I have some very exciting news that I have been absolutely dying to share with you. I’m crazy excited to tell y’all that Chocolate + Marrow was recently named a finalist in the Saveur Blog Awards thanks to your kind words and nominations! The folks at Saveur received 50,000 (!!!) nominations for food blogs from around the world and have selected C+M as one of six finalists for “Best New Voice”. The final round of voting will determine the official winner. And even though being a finalist is more than enough for me, it would be totally unreal to actually win. So, I’m turning to you to ask for your support.
Please take a moment to click here and vote for Chocolate + Marrow for “Best New Voice.” It only takes a minute to vote, but you do have to register your email and create a login/password to do it. Please know that they won’t use your info and you won’t get spammed…they just ask for email registration to make sure we all stay on a level playing field.
When the news about the finalists was made public on Monday, my email/life seemed to explode in the most wonderful, gratifying way possible. In what felt like an instant, I got calls and texts from friends, family, and fellow bloggers, shout outs on facebook, and some very fun opportunities for the future. It was overwhelming and exhilarating all at the same time. So I decided to hit pause on the recipe development, writing, and photography for the blog for a couple of days and just reveled in it for a bit. It was all so sublime.
That evening we also decided to throw an impromptu dinner party with some of our closest friends to celebrate the happy news. They arrived with cards and flowers, with bottles of bubbly and the biggest of smiles. We played corn hole as the sun set behind our house and once the sky had turned dark, we lit candles and feasted under the stars, soaking up the unusually warm spring weather and laughing about anything and everything. It was genuinely a night to remember.
I went to bed so happy that night. Beyond happy, really. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I was to have been selected among so many talented bloggers. To somehow find myself surrounded by the most loving, kind-hearted people, both near and far. And to have readers who have supported this little blog space of mine even in its infancy.
But enough about awards and such. Today I’m leaving you with a recipe that is, true to form, insanely rich and perfect for celebrating. Celebrating easter, celebrating blogs, celebrating anything really! It’s a Crème Brulée, which I’ve made with duck eggs so that it’s extra thick and decadent, though I’ve also provided instructions on how to substitute chicken eggs in case you have trouble finding duck. Rather than use traditional cream, I decided to use coconut cream, which gives a light, airy flavor to the otherwise dense dessert. I also used dark brown sugar instead of traditional granulated sugar because I wanted a deep nuttiness to pair with the coconut. The whole custard is topped with sugar, which is torched (yay! I love finding uses for my torch!) until crispy and then topped with a good, flaky finishing salt.
I didn’t think it was possible to be any happier this week. But when I took my first bite of the silky, crackly concoction, I proved myself wrong. Now, no one do anything else to make me insanely happy or else I might just burst! Bourré said to tell you he feels the same way…and that he’s sick of watching me dance around the house, coaxing him to dance with me 😉
In all seriousness, I have no doubt that this whole Saveur finalist thing happened because I have some of the most amazingly supportive friends, family, and readers in the whole world. So, really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
- 3 cups of coconut cream, about 1½ cans
- 4 duck egg yolks (or 8 chicken egg yolks)
- ½ cup of dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean split and scraped
- 4-5 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 2 pinches of finishing salt
- 1 kitchen torch
- 4 ramekins
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- While the oven is preheating, heat the coconut cream on medium-low (but more towards low) in a small saucepan. Stir frequently to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom and be extra careful here not to let it boil. Don’t rush this part, even though, I know, it’s tempting. It should take about 20-30 minutes to fully heat up.
- While the coconut cream is heating, mix the egg yolks and dark brown sugar together in a large bowl. Set aside until coconut cream is extremely hot, but not boiling. Once it gets scalding hot, pour half of the cream into the egg mixture, slowly, whisking as you go. Once it’s incorporated, slowly pour the other half of the cream, continuing to whisk, and then add the vanilla.
- Take a lined baking pan (with a rim at least 1-inch high) and place your ramekins in it. Pour the custard mixture into small ramekins. Next, pour hot water into the pan so that the ramekins are sitting in a water bath. The water should go about halfway up the ramekin. The amount of water will vary based on the height of your ramekins, but I used a 9x13 inch pan and about 3 cups of water.
- Transfer the whole tray to the oven. Do this extra carefully so that water doesn't splash into the ramekins! (I learned that one the hard way!) Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until custards are set. You’ll know they’re set because when you shake them, they’ll jiggle a bit in the center, but the edges should be slightly firm. Remove from the oven, allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, and then place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes (or up to 2 days, covered).
- When ready to serve, sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over each custard. Just a light sprinkling is all you need. I used about 3 teaspoons per custard, but it will vary depending on the size of your ramekin. Hold your kitchen torch at an angle of 45 degrees and gently move the flame back and forth and/or in small little circles over each custard until top is crisp. You'll see it start to bubble and crisp. If you notice it getting too hot or the sugar turning black, just move it to a different part. Sprinkle each top with a pinch of good, flaky finishing salt and serve.