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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Creme Brulee With Caramelised Banana

Creme Brulee 2

Creme Brulee 8

Creme Brulee 6

We all know that the meaning of food has expanded beyond the humble role of a sustenance fuel.... how else would one explain the popularity of reality TV programs like Masterchef, Topchef, Ironchef, Hell's Kitchen...?  Among these productions, my favourite has to be the Australian Masterchef. As Lisa Abend stated in her book, 'The Sorcerer's Apprentices', Food 'should be a source of nurture and nourishment.'-it is the Universal ambassador that celebrates the bounty of nature, binds culture, brings joy and aspires. In my humble opinion, Australian Masterchef is the only reality cooking program that has given the right focus to food and cooking. (Observation made from the Season 2 screening which is airing here now)

I love it that the program pushes the contestants out of their comfort zone, forcing them to deliver beyond their own imagination. I respect that in the midst of the competitive heat, it takes time off to send its contestants to masterclasses to brush up their skills and I am even more delighted to pick up little tricks and know-hows in the cooking masterclasses conducted by George and Gary. This is possibly the only cooking reality show that I walk away, feeling educated and inspired. Last week, the contestants were whizzed away to Paris and were asked to cook 2 dishes that would be quintessentially French enough for a Parisian bistro.

I found myself slipping into the contestants' shoes as they sprint towards the market for their ingredients.... wondering what I could potentially pull out of my own little hat if I were them. I found myself poring over  my limited collection of French Recipes, (most of which are desserts) after the show -  of which my favourite at this point, is Justin North's beautiful book, French Lessons.

First up, is the quintessential Creme Brulee which no self respecting French Chef would do without. The humble Creme Brulee can be served in so many ways, infused with so many different beautiful flavours, I am literally spoilt for choice.

Creme Brulee 9
Here, I am sharing a plain vanilla Creme Brulee served with a rum glazed caramelised banana. The Creme Brulee can be pre-baked and stored in the fridge. This can then be bruleed and served with freshly prepared caramelised fruit. The contrast between the hot fruit and the cold custard is actually quite delightful. I urge you to try it out for yourself.

Creme Brulee 8 (250)
Recipe : (Basic Creme Brulee From Justin North's French Lessons)
Creme Brulee
350ml      cream
125ml      milk
1/2           vanilla pod
7              egg yolks
70g          castor sugar
demerara sugar

2            mini bananas or 1 normal sized bananas sliced.
2 tsp      demerara sugar
Splash   Rum ( enough to deglaze pan)

Method :
1. In a pot, heat milk,cream with vanilla pod and vanilla seed (scraped from pod). Once milk starts to boil, remove pot from heat and cool down to room temperature.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and castor sugar together until light and thick. Remove the vanilla pod from the cool milk/cream and pour slowly into egg yolk mixture. Stir gently to combine.
3. I left the mixture in the fridge overnight to 'degas' the air bubbles which has formed during the whisking and stirring from (2).
4. Preheat oven to 110C. Pour cream mixture into creme brulee ramekins and lay them in a bain marie. (Pour in hot water as cold water will take a long time to warm up in the oven)
5. Bake the cream in the oven at 110C for 45 mins until set.
6. Cool down and let the creme brulee rest for 2 hours at room temperature. You can store this overnight in the fridge. If you do, make sure you blot dry the surface condensation with kitchen tower before torching.

7. Bananas
In a frying pan, add a little butter and caramelise bananas with sugar until slightly brown. Do not over cook as bananas will turn mushy. Remove bananas from the pan. Add a slug of Rum to deglaze the pan. Pour the deglaze over the bananas.

8. Sprinkle demerara sugar over surface of creme brulee. More sugar will give a thicker glassy and crunchy caramel sheet.
9. Spoon caramelised bananas over the creme brulee and serve immediately.


Zurin said...

Agree...I LOVE the Australian civilized, educational, encouraging and the contestants are given so many opportunites to learn and compete fairly through many events before being eliminated. Truly a fair, friendly and educational series. I learnt so much too.:)

I simply cannot watch Hells kitchen. Its way too crude for my liking and the others are a little too superficial.

I love creme brulee and caramelized bananas to top it off is just perfect!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Zurin : You've just voiced out my thoughts! Not only are the judges are fair and encouraging, the contestants are also mature and humble. In the American versions, I am just totally floored by the attitudes of some of the contestants!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Love creme brulee...especially the crackling of the sugar layer. :) The combination of the creamy custard and caramelized banans must be heavenly. ;) You know some how I miss Junior Masterchef....didn't really follow the adult version after a couple episode, lol!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Bee Bee - you should really watch it. I learn alot.

