Archive for January, 2011

How to: Chocolate Creme Brulee

January 7, 2011


1 can coconut milk, reduced by half

Coconut milk reducing on the stove

Begin by simmering the coconut milk in a medium sized, heavy sauce pan on the stove.

Reduced, thick coconut milk w/vanilla bean

Use medium heat and reduce stirring occasionally until you can see by the markings on the side of the pan that you have half the amount of liquid you had when you began.  Add the scrapings of one vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and scraped. Also add 3 C. Heavy Cream or 3 C. Half and Half bring back to a simmer.

Whisking in hot cream

Next, separate the yolks from the whites of six large eggs.  Set the whites aside in the fridge for other uses (egg white omelets, low fat baking, etc.).  Place the yolks in a large bowl and whisk while slowly ladling in the hot coconut cream mixture.  Keep whisking as you do, to prevent curdling the eggs.

weighed chocolate and sugar

Weigh 6 oz. of dark chocolate and 4 oz. of granulated sugar to have at the ready.

Whisk the weighed chocolate and sugar into the hot egg cream.  Continue to slowly stir until melted, do not whisk too vigorously, to prevent air bubbles from forming.


Ready to go!

Place into 10-12 ramekins, 5-6 oz. size ramekins work well.

Placed in pan for cooking

Place water halfway up the sides of the dishes with the dishes placed in a large pan with sides.  Cover in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until set in the middle.  If the custard center is only slightly jiggly, it will continue to cook and set up after removed from the oven.  If the center is completely firm, it may become a bit cracked as it cools.  The pan should not be allowed to become dry as these cook, so when checking for doneness, carefully add water to the side of the pan.

cooling custards

Remove cooked custards from the pan to slowly cool to room temperature.  At this point, you may either refrigerate each for later use, or finish with the brulee torch to serve while slightly warm.

Slice bananas and arrange as you wish, then sprinkle the bananas and custard with coarse or raw sugar.  Use your creme brulee torch to create a crisp warm caramel crust overtop the custard.


Enjoy your final product!  This batch should make 10-14 depending upon the size of the ramekin.  If you are not eating shortly after you bake, you can wrap each and refrigerate doing the final step before serving.


2011 Winter Menus!

January 4, 2011

Vegetarian Curry Entree

Nutshell Catering offers a number of menus for warming your Winter dining and keeping life simple!  This is one of several entree dishes we made for a customer who wanted healthy delicious vegetarian meals she could divide up and freeze for easy Winter dining when life is too busy to cook a fresh and healthy meal at home.  We also made Vegetarian Lasagna and a Butternut Squash Risotto, all of which she divided into portions of 8-12, making about 30 meals for $120, that’s $4 per meal!

We also do small dinner parties for 8 or more people with custom made menus.  Here is a lasagna dish, using Black Earth beef from a local farm source and Farmer John’s Asiago, Romano, and Cheddar, served at a book club party in the customer’s own pretty dish she doesn’t get to use often enough.  Dinner parties can be served at $15 per person for simple menus of entree/salad/bread/dessert, or they can be planned to include entree choices, sauces, sides, and appetizers for high end menus from $24-30 per guest.  They are delivered and can be produced in your own dishes if you have pieces you would like to use.

parsnip potato latkes

Brownie/Blondie Platter

Lemon mini-tarts


We do special appetizer/sweets menus for small tastes at events.  Menu offerings are priced per dozen people served, with some offerings of large batch items to serve 50 people per order (such as pulled pork and turkey for sandwiches sourced from local farms), and some dessert items that serve 24-50 at one time.

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