Ginger Chile Creme Brulee
4 eggs + 2 yolks
2 pints (1 litre) cream
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp orange liqueur (e.g. triple sec)
4 tbsp finely diced ginger root
4 finely diced serrano chiles
2 dried habaneros, stemmed, seeded and powdered
granulated sugar (for the tops)
In the bowl of a double boiler, beat the eggs and sugar, and stir
in the cream, liqueur, ginger, and both chiles. Mix well. Place
the double boiler over (NOT IN) water that is *barely simmering*.
Stir constantly for 30-45 minutes, until the mixture has thickened
some. Too high heat or a failure to stir constantly will get you
scrambled eggs, not creme brulee...
When the mixture has thickened, strain it to remove the chunks of
ginger and chile (this is optional, but I think it makes for a
better creme brulee), and pour into 8 Pyrex or ceramic serving
cups. Chill for at least two hours, or overnight.
Shortly before serving, remove from the refrigerator and cover the
top of each serving dish with an 1/8" (3mm) layer of sugar, all
the way to the edges of the dish. Hit the top of each with a
blowtorch until the sugar completely caramelizes. (Blowtorches
are cheap, and handy to have for skinning chiles as well, so buy
one. If you must, you can put the sugared creme brulees 1" under
a hot broiler to caramelize the sugar.) Let cool until the dishes
can be handled, and serve.