Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Vanilla Creme Anglaise (Page 876)

  • Date: Sunday, March 25, 2007 -- 8pm
  • Location: North Conway, NH
  • Kitchen: The Talbot House
  • Dining Companions: Vero, Mike, Chris, Andrew, Vigleik, Ricky, Matt, Andre, Big Mike, Jacob, Jnkf, and 15 other mathematicians
  • Recipe Rating: A-

I was shocked to discover that I hadn't yet made the creme anglaise from The Book. I love creme anglaise! This recipe was different than the one I usually use (whole eggs versus just egg yolks for instance), but it was still delicious. I had never made creme anglaise with a vanilla bean before rather than vanilla extract. The vanilla flavor was lovely -- very rich and authentic. Veronique commented that this sauce was "nothing special." True, it did taste more or less like every other decent creme anglaise recipe. But creme anglaise is delicious! I served this with molten chocolate cakes, and it complemented them nicely. Picture coming soon...

The Talbot workshop has officially begun! It's wonderful seeing everyone, which makes it challenging to force myself to work on my thesis and my defense during the few breaks in lectures!

I had my first culinary disaster of the week last night. I made bananas foster for dessert. It only has 6 ingredients. It's pretty much impossible to burn. Yet I ruined it! How? Well... I was making bananas foster for 25 in a huge hotel pan, and I lit it on fire (as you are supposed to) and I let the alcohol burn, and burn, and burn... But the pan was deep, so although I swirled it to try to burn the alcohol underneath, apparently I only burned from the top. I tasted it before I sent it out, but I tasted from the top. It was maybe a touch boozy, but otherwise fine.

Ten minutes later, after everyone was served, I took a bite of my own serving, which came from the very bottom of the pan. I couldn't eat it. There was so much rum and banana liqueur in there, untouched by the flame, that I felt drunk after two bites. Almost everyone else ate it though, and I felt hopelessly guilty for having gotten everyone drunk -- right before a talk no less. Whoops! I learned long ago to always taste everything before you serve it. This was a new lesson: stir before you taste.

Hopefully that will be the only major disaster of the week!

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