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Pad Thai Crème Brûlée


Pad Thai Crème Brûlée

1¾ cups heavy cream

2½ teaspoons lemongrass, crushed and chopped

2½ teaspoons ginger, peeled and chopped

3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and sliced

¼ teaspoon ground red chili pepper

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

4 Thai basil leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish

1 Kaffir lime leaf, chopped

4 large egg yolks

¼ cup granulated sugar

Pinch kosher salt

2½ teaspoons tamarind paste

Cilantro for