Part of my job has always been testing recipes. Part of THAT part of the job is getting ideas from my travels, from the markets I visit, the people I talk to, the meals I eat, the aromas I smell. I won’t give you with more tales of Amsterdam and its cuisine for now, though its influence will be felt in the food I cook for some time as I work on a few Dutch recipes to incorporate into my repertoire. But I will talk a bit about crème brûlée, because I’m working on a recipe for this well-loved dessert that is already delicious, and that promises to be exquisite.
Why am I working on it ? Because crème brulee is one of France’s most loved desserts. It’s primarily the bailiwick of the restaurant kitchen – I’ve rarely been served a crème brûlée in a French home. I think this is because, as in so many things that seem simple, crème brûlée isn’t. The custard needs to be the right combination of rich and sweet; it needs a basis of vanilla and it benefits from hints of bright flavor as well. The caramel has to be just the right thickness, and just the right level of caramelized.
The crème brûlée that is currently captivating me is scented with lime and tinged with spiciness – when it’s finished, I’ll publish the recipe here. But I cannot do that yet, because while what I’ve made up until now is wonderful, it just isn’t quite perfect. And if a recipe isn’t perfect, it doesn’t get published ! Wish me luck !