Black Sesame Creme Brulee

Black Sesame Creme Brulee from Saka Gura

I ate at Saka Gura in NYC in August with my friend Michiko and they have this amazing black sesame creme brulee that just rocked my world.  Wow!  It was awesome! When I came back, I searched all over for some ideas on how to replicate it. It's close but not as good as I remember at the restaurant.  My best friend Cynthia says that it is her favorite dessert that I make.  So I guess it's really good. It's hard to find black sesame paste or powder but I found some in our local asian grocery (Asian Midway for those in the know in Madison, WI). It's in the coffee and tea aisle.  Apparently the black sesame powder is used as a drink with either hot water or milk-something I didn't know. If you can't find the powder or paste you can always make it yourself by putting the black sesame seeds in a coffee grinder.  It has to be a fine grind.  You will love this!

This is a recipe that I adapted from Nibbledish.

Black Sesame Crème Brule

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 TBSP of black sesame powder
  • 4 large egg YOLKS
  • 5 TBSP sugar, plus extra for dusting

(Makes 8 small ramekins)

Preheat your oven to 240°F.

Place the ramekins in a roasting pan

Place the cream in a heavy-based saucepan with the black sesame powder, and heat gently until just before it comes to the boil. Remove from heat, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow black sesame flavor to infuse.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar until mixture is pale and frothy.

Strain about half a cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks, and whisk thoroughly. Strain in the remainder in 3 batches, whisking thoroughly in between to ensure that the egg doesn't get overheated and curdle.

Divide the custard between the ramekins, ensuring that each one is filled right to the brim (it will shrink a bit as it cooks). Pour boiling water into the roasting tray so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins carefully, ensuring that it doesn't splash INTO the ramekins. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the custard is just set. Do NOT overcook.

Remove from the oven, cool ramekins on a rack, then refrigerate overnight. (They can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance.)

To serve, sprinkle a layer of sugar over each ramekin, and blowtorch to melt the sugar. If you don't have a blowtorch, you can place it under a very hot grill, but watch carefully to make sure the sugar doesn't burn.

Hot Fudge Sundae

Hot Fudge Sundae I got inspired to make homemade hot fudge after reading a Smitten Kitchen post a few days ago. I knew my friend Cynthia was bringing vanilla ice cream over for dessert so it was only appropriate to have hot fudge. I've never made hot fudge before and this was really good.  The hot fudge was getting a little to thick by the time we actually assembled the sundaes.  But it was really delicious.

Hot Fudge Sauce Adapted from Silver Palate Cookbook

This is a deep, dark fudgy bittersweet sauce that firms up on ice cream.

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Melt the chocolate and butter very slowly in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring frequently until combined. Meanwhile, heat the water to boiling in the small, heavy saucepan. When the butter and chocolate have melted, stir the mixture into the boiling water. Add the sugar, corn syrup and salt and mix until smooth. Turn the heat up and stir until mixture starts to boil; adjust heat so that sauce is just maintained at the boiling point, stirring occasionally. Allow sauce to boil for nine minutes.

Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and serve warm over ice cream.

Yields 2 1/2 cups

Drizzling on the hot fudge

Outrageous Brownies

by Ina Garten Prep Time:30 min Inactive Prep Time: hr min Cook Time:30 min Level:Intermediate Serves:20 large brownies

  • 1 pound unsalted butter 
  • 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided 
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate 
  • 6 extra-large eggs 
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder 
  • 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract 
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar 
  • 1 1/4 cups flour, divided- 1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 3 cups diced walnut pieces 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan. Melt together the butter, 1 pound chocolate chips, and bitter chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

Stir together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and chocolate chips with 1/4 cup flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not overbake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.