Gourmet Style

The Sweet Life: Throw a Dessert-Tasting Party!


(page 4 of 5)

Espresso cup, Williams-Sonoma, Dessert spoon, Pier 1 Imports, Bowl, chef's own.  Plates, stylists' own.

Photo by Olivier Koning

“This recipe is quite versatile.I have made lemongrass, passionfruit, mango, vanilla bean and even Kona coffee crème brûlée.”—Chef Glenn Chu


Steamed Ginger Crème Brûlée

Serves four
1     tablespoon unsalted butter 
3     tablespoons minced fresh ginger
6     tablespoons sugar
2     cups heavy cream
4     large egg yolks
4     teaspoons minced candied ginger
8     teaspoons sugar







1.  Method:

In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble.  Add ginger and 3 tablespoons of sugar; cook until sugar has dissolved and ginger flavor has been extracted, about 2 minutes. Add cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl; discard ginger and cool slightly.

In a large bowl, stir together egg yolks and remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, taking care not to incorporate a lot of air bubbles. Slowly add egg yolk mixture to cream mixture, a little at a
time, stirring constantly.

Prepare a steamer.

Divide mixture evenly among four, 4½-ounce ramekins. Place ramekins in the bottom of the steamer; cover and steam 10 minutes. Carefully remove steamer lid; place 1 teaspoon candied ginger on top of each custard. Replace steamer lid; steam until firm, about 5 minutes.

Remove ramekins from steamer; let cool.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of sugar evenly over top of each crème brûlée. Using a hand-held kitchen blowtorch, caramelize the sugar until browned and bubbling, 20 to 30 seconds. Or, place ramekins in a roasting pan filled with ice. Place under a hot broiler until sugar is browned and bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes, watching carefully not to burn the sugar. Serve immediately.

Tip: If you're now carrying a torch for crème brûlée and want more options on this classic dish, read Elegantly Easy Crème Brûlée and Other Custard Desserts, by Debbie Puente, or Crème Brûlée: The Bonjour Way, by Randolph Mann.

Photos by Olivier Koning


J.J. Praseuth Luangkhot, chef/owner at J.J. French Pastry, 3447 Waialae Ave., 739-0993. Chef JJ provides pastries for Chai’s Island Bistro, another Hale Aina Award-winner in 2007, for Best Bistro/New American Cuisine.

 Stir  it up!

Key Lime “Martini”

Serves six
12     ounces fresh-squeezed Key Lime juice (bottled is okay, too)
12     egg whites
3     cups sugar
3     cups cream

1. Method:

Whip cream until it forms soft peaks, and set aside.

Combine sugar and egg whites, and whip until stiff. Add lime juice to egg-white mixture, and mix until combined.
Fold whipped cream into lime/egg-white mixture.

Pour into martini glass, then chill for a few hours or until served.

Garnish with fresh fruit and a mint leaf, or perhaps a twist of lime.

Best Beverage BETS

•  Look for sweet wines, such as a moscato, Sauterne or reisling.

•  Choose a fortified wine, such as sherry, Madeira or port.

•  Festive sparklers: Champagne, or Rosa Regale, a light red bubbly that marries well to chocolate, strawberries and other fruit.

•  Hire a college student to staff a “coffee bar,” and make espresso and cappuccinos for your guests. “Chocolate is really enhanced by the flavor of coffee,” notes Stuart Kotake, director of catering and conference services at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. Or, dress up regular coffee with Baileys, amaretto and freshly whipped cream.

•  Nestle a pitcher of cold milk in a bowl of ice next to a chocolate cake or brownies.

What to pour

Pomegranate elixirs are so last season. When it comes to cocktails, red has been surpassed by pink as the color du jour. There’s Pinky vodka, watermelon cosmopolitans, mojitos made with raspberry-flavored rum. The editor of Bartender Magazine even came out with a whole book on the subject of rosy libations, called The Pink Drink Book. We’ve included a recipe below for a pink beverage made with Sence, a nectar made from Bulgarian rose blossoms.

Photos courtesy of Sence

Vanilla Rose

3  ounces Sence rose nectar
1½  ounces vanilla vodka (such as Stoli)
3-5  drops fresh lime juice
Shake well, and pour into a martini glass.

Sence is carried at Foodland and Times Supermarket Kahala.


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