Crème anglaise

I came down with a cold last week and had to miss my baking class lecture & lab.  Chef was kind enough to allow me to make up the lab at home with the stipulation that I document the process and show it to her.  This I could do!  My assigned dessert sauce was Crème anglaise which is a custard that can be poured over the likes of cake or fruit, or even be drunk on its own (it tastes like unspiced egg nog).  This recipe is very sweet which will be great on a plain cake or unsweet fruit, but if the item being topped is sweet, I would cut back on the sugar content.

Ingredients

250 g egg yolks
250 g granulated sugar
1 L whole milk or 1/2 L whole milk plus 1/2 L heavy cream
1 vanilla bean or  15 mL vanilla extract

Directions

Measure 250 g granulated sugar
Separate the egg yolks from the whites

Measure 250 g egg yolks

I opted to use 1/2 milk and 1/2 cream Measure 1 L milk & cream

Get out your vanilla bean and cut it lengthwise

Set up an ice bath to cool that custard down quickly once it’s cooked. Set a stainless bowl inside of a larger bowl that’s got some ice and water  int it

Set a strainer over the bowl that’s in the ice bath.  This will help to withhold any lumps that may end up in the custard

The yolks and sugar need to be combined in a stainless bowl and whipped as soon as they’re combined until thick and light

Scrape the beans out of the vanilla and put them into the milk mixture, in a large sauce pan, add the seed pods too

Heat the vanilla and milk mixture to scalding (181 degrees F)

Temper the egg mixture with the warm milk mixture by adding one ladle of milk to the eggs while mixing on low

Slowly add the egg mixture to the warm milk in the saucepan and cook it on a medium-low heat while stirring constantly to prevent curdling until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon(180 degrees F)

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the custard into the strainer that’s resting over the bowl in the ice bath and stir it to cool it down before using or storing in the refrigerator

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

I have bought my sticky, sweet Asian sauces pre-made from the grocery store for years.  Many times I am disappointed by some flavor or lack of heat, or a strange consistency, but not anymore!  This time I made it from scratch and I controlled the sweet, sour, and heat.  The entire process only took a few minutes, and the yield was such that I was able to glaze four portions of broiled salmon one night, then completely sauce shrimp & string beans another night. Go ahead, try it!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 cup water

3 Tbsp. fish sauce

2 Tbsp. sherry

3 cloves garlic, pressed

1 Tbsp. chili paste w/ garlic

1+1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsp. cool water

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients (except the cornstarch-water mixture) in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil
  • Reduce the heat to medium and let the mixture boil for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the cornstarch-water mixture.  Whisk to incorporate and continue stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens (about 2 minutes)
  • Pour sauce into a dish and serve or cool it in a jar and store in the fridge for future use