Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Crème Brulée
by McGonagirl, Dumbledwarf, Hermi2, Hagrid

Neville Longbottom often looked umkempt, but lacking eyebrows was something normally associated with Seamus Finnegan who had a knack for making spells go awry in an explosive manner. When Seamus's and Neville's eyebrows did not grow back for a couple of weeks, Professor McGonagal felt it necessary to intervene and ordered them up to see Madame Pomfrey. The school nurse reported the boys were fine, but it seemed they had burnt their eyebrows off repeatedly — it wasn't the effect of a disease or condition stunting the hair growth.

The head of Gryffindor ordered the two boys to explain why they were repeatedly singeing off their eyebrows, "And it had better not be some new Muggle fashion trend!" Neville stammered that it wasn't like that, they were just making themselves something to eat.

McGonagal glowered at them, "You are not to cook in your rooms! You can obtain access to the kitchens if necessary before lights-out!"

Seamus sighed, "We do the cooking in the kitchens, honest! But the crème brulée has to be 'finished' properly and we were using our wands to—"

"Did you say crème brulée???" Professor McGonagal didn't let him finish his explanation. "On your own??"

"Yes'm," both boys replied. They wondered how many house points would be extracted as penalty, or how long a detention they'd suffer.

Instead, their head of house had them create a poster with the recipe they'd used as proof of their claim, but she thought that since they were having so much trouble using wands to melt the sugar coating, they'd best use a blowtorch ... the poster hung in the transfiguration classroom as a demonstration of how to turn common ingredients into a delectable, royal dessert!

"That's funny," whispered Neville to Seamus as they watched their poster get hung up on the classroom wall, "you'd think ol' McGonagal would have skinned us for nearly blowing up the tower, eh?"

"Shh!" admonished Seamus, "Why do you think I had us burn off our eyebrows instead?"

    Custard
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
Heat the oven to 300°F / 150°C. In a thick-bottomed pot, heat the cream and sugar together with stirring till the milk is steaming and half the sugar is dissolved. Don't let the milk boil or foam over. Add the vanilla extract.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and half the sugar till the mixture are light and pale. Slowly add the hot milk to the egg mixture while whisking constantly, to avoid curdling the yolks. You are trying to heat up the yolks bit by bit so that the contrasting temperatures don't "shock" or curdle the mixture. This is called "tempering," and you can accomplish it by ladling ¼ cup of hot cream into the yolks at a time.

Place 4 oz. ramekins or custard cups inside a lipped baking tray (you'll need four for this recipe). As long as the containers are ovenproof, you can make this in any container, smaller or larger. Carefully pour the cream and egg mixture into the ramekins.

Boil some water. Carry the tray to the oven and place it on a rack. Pour the boiling water in the oven tray till it comes halfway up the side of the ramekins. Push the oven tray into the oven, close the door and don't look at it for 15 minutes. The crème is done when the edges are firm but the middle jiggles a bit but it isn't completely "wet" looking. Remove the ramekins from the waterbath and allow to cool. When cold enough to put into the refrigerator, cover with plastic wrap and chill.

    Finishing
  • custard in ramekins, chilled
  • ½ teaspoon white granulated sugar per serving
When ready to serve, scatter sugar completely over the surface of the chilled custard. Using a blowtorch or salamander, "broil" the sugar till it melts and caramelizes. Don't use too much sugar -- the crust should be like a crispy wafer. Let it cool a minute, serve with thin cookies if you want to be fancy, or whole berries. Makes four servings.


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