It's that time of the year...and even if you don't dress up or beg for candy, it's a great time to do things that scare you! Dare yourself to play with FIRE!
I did an informal poll about a month ago about what scares people in the kitchen and what scares people in the craft room. Lots of answers for the kitchen, but most people chose STAMPING for being the most scary thing in the craft room.
It's no wonder. No cut & paste here...stamping triggers that creative gene, things can and WILL go wrong with stamping. It's never the same twice...all that uncertainty is SCARY! Well, I took the fear level up a notch by sharing a stamping technique that includes FIRE! (view video).
Fire & paper? That's just wrong, now isn't it?
But really, it's the most fun I've had stamping in a long while. It's hard to reproduce this look any other way and it's just so perfect for this time of the year (Halloween, Fall & Thanksgiving), so try it out! Please visit the Studio 5 page for all the step by step instructions, visuals and Projects.
And while you have your fire started, why not take it into the kitchen? I've taken an intimidating 'restaurant' (or as Brooke says "Pinky", think English tea) dessert and shown you how simple it is to create Creme Brulee at home.
The same reasons restaurants like to serve this are the same reasons you should make it at home; make-ahead, inexpensive, impressive and delicious! You can get the Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee recipe and visual instructions here.
A couple of things I didn't get to chat about (it was a super busy day at Studio 5 today!) I want to mention here.
*The best price for Vanilla beans I've found is San Francisco Herb company.
*If you don't want to invest in a Creme brulee torch, dig out the old blow torch in the garage. This actually works BETTER and is less expensive. But the little torches are cute. :) You can also use the broiler, but it's tricky to get it evenly browned. You'll have to keep turning it and never leave it for a second as it goes quickly.
*I use a pitcher of hot water to pour into the pan once the ramekins are in the oven. To remove (after they are cooked), I use tongs in one hand and a oven pad/mitt in the other hand to carefully remove one ramekin at a time, transferring quickly to the oven mitt and then to the cooling rack. Then I can let the hot water cool in the oven before I remove it. Some recipes call for the creme to cool in the water, but I've tried it both ways and don't see a difference.
*Don't throw away your vanilla beans after you've scraped the seeds out. I let these sit on the counter and completely dry out. I then add them to a quart sized jar of granulated sugar. Before long you'll have a lovely scented vanilla sugar. Just make sure you use completely dried beans, otherwise your sugar will get clumpy.
*Lastly, I've had requests for the two other recipes I mentioned on air. Coconut Creme Brulee and Pumpkin Creme Brulee. Both of these were yummy (I'm eating the little coconut one I brought home from the show right now), but the texture won't be quite a smooth as the plain one.
Pumpkin Spice Brulee
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
Mix yolks, maple syrup and brown sugar in a bowl.
heat buttermilk and cream almost to a boil.
gradually mix (temper) hot cream into egg mixture. Strain and mix in pumpkin puree.
Pour into ramekins and water bath (see video) them in a 9x13 pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 25-35 minute, depending on how deep your ramekins are. Just keep baking until the center almost doesn't wiggle when touched.
Cool in refridgerator (I cover them lightly with plastic wrap). About 20-30 minutes before serving sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar (this works best) and caramelize with a torch.
Garnish with whipped cream (because yes, you NEED more!) and some candied pecans.
Coconut Creme Brulee
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar (I used my vanilla sugar)
2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
2/3 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk (I used light and it worked fine)
Mix Eggs with sugar in a bowl
Heat cream, coconut and coconut milk in pan until hot, but not boiling.
Gradually mix (temper) hot cream mixture into egg mixture.
Follow instructions for Pumpkin Creme brulee above to complete recipe.
Am I done...not quite! Just checking to see if you really read my ENTIRE long post! :) We were supposed to do a call-in giveaway on air today, but simply ran out of time. So instead, I'm doing it here! Please leave a comment about what scares you (either in the kitchen and/or the craft room) and I'll choose a winner on Friday. The prize? A Creme Brulee Kit of course! One torch and 4 cute little ramekins!
And lastly...thanks for all your fine guesses on my Sneak-peek. Most everyone got the creme brulee but no one guessed the Stamping Soot Technique. Yes, I know it was hard! I did, however, have two readers guess some kind of heat (embossing gun) technique, so I'm going to send both Arielle and Peggy something for their guess, Congrats!