chocolate ginger blueberry crème brûlée

chocolate ginger blueberry creme brulee

For those of you who read one to two to several blogs, you will understand my indubitable ennui when I tell you that my Google Reader currently has 341 unread posts. I’m trying to keep up on all that you out there, on the frontiers of the crazy wild internet, have to offer, but I’m doing battle with a foe I cannot conquer: a slow internet connection (and a desire to do other things…. like watch episodes of The Vampire Diaries). Like a grumpy curmudgeon, I trundle along each night, making my way slooowly across the endless pages of the web. Where would our lives be without it, I ask you.

Would we be free to quietly enjoy the last throes of winter, storm upon storm bringing impressive blizzards and quickly accumulating snow cover; would we seek out the small telltale hints of green peeking through on the forest floor, trumpeting proudly that spring is on the way? Or would we simply be searching, impatiently, for the next big technologic thing?

I guess we’ll never know, because this here’s the internet, and it’s growing mightier every day.

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Today I would like to showcase the 689th post in an impromptu series I like to call “What to Make When It is Summer, or, Get Cooking Already! Your Freezer is Jam-Packed with Blueberries.” Interestingly enough, you may recall that Post #688 (Post#3, in actuality) also featured the stellar duo of ginger and blueberry – – looks like the recipe apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

But. BUT! Oh my goodness. The idea for this Chocolate Ginger Blueberry Crème Brûlée came to me, like in a dream. Like a crazy dream, you know, where you aren’t quite sure if the thoughts that sound so radical in your head will turn out to be only subpar once they reach your tastebuds?

Those dreams are the worst – – but also the best, because sometimes they produce lovely results such as you see here.

chocolate ginger blueberry creme brulee

A hearty crunch of burnt sugar tops a near-pudding like dream of chocolate custard that is mixed with juicy blueberries and perfectly spiced with both fresh and dried ginger. I don’t always crow the deliciousness of my recipes, but oh man is this a winner. Try it out and you will not be disappointed (I sincerely hope).

Chocolate Ginger Blueberry Crème Brûlée {basic brûlée found here}

Makes 5 individual servings

++Ingredients:++

2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp freshly-grated ginger
1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
3 oz dark/bittersweet chocolate
3 tbsp sugar
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen (and defrosted) blueberries
5 tbsp sugar, to top custards

++Directions:++

Preheat oven to 275F. In a small pan, bring cream, 1/4 c. sugar and freshly-grated ginger to a simmer over medium heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Add ground ginger and chocolate, and whisk until combined.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk 3 tbsp sugar with egg yolks. Whisking constantly to avoid the dreaded scrambled-eggs-in-pudding outcome, pour the egg mixture into the pan in a slow but steady stream. Cook for one to two minutes more, then remove from heat.

At this point some of you may want to strain your custard through a mesh sieve. Unlike some custards, this one (being more pudding-like) does not seem to produce any lumps, so straining is to me quite unnecessary.

Distribute blueberries evenly amongst five ramekins. Pour custard mixture on top of blueberries. Place ramekins inside of a baking or roasting pan, and fill pan with boiling water until the waterline reaches 2/3rds the heights of the ramekins. Bake for 40 minutes to one hour, or until the custards have set – if you press down in the center and you feel some resistance, your custard has set.

Let custards cool for at least 30 minutes in the fridge (or ten minutes on the counter if you are impatient like me). Top each ramekin with 1 tbsp of sugar. Use a kitchen torch to create the brûléed effect of caramelization; in place of a kitchen torch, broil for one or two minutes on the top rack of your oven.

chocolate ginger blueberry creme brulee

big big news: new venture is unveiled!

You may have noticed in recent months that this blog has taken on a new focus, of sorts. I’ve been featuring a lot more recipes than I have in the past. This may have led you, in turn, to wonder why I’ve stopped showcasing my most favorite of delicacies – – – chocolate.

Rest assured that I haven’t stopped thinking about chocolate. Nor have I stopped consuming it. As we tumble quickly towards winter up here in northern Maine, my cocoa consumption is snowballing into the perfectly delicious storm.

You may also have noticed that in recent months, I’ve whined and whinnied about my inability to find meaningful employment. It all got to be a bit much, and I decided back in August to try pursuing a new direction. A New Venture, if you will. Ideas flew left and right. My creative brain said hello to my scientific brain. Outlines were jotted, massive daydreaming sessions were held, and one outcome became clear.

It was time to stop hording chocolate bar wrappers from other companies. It was time…. to come up with my own.

And so, my fate was sealed. After years of dreaming about it, I have decided to become a chocolate maker. Let me emphasize that with capitals for you: I have decided to become a Chocolate Maker!

I will soon be producing bean-to-bar chocolate. Handcrafted, quality, ethically-sourced and made-with-love chocolate bars.

It is time for you to meet my company. Please give a warm welcome to Antler Chocolate.

I very much hope that you will support me in this new and exciting endeavor. You can visit Antler Chocolate’s website, if you so desire. It is as of yesterday up and running, with more content to be added soon.

And please follow Antler Chocolate on Facebook, to watch the business develop and take shape.

Lastly, I encourage you to share this with anyone and everyone you know who enjoys chocolate. I would appreciate it so very much.

P.S. Not to worry – I will still be updating of agates and madeleines on a regular basis. I just won’t be posting any more chocolate reviews;)

swirly cinnamon goat cheese brownies

My weekend was spent in two parts. À la Ira Glass,

Act I (Saturday): Pulling down trees with my bare hands and a rope. Although my hands were actually encased in gloves. And I only pulled on the trees after they had been severed from the ground with a chainsaw.

Upon bringing these mostly-dead trees to the ground with my brute strength, I spent approximately five hours making tidy stacks of bucked-up logs. This is pretty much my dream of the perfect day. I love order. The only thing that could have made this fun day better would have been doing a few backflips on a trampoline. Hence, I finished up my workday with approximately three backflips on a trampoline. Za zing!

Act II (Sunday): Falling over tiiiiiiiimberrrrrrr style (see Act I) many many times while biking, during my first ride with clipless bike pedals. To be truthful, my pedals and shoes aren’t a great fit, so I would periodically get stuck while trying to free myself, and slowly – gracefully? – fall to my right or left in the process. Za zing!

How about some brownies?

I wasn’t planning on writing these up, but an inquisitive mind over at A Periodic Table asked after the recipe. And while these are long gone, I remember them as if they were… two weeks ago.

I made these Swirly Cinnamon Goat Cheese Brownies for a cooking demo at Took a Leap Farm that didn’t end up happening, because the date was changed last minute and I was le busy. You may have heard of this farm’s sweet and now world-famous goat Buttermilk Sky, whose insanely funny internet video went viral, and now has over 6 million views. Aww.

A combination of cocoa powder and malt powder give this recipe’s brownie base a rock ’em sock ’em punch. The goat cheese is spiced up with cinnamon, and given an orangeish hue to make these brownies, once cooked, into a veritable autumn treat. Spoooooky. I’d give them out to my trick or treaters this week if a) there wasn’t a stigma about giving home-baked goods to “innocent” children, b) there were any left, and c) I was more generous with things that are delicious.

Alas, these brownies are in my past. Make some, and bring them into your present.

Click on the recipe to enlarge it. Original recipe.


My Hanson pumpkin, while far from a winning competitor for movita’s 2012 pumpkin carve-off, makes me smile every time I see it.

Happy Halloween from Aroostook County, where pumpkins are a measly $.30/pound! Za-zing cha-ching!