Cappuccino Meringue Brule
4 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 cup Sugar
1 TB Instant Espresso Powder
1/2 tsp Freshly grated nutmeg.
1/2 vanilla bean split
1 cup Egg yolks - reserve 1/2 cup of whites for topping
1/2 cup Egg Whites
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Cream of Tarter
In a medium sauce pan heat heavy cream, nutmeg, espresso powder and vanilla bean to just below a boil (scald)
Place the bottom of the double boiler on the stove with about 1 inch of water, begin heating on medium heat. In the top of the double boiler, but no over the heating water yet, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until double in volume and very pale.
Place a tea kettle of water over medium-high heat.
When cream has hit scald point, fish out the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds, add these back into the cream and whisk to break them up.
Begin whisking yolks as you slowly pour the hot cream over them. Place mixture over the simmering water and cook until the Creme anglaise stage.
Strain through 3 layers of cheese cloth into a vessel you can pour from, to remove the vanilla seeds and the nutmeg as weell as ANY lumps from stray egg white or clots from the conditioning process.
Fill Cappuccino Cups with 4 oz of the mixture and place in a roasting pan. Pull the rack from your oven out and place the roasting pan upon it. Push your oven rack in almost all the way, and then fill the pan with hot water from the kettle until it comes half way up the sides of the Cappuccino cup. Push the oven rack all the way in and close the door, reduce heat to 325 degrees F.
Bake for 20 minutes, the center will still be a little jiggley, that is good, if it's not, then they are over done. Carefully remove roasting pan from oven and quickly remove ramekins from hot water to a cooking rack.
Let Creme cool to room temp before placing in the refrigerator over night. Wait until the day of serving to make the meringue.
Make sure your egg white are at room temperature, begin beating on medium speed until frothy. Add Cream of tarter and beat until soft peaks.
Begin sprinkling 1/4 cup sugar into egg white while beating on high speed until Stiff peaks form and the white become pearlescent.
Remove Cappuccino cups from the refrigerator and divide raw meringue between the cups, spread to cover completely and seal the creme underneath.
Place cups in roasting pan again, place ice in roasting pan to ensure creme remains cold. Place the roasting pan under the broiler for 3 - 5 minutes until the meringue turns light brown.
Remove from oven and serve, if cappuccino cup seems a little warm, they can be placed back in the refrigerator, but for no longer than 20 minutes or the meringue will begin to weep.
You can attempt to torch the meringue, but I have not been brave enough to try it. It seems that it would either take too long or that the meringue would just burn (in a bad way).
For my next trick, I am working on a way to safely ignite them with a little warmed Brandy or Rum.
Pairs Well With
I am a great proponent of the elegant simplicity of Creme Brule, this however makes a great statement. Just as Pots du Creme are related, so too is this recipe for Lightly flavored coffee custard with a burnt merengue top. Bake your custard in Cappuccino mugs for a greater effect.