Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gingerbread Creme Brulee

The aroma of gingerbread evokes my strongest memories of Christmas. Those wonderful houses with stout walls of spicy gingerbread decorated with colorful candies and frosting. Children mesmerized with wide eyed wonder, their mouths agape as they inspect every inch. The aroma of gingerbread flooding the house, happiness and warmth, that's gingerbread. And those wonderful spices of gingerbread. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger with the rich smell of molasses. One of my happiest gingerbread moments was building a beautiful gingerbread house with my daughter when she was young. Her lilting laughter and lip smacking, candy eating, sticky little fingers adorning the house with as many decorations as she ate. I have tried to capture all of that in this dessert recipe for you. A creamy and very rich brulee that's not for the faint of heart, filled with those wonderful holiday spices. I hope you enjoy.

Gingerbread Creme Brulee


1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp. each cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 Tbsp. molasses
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup Splenda + 4 tsp. for topping
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300'

Pour the heavy cream and milk in a medium saucepan. Stir in the cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger and molasses. Heat until the mixture just bubbles, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the Splenda and vanilla extract until smooth. While whisking, slowly pour in the warm cream mixture a tablespoon at a time. After a few additions pour in the rest of the cream mixture while whisking continuously. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a large measuring cup for easy pouring. Pour 1/2 cup of the mixture into each of five ramekins or other small oven safe custard cups. Place the cups in a large roasting pan and pour hot water in until it is about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes until the custard is just about set but still jiggles in the center a little. Carefully remove the ramekins and place on a rack to cool. Refrigerate at least 6 hours but overnight is best.

Before serving sprinkle the tops of each custard with about 3/4 tsp. of the remaining Splenda. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan about 6 inches under the broiler for about 2 minutes. Watch carefully so they do not burn. If you have a small, hand held kitchen torch now is the time to use it instead of the broiler.

Nutrition Facts
5 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 316.8
Total Fat 30.8 g
Saturated Fat 18.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.4 g
Cholesterol 264.1 mg
Sodium 44.9 mg
Potassium 164.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
Sugars 3.7 g
Protein 4.4 g

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