Phuoc'n Delicious said...

Bananas are so expensive now here in Sydney (and throughout Australia), so I love anything banana at the moment. This creme brulee looks great!

It's weird hearing that you are just getting into the 2nd season of Australia Masterchef when we're currently watching the top 8 in season 3. Do you know how wins and is there a favourite contestant you have? :)

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Phuoc'n Delicious : :) Yes. We are really slow here. I am aware who wins the 2nd Season but it is the whole process that I enjoy now. At this point no favourites.. but I thought Marian is really talented.

Phuoc'n Delicious said...

I agree! Marion has just realised her cookbook, it looks good. I'm going to wait until my birthday to see if someone will get it for me. Season 3 MC isn't that great, I only watch it because Billy from A Table For Two is in it and he has a good chance of winning :D

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

He is?!! I didn't know!

shaz said...

Hi Shirley
I love how you don't over do the caramelizing of the sugar. Really subtle and sophisticated. Thanks for sharing yet another beautiful recipe. :)

WendyinKK said...

I'm watching the clock each day to tune in to Masterchef Australia. It airs 3 times a day and I watch it 2 times, LOL.
I just made creme caramel yesterday and it was my first.
Hope to try creme brulee next time.
BTW, I think with so many egg yolks used today, there'll be an egg white bake soon?

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I've made caramelized bananas very similar to this for cupcakes before and I'm just SALIVATING looking at this. Yes food is definitely much more than sustenance for many of us and has in my opinion been since the beginning. I think mealtime has always been an important family gathering and time to socialize and learn from each other. Now it's become much more of course. I enjoy its many facets.

Gerry @Foodness Gracious said...

Beautiful! I love the fact that you placed the banana on top and didn't chop it up and hide it within the custardy paradise.
Great post and thanks for sharing!

MaryMoh said...

Beautiful dessert! I love that you add bananas to it.

tigerfish said...

I'm only able to watch US Masterchef here - airing 2nd season as well. I have kinda lost interest in Ironchef - not sure why. :O

pickyin @ LifeIsGreat said...

Great pairing of the brûlée with bananas there. MCAU season 3 will not be so great and yes, I also only watch it because Billy's good and has a good chance. Love the Masterclasses though, something the rest don't have.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

i have yet to make creme brulee, just bought a pasty torch, i must try to make creme brulee soon. Yours with banana sound good too.

Lisa Ho said...

I only watch MC towards the end.. like 4 of them left, only if I can master the stress level ;)...

This looks so good... tempting... must wait when banana is cheaper in $ :(

Noob Cook said...

I never thought of bananas with creme brulee combi, but it's a good one. Lovely photos.

Jean said...

wow this looks so good! really creative twist to the usual creme brulee we have.

Paola Westbeek said...

The combination sounds fantastic!

Von said...

I think I am one of the few who doesn't actually watch masterchef....haha :D I would be so terrible if I were competing in masterchef because I always use recipes and am so uncreative!

I've never made creme brulee before! My family likes creme caramel more than they like creme brulee so I've never really had the chance to make it....and I don't have a good blowtorch either :( Though I'd have to say, seeing this makes me want to make creme brulee- yours is so pretty, and the bananas are so small and cute!!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Great combo :)

Min said...

Combination of hot and cold, hehe, sounds new to me! Want to try this also, thanks for sharing ya!

Jeannie said...

I think I would enjoy the eating more than the making lol! Looks so good!

Prerna@IndianSimmer said...

Oh my gosh, OH MY GOSH I love it Shirley! I wanna have a bite off of my computer screen right now!

daphne said...

haha I am a fan of the series as well- it just pushes everyone doesnt it? I dont think i can ever be on the show but just watching it inspire me. I'm so glad it inspire you too because this creme brulee looks sooo delish that i wish you can invite me over to your place to have a meal!

Edith said...

Shirley, this looks finger lickin good. Keep some for me please?

Christine Ho said...

Very creative. Ever thought of using caramelised banana to make Creme Brulee. Yum.

Maria said...

I can't even remember the last time I had banana anything! They've been so expensive for the past few months, so for now I can only dream of it delicious treat ;-)

Jane Chew said...

cool! I cant wait to try this out. Thanks for sharing.

lena said...

shame to say that i never watched any of those shows you mentioned! I hardly watch tv actually, looks like i'm missing a lot from those. Let me see if i'm able to chk out those programs..

Anonymous said...

Where can one find vanilla pods in Singapore?

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Anonymous: Vanilla pods are actually quite common in Singapore now. Cold Storage's baking section carries it I believe. Otherwise, places like Sun Lik, Phoon Huat or Shermay's Cooking School will definitely have it.


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