour through strainer, scrape vanilla beans and add to cream mix.

Pour into 50-55 catering sized ramekins (or 26 larger full dessert sized ramekins). Important to fill them as close to the top as possible in preparation for the torch to not make black marks on the ramekin, (marring presentation).

Place them in a hotel pans (2 inch pans)

Pour water 1 inch (2.5 cm) high on the outside of the cups (do this close to or in the oven).

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes in a 150 C (300 F) degree oven.

Take foil off and bake for another couple of minutes, uncovered.

They should be barely solid when you jiggle the pan, do not overcook (they puff up when they are overdone). Refrigerate uncovered until cold (then you can cover them, if need)

Important Serving time tips

Use white sugar if in hurry, otherwise brown.

Sift or spread the sugar to fully cover in a thin 2mm coating on the custards.

You can only do a few at a time, because the sugar can melt onto the cold custard before you get to it with the torch (and the liquid sugar won't caramelize). DO IN SMALL BATCHES of 4 or 5 at a time (or more if you are fast at it.)

Hold lit torch pointing up and turn the custard in the flame sideways to guide the carmelizing sugar, if necessary.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

update smupdate

All Is Well, this is to give folks the latest on the baking scheme and the lifestyle happenings of the Alexander Ganty gang or do you like the sounds of Ganty Alexander gang better?? (Ganty is my given surname, being dusted off for use)
Turning from tangent just in the nick of time.
I have the beautiful oven, with the steam injection rigging that Dmitri has masterminded, and all. Now we have to find a reservoir for the thing. It would be nice if it was thick old glass, but Dima says it will be a section of larger pipe with a cap.
The reason I want steam in the oven is to penetrate the bread dough as it first arrives in the mightily hot oven. This makes the bread rise, or as we say in the baking world, "jump". It also makes it blister and come out shiny (people love shiny) and crackly between your choppers.

Life will soon have a wood gathering element in it, since the oven is wood fired. Thankfully, we have Manuka and Kanuka wood laying all around on the 15 acres here. Were just waiting to get the thumbs up from the landlord to put the thing in the house. Originally, we thought we'd put it in the garage/greenhouse but it's such a queen of a tool, it would be nice to have it inside. It fits right into the space where the current woodstove with wetback hot water heater is now. Moving it may take some baked bribes.

I am making a system for chores and I'll have to add a couple of wood jobs in the "FUN HAT" that you draw your chore out of, after you do (or refuse to do) your other chores. I'm cracking the whip, for certain. These guys haven't had chores much and my new cork tiles on the wall system is going to give us the room to do that. I'm irradiating drab paneling with cheap cork and lovely little copper nails.

I have been working a lot to justify the $3500 that the stove set us back. It's the Kumeu Valley Estate job where I perform wedding food feasts. It is good exercise and good wage and hellaciously long shifts. Sometimes I come home after 3 or 4 AM, having left at 11 AM. Then I can't go to bed without unwinding a little, sometimes I whip through the tiny mountain of dishes, other times, like when Dmirti is working the same shifts, we wake Jordan up and open a bottle of wine, other times, I call Nina who has just gotten off work a few timezones over. It does turn my internal clock sideways (maybe it is so I can keep in touch with Nina's world, where she reluctantly works at the donut shop all night 2 days a week. Nina, girl- go get the Mcminiman's job next door, fa gads sake! Please encourage Nina to go for it, (anyone who knows and loves her)

In fact give yourself a big long overdue hug and then grant yourself permission to Go For It -as well. It is the job, the rest, the anything, the person, the companions, the health, the accomplishments, the release, the get up and go, the persistence, the spontaneity. Any darned thing you think I WISH about.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

photos of late

When life gives you soft cherries, make cherry ice, mwa!
Plus! Lilli and her first published Dirt Cake...
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

bread on my mind

I have finally done it, I am setting up shop in New Zealand. There is a bootleg bartering bakery in the birthing. I got a Fontana wood fired oven coming my way from Italy (via Dunedin) and last night I picked up a mixer a lovely brute of a fella- Robot coupe brand, pre bumped and scratched and priced right. Fingers crossed that Evergreens favorable feedback for the project will result in a contract within the month. This time my studies will be in alternative and sustainable business and finances. I will focus on bread, gelato and Friday sweets. Later there may be some pizza production, if the first stages of bread route are manageable. Jordan is home a lot right now, since his work has him writing. The kids are launched into the second week of school and are getting used to it. Desmond is reading so nicely and Lil is excellent at acting out reading. Nina is doing well juggling her studies and work and had them laughing in her improv theatre mid term exam. We just had a nice dinner party of about 20 people for J and my birthdays with some good southwestern food including picadillo and chili verde on rice and a tostada bar with summery toppings like fresh corn and prawn and nectarine and mango salsa and canned refried beans (at 4.59 per can!) we had a collection of desserts, too. The show stopper was the flourless chocolate cake with raspberries on top. My neighbor, Sue, brought a cozy little plum cake which I have been having for breakfast with cream the last couple of days.
The red wines were from France (meek and well behaved) and Spain (a bit louder and more willing to spin you around on the dance floor) The white whine was a Sicilian number very dry and crisp. Jordan made apple martinis which I didn't even try. It was a nice party with only grown ups and I managed to be prepared enough to not have to scamper around cooking and apologize for messes.

Life is pretty good.