In an effort to force myself to actually make some recipes from the cookbooks I buy (instead of watching them collect dust on the coffee table), I’m committing to a once-monthly blog post I’ll call “Cook The Book.” Not to be confused with my other monthly “If I Liked It, Then I Should Have Put A  Ring [Binder] On It” posts, these dishes may not necessarily be ones I’ve made again and again (yet). This is just my effort to try out some cookbook recipes and share the results with you.
Fun fact: even though I received a 4.0 in all of my culinary school pastry classes, one of my true Achille’s heels in the kitchen is brûlée-ing (blow-torching) things. I was seriously so bad that after 7 unsuccessful tries to torch a mousse-topped cake, the pastry chef forced me to BUY the cake and take it home. He said he wouldn’t serve it in the school’s restaurant. My main problem was torching uneven-ness – some parts of the cake, pie or custard would be dark brown, others would be light brown, others weren’t browned at all, others were burnt. Not a good look.
Despite all of that, something possessed me to ask for a set of ramekins and a blow torch for Christmas. I wanted to make crème brûlée at home for special occasions. And I didn’t want a mini blow torch that most home cooks would prefer. I wanted the real deal. A full sized torch that I used at school, and that most professional kitchens use. And my in-laws came through and fulfilled my weird gift request.
Since the crème brûlée recipe I learned in school made about 20 servings, and I was too lazy to scale it down, I just made a half batch of Martha Stewart’s Crème Brûlée. Woman may be a convicted felon, but she knows her desserts.
And you know what? The brûlée-ing went ok. And what husband doesn’t want to be greeted at the door on Valentine’s Day by a wife with a blow torch in her hand?
- Martha Stewart’s Cookies: Iced Hermits, Cream-Filled Chocolate Sandwiches, Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing, Chocolate-Ginger Brownies, Pecan Tassies, Gingersnap-Raspberry Sandwiches
- Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Creme Brulee
- Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes: Chocolate-Salted Caramel Cupcakes, Stout Cupcakes, Triple-Citrus Cupcakes, Blueberries and Cream Cupcakes, Streusel Cupcakes, Raspberry Marble Cheesecakes, Chocolate-Mint Cupcakes, Mocha Cupcakes, Strawberry Cupcakes, Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes, Mint-Filled Brownie Cupcakes
- Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts: Coffee Cream Pie, Chocolate Pear Tart, Strawberry Icebox Pie
- Michael Symon’s Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen: Sweet Corn & Wild Mushroom Soup
- Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi: Asparagus Mimosa, Very Full Tart
- Tyler’s Ultimate: Chocolate Banana Bread