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Hale Aina Cookbook: Island Harvest

Throw a great dinner party with six gourmet recipes from Hale Aina Award-winning chefs.


(page 6 of 6)

Locally grown: sugar, lemon, verbena, eggs.

Photo by: Monte Costa

Lemon Verbena Creme Brulee

Serves 6  

Tango Contemporary Cafe

Sometimes, after dinner, you feel like playing with fire. Here’s one of the most dramatic, and uncomplicated, ways to do it. Lemon verbena, a spiky-leafed herb scented with citrus and grass notes, adds a hint of astringent virtue to a sinfully rich dessert.

4    cups whipping cream
¾  cup sugar
1     large sprig of lemon verbena
1     egg
6    egg yolks (separated from the whites)

Photo by: Monte Costa

1. Steep the cream:

Preheat oven to 325˚ F.  Place whipping cream, sugar and lemon verbena sprig in a thick-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, dissolving sugar. Turn off heat and let steep for 10 minutes.

2. Add the eggs:

Beat together egg and egg yolks in a medium bowl. Remove the verbena sprig, and add the warm cream to the egg mixture, beating as you blend. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer into another bowl.

3. Bake:

Ladle mixture into six individual ramekins or brûlée dishes. Place dishes in a pan and fill pan with hot water, halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 25 minutes, or until set. Let cool. Refrigerate at least one hour, or overnight.

4. Brulee:

Sprinkle sugar thickly over the top of the chilled crème. Fire with a crème brûlée torch for a few seconds, until the sugar is bubbling and brown.

TIP: Lemon verbena grows in Hawaii, but it is a seasonal herb. Stash a bag of fresh stuff in the freezer, as they do at Tango, to use all year round.




Goran Streng has cooked his way across the world, starting out in his native Finland and progressing through Yugoslavia, the Bay Area, Hawaii and Singapore (where he re-opened the flagship Raffles Hotel) before returning to Hawaii and, a few years later, opening Tangö, his first independent venture.




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