Baked Custard


Baked Custard

6 egg yolks

5 oz. sugar

scant 1/2 teaspoon salt

1  cup half-and-half

2 cups  heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons  pure vanilla extract


9 custard cups or 2 quart baking dish large enough to hold all custard cups or baking dish and pan . Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients except nutmeg until well combined. Strain through a fine sieve into picture and pour evenly into custard cups placed in a large pan or pour into a 2 quart baking dish place into a larger pan. Sprinkle nutmeg over the top of the custards. Carefully pour into large pan with custard dishes inside, hot water 1 inch up the sides of the baking dish/dishes. Place in oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a sharp thin knife inserted into center comes out clean, Remove immediately from hot water and cool on rack.

This can be easily turned into crème brulee by sprinkling sugar over the top of the baked custards and then caramelizing the sugar using a torch or placing under a broiler.

Quick Chocolate Mousse

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Quick Chocolate Mousse

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon instant espresso

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup half-and-half

3 egg yolks, beaten

7 oz. dark bittersweet chocolate, melted-cooled

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or flavored liqueur

about 1/2 cup-1 cup cold heavy cream

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt.

Stir in the 1 cup heavy cream , 1 cup half-and-half and instant espresso until smooth.

Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly.

Reduce heat: cook and stir 2 minutes longer.

Remove from heat .

Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks to temper the egg: return all to pan, stirring constantly.

Bring to a gentle boil: cook and stir 2 minutes longer.

Remove from heat: gradually whisk in slightly cooled melted chocolate and vanilla until smooth.

Cover top with plastic wrap and allow to cool in refrigerator completely.

Once mixture is completely cooled, remove from refrigerator and plastic wrap. Pour in a small amount about 1/2 cup of cold heavy cream and whip until smooth and combined. Add enough cold cream to create a smooth fluffy mousse.  Place in serving dishes: garish with mint, berries or plain.


Fresh Berry Custards




  • 1 1/4 cups half-and half
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 vanilla bean split
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Assortment of in season fresh berries
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • mint for garnish


  • 1

    To prepare custard, bring the half-and-half and split vanilla bean to a boil. Remove from heat. Meanwhile combine egg yolks, vanilla extract and sugar with a whisk. Add flour to egg yolk mixture and whisk until well combined. Remove the vanilla bean. Scrape any seeds remaining in the bean and place in hot milk mixture. Pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture whisking continuously,to temper. Pour the tempered mixture into the remaining mixture whisking until it thickens. Bring back to boil,10 seconds longer, remove from heat and allow to cool.

  • 2

    When ready to assemble, divide the custard among 4 dessert dishes. Cut the strawberries lengthwise into 6-8 slices and arrange decoratively in dessert dishes. Arrange other berries on top of custard. Warm the jam in microwave just enough for jam to become liquid. Using a pastry brush, light brush the tops of the berries. Garnish with mint

Pastry Cream AKA Creme Patissiere

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Oh the love of pastry cream. This beautiful almost sinful delight has so many uses such as fillings for tarts,cakes,cream puffs and last but not least eclairs. Yum!!!

Pastry Cream

1 vanilla bean

1 2/3 cup whole milk

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons butter

With a sharp knife split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Using the back of the knife carefully scrape the seeds from the bean and place into a saucepan. Toss the scraped bean into the saucepan as well. Add the milk to the sauce pan, over medium heat bring the milk and vanilla to a simmer. Turn off heat and cover tightly for 15 minutes to steep. Covering the milk and vanilla mixture is of great importance to the outcome of the pastry cream. If not covered, the finished pastry cream can be dry and not the wonderful supple cream it should be.

In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Add the cornstarch to the whisked egg yolks and whisk until well combined. Once the milk has steeped the 15 minutes. Uncover and remove the vanilla bean. Pour about a third of the milk into the egg yolk mixture and whisk until combined. This is called tempering the eggs. Tempering warms the egg mixture to that of the milk , not shocking it. Without tempering you would end up with scrambled egg instead of a smooth pastry cream. Pour the tempered mixture into the saucepan of remaining milk. Whisking constantly over medium heat, cook until mixture just begins to boil and has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to sit for about 10 minutes and stir in butter until combined.

Place the pastry cream in a bowl and cover top with plastic wrap. Allow to cool. Refrigerate if not using right away,once cooled.

Don’t trow away the spent vanilla bean. It has much more life in it. Rinse it off and allow to dry. When the vanilla bean is dry , add to a jar of sugar and just sit back a wait for the magic to happen. In a few days you will have vanilla sugar. Yum!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Puddings



Peanut Butter Pudding

1/2 cup sugar

5 tsp. cornstarch

1/8 tsp. salt

1 3/4 cup whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter, made with only peanuts and salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Pudding

6 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 oz. milk chocolate, chopped

1 tsp vanilla extract


1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

mini Peanut butter cup, for garnish

Peanut butter pudding-

Whisk first three ingredients in large saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in milk, then cram. Whisk over medium heat until mixture comes to boil. Then boil until thick, about 30 seconds. Whisk in peanut butter; boil again until thick whisking often. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Divide among 6 1 cup dessert dishes. Chill while preparing Chocolate pudding.


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Chocolate Brownie Pudding

Chocolate Brownie Pudding

1/2 lb. butter

4 eggs, room temperature

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 cup flour

seeds scraped from one vanilla bean

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

Coffee or Vanilla Ice Cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter a 2 quart baking dish. Melt butter and set aside to cool.

In a bowl of a stand mixer beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla seeds until thick and light yellow. In a separate bowl whisk together the espresso powder,flour and cocoa powder; set aside.

Add the dry ingredients to the thick egg mixture and blend just until combined. Add butter and continue to mix just until combined.

Pour into the prepared baking dish. Place the baking dish into a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with hot water half way up the sides of the baking dish. Bale for 1 hour and test on the 2inch inside of baking dish with a toothpick. The toothpick should come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear uncooked.

Allow to cool and serve with ice cream.

Apple Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Apple Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

2 egg yolks

1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

4 cups -1/2 inch cubes a good quality bread such as croissants of French bread; generously butter bread before cutting into cubes.

2 cups cubed (1/2 inch) peeled tart apple

1/3 cup golden raisins

1T plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar

Vanilla Sauce (recipe follows)

In large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk the cream, milk, all eggs, brown sugar , salt, vanilla and 1/4 tsp. of the cinnamon.

Add the bread cubes, apples and raisins, and toss well.

Refrigerate the pudding for at least 2 hours, tossing mixture occasionally to make sure the bread is soaked. Check by pulling a few pieces apart with your fingers.

15 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 inch baking dish. Mix granulated sugar and the remaining cinnamon together and sprinkle over the bread pudding.

Place the baking dish in a shallow pan on the center rack in the oven and pour enough hot water into larger pan to come up two-thirds up the side of the baking dish.

Bake until top is golden and crisp and has risen in the center, about 50 minutes. A sharp knife inserted to center should come out clean.

Remove the pudding from the water bath and allow to cool at least 30 minutes. Mean while make the sauce.

Vanilla Sauce

1/2 cup plus 2 T. heavy cream

1/2 cup plus 2 T whole milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1T cornstarch

3 T butter , cut into 3 pieces

1 1/2 tsp. Pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Scald the cream, all but 1/4 cup of the whole milk, the sugar, and the salt in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 cup whole milk in a small cup. Stir into the cream mixture.

Bring the mixture to a boil over low heat, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla and nutmeg. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Mocha Pots de Creme

Mocha Pots de Creme

6 oz. bitter sweet chocolate

1 Tbsp. instant coffee granules

3 cups half and half

5 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. whipped cream, for garnish

In a double boiler over medium heat, melt chocolate. Add the coffee and stir until dissolved.

In another saucepan over medium heat, heat the half and half just to boil. Set aside.

Place the egg yolks and sugar in a medium non reactive bowl. Place the bowl over barely simmering water. Whisk egg mixture until the sugar is dissolved, or until mixture is lukewarm.

Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until blended. Add 1/2 cup of heated half and half, whisking. Pour the egg and chocolate mixture into the remaining half and half in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens or coats the back of a spoon. Pour into coffee or custard cups. Chill for at least 4 hours.

Serve topped with whipped cream.

Bittersweet Chocolate and Almond Creme Brulee



3 cups heavy cream

8 egg yolks

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed, unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. almond extract

3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1/2 cup sliced almonds

brown sugar

In a medium saucepan over medium heat , heat cream just until bubbles begin to form around outside edge of pan. In a bowl whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder and almond extract. Add a ladle of hot cream whisking it into egg mixture to temper. Add egg mixture, whisking constantly into hot cream.Constantly stir over medium heat until mixture thickens. Do not let boil or get any hotter than 180 degrees. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in melted chocolate. Place into custard cups or souffle dishes and top with sliced almonds. Refrigerate covered at least 6 hours to overnight. 1 hour prior to serving, place in freezer uncovered. Remove from freezer and sprinkle brown sugar over the tops of each dessert. Torch lightly until sugar begins to caramelize. Watch carefully because brown sugar burns easily.

Vanilla Flan

Vanilla Flan


1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup water



2 cups milk

2 cups half and half

3/4 cup sugar

8 whole eggs, plus 4 egg yolks

1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

To make caramel, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until mixture begins to turn golden. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook and swirl until mixture is your desired color.

Remove the caramel from the heat and pour into custard cups or 9-inch cake pan. Tilt the custard cups or pan to coat the sides and leave about 1/4 inch caramel on bottom. Pour out any excess back into saucepan.

To make the flan, pour milk into same saucepan caramel was made in and place over low heat. Cook, stirring until the caramel has dissolved in the milk. Strain the warm milk into a bowl. Add half and half and stir well. Add the sugar, whole eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Whisk until well combined. Strain once more and pour into prepared custard cups or pan. Set custard cups or pan into roasting pan. Fill with boiling water until in reaches half way up the sides.

Bake until the center of the custards feel just firm when gently touched , 45-55 minutes for large pan, 30-40 minutes for custard cups. Remove from oven and cups or pan from roasting pan and allow to completely cool , about 1 1/2 hour. Refrigerate, wrapped with plastic wrap.

To serve, run knife around edge of pan and invert onto plate.

Serve chilled.