After a leisurely morning of opening presents and watching the snow fall, we had a leisurely brunch with Girlfriend M and family. Did I ever mention she’s an amazing baker? She is the one who taught me to make the world’s most awesome chocolate cake (I promise to post the recipe one day). Today she made monkey bread, which is kind of like one big sticky bun sans nuts but oozing with caramel and cinnamon. She baked it in a ceramic mold. When she flipped and un-molded it, I almost passed out. It looked and smelled that delicious. She says it can be made in a regular bundt pan, so I will definitely have to try.
I have no idea why they call this monkey bread. If anyone knows, please chime in. Don't it look yummy?
My contribution to the dessert table was a Thai tea crème brulee. If you like green tea ice cream and crème brulee, you will definitely like this dessert. I like it so much, I've made it twice in less than a week! It’s quite easy to make and you can use any other tea that you would add milk and sugar to. I’ve used green chai tea and I imagine it would be great with chamomile tea or Earl Grey.
I used tea bags, but you could use loose tea as well. But be careful because loose Thai tea can be very fine. A regular tea infuser won't hold it. You'll need to use fillable teabags or filter the cream through a clean kitchen towel. I think even cheesecloth will be too porous.
Thai Tea Crème Brulee
- 1 egg
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 to 5 Thai tea bags
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
Using a small knife, split the vanilla bean. Scrape out the inside and put it in a saucepan along with the pod, heavy cream and tea bags. Bring to just boiling. Turn off the heat. Cover and allow the tea to steep for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, whisk the egg, yolks and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
After the tea has steeped, remove the bags (squeeze out all the liquid from the bags) and vanilla pod. If necessary strain the cream mixture into a large bowl to remove any remnants of the pod.
Using a large wooden spoon (or the like), stir the egg mixture quickly while slowly (!!) adding the hot cream. Pour the mixture into individual ramekins (it’s enough for 8 ½-cup ramekins) or a shallow 1½ quart ovenproof dish (which is what I did this time). Bake in a water bath until the center is set, about 35 minutes for ramekins and 55 minutes for the large dish. When done, allow the custard to come to room temperature before covering with plastic wrap and chilling in the fridge. For the large dish, it will take at least 4 hours.
To serve, caramelize some granulated or turbinado sugar on top with a kitchen torch or under the broiler. If you do it under the broiler, I recommend freezing the custard for about 30 minutes beforehand to keep it from getting too warm in the oven.