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Look What I Found In My Egg!

Now that I am hooked on blogging events, I get really worried when we lose our Internet connection. Such was the case last night and I got really nervous about not making the deadline for this month SHF "Surprise Inside". Now that it’s back, this is the third post I write about it. I write it up all the way to the end and hit the wrong button and lose the whole thing. I am getting frustrated. Nothing than a shortbread cookie can’t fix…feeling better already!

When I read the word "surprise" I thought "how fun" and I knew exactly what to make. Years ago at the restaurant we had a banquet for some big honchos from Grand Marnier and I had to make a bite size dessert plate incorporating the flavor. I’ll never forget that day: the anxiety of coming up with creative, intense and somewhat light spirited (no pun) desserts because these guys were gourmet big suits with a sweet tooth. I made bite size Grand Marnier cheesecakes, cream puff swans with Grand Marnier mousse and Grand Marnier creme brulee in egg shells. Out of all the desserts presented that night, the creme brulee got the highest praise. Not only did they taste great (if I may give myself a pat on the back) but they SURPRISED everyone by being baked and served inside an egg. After all, what is a creme brulee if not an (elaborated) egg custard.

I love creme brulee, but since the days I used to make 50-75 a day at the restaurant, I seldom serve one for dessert. Not because of the egg yolk/cream factor but because it is so simple of a dessert that I often overlook it. Really, it is not a complicated thing if you respect all the steps, and I often think that the reason why I don’t make them is because I have no willpower when I see one, and two, and three…you get the picture.

There are several ways to make brulees, I learn this one from the pastry chef I replaced at the restaurant. It worked everytime so I never changed it. You can flavor it any way you wish, in this case I did the good old Grand Marnier version.
For 8 shells:
1 cup egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup liquor if using

Prepare the shells: break the eggs you will need for the recipe very carefully. Separate the yolks and whites. Rinse the shells under cold water and leave to dry.

Prepare your pan: take a muffin pan and put a small piece of sandwich bread in the bottom of each cabity and make an indentation with your fingers to create a nest for the egg shells. Make sure your pan will fit in a large roasting pan.

In a bowl, whip the egg yolks and sugar until very pale. Heat the cream almost to boiling point. Slowly whisk the cream into the yolks, stirring constantly. Let cool 10 minutes and park in the fridge until completely cold. Pour the batter through a sieve to eliminate foam. Divide among the shells.Put hot water in the bottom of your roasting pan and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.

For the burnt sugar tops: mix equal part brown sugar and white sugar and sprinkle about 1/2 Tb. on top of each shells. Put under the broiler until nicely browned.

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cin September 22, 2006 um 10:50 pm

Love it! That’s a great idea to serve them in the egg shells (if you can break them as beautifully as you have here!).

Alpineberry Mary September 23, 2006 um 1:50 am

That is totally cute! And very appropriate for the "surprising" SHF.

Anonymous September 23, 2006 um 5:54 am

I love these! And now I know what to do with the Grand Marnier in my liquor cabinet!

Jen September 23, 2006 um 11:13 am

What masterpiece Helene! How did you get your eggs to crack so neatly, I am so bad at cracking eggs.

Monisha September 23, 2006 um 3:45 pm

Hi Helene –
I love the idea of the brulee in an eggshell, and uhmm..Grand Marnier..!

Sam September 23, 2006 um 4:15 pm

How cute and fabulous!

Helene September 23, 2006 um 7:58 pm

Cin: Thank you. It is always fun to see people’s surprise when these are served.

Mary: thank you. I had a good time coming up with these!

Nicole: or we could have a party and drink it!

JenJen: so are your fortune cookies!Best way to crack them is to do it very close to the top and then carefully break the rest off with your fingers if necessary.

Monisha: just the perfect bite beore coffee.

Sam: thank you for the compliment. I am very interested in your lime truffles. Sounds delicious!

Anonymous September 23, 2006 um 8:27 pm

I would love you to drop by some sweets! Which ever you have time to make would be lovely.
I hope you are in Savannah that Friday night in time for cupcake happy hour 4-8 & then 7till 10 for music Can’t wait to meet you in person Helene.

Rachel September 24, 2006 um 6:07 pm

Very clever! And no one accidentally eats a bit of shell??

Orchidea September 24, 2006 um 8:11 pm

This is great! They look so delicious.

Anonymous September 24, 2006 um 9:41 pm

Great idea Helene!

Brilynn September 24, 2006 um 9:49 pm

These are adorable, and look very tasty.

Anonymous September 24, 2006 um 11:45 pm

J’adore, c’est superbe!

Anonymous September 25, 2006 um 2:03 am

These are so gorgeous! I really love the idea of serving the creme brulee in the egg shells. And such lovely photos of the effect.

wheresmymind September 25, 2006 um 1:40 pm

Soo soo beautiful!

Helene September 25, 2006 um 6:12 pm

Cheryl: I am looking forward to it. A French delicacy is in order!

Rachel: thank you. Nobody did get shell bits.

Orchidea: thanks for dropping by.

Bruno: thank you, we enjoyed them very much indeed.

Brilynn: they are the perfect size for a 2 bite dessert.

Bea: Merci bien. J’adore tes petites poches de crepe. Delice!

Danielle: I am finally getting the hang of my new camera and I only read the first 10 pages!

Wheresmymind: thank you!

Thank you all of you for dropping by. I am slowly making my way to all of your blogs too.

Anonymous September 27, 2006 um 9:33 am

Such a wonderful idea! How did you get the caramelized sugar on top without a blowtorch? I tried it once on a custard tart and the custard just melted 🙁

Erielle November 2, 2006 um 1:01 am

Those are delightful!
Everytime I have served creme brulée, it’s after a big dinner and everyone is so stuffed that they can’t eat a whole ramekin of custard. Wussies.
These are perfect portion sizes for stuffed guests. Plus all my friends are fat so they don’t need a full serving. Just kidding. My friends are not fat.

michelle March 5, 2008 um 10:29 am

Creme brulee eggs? Perfect!!

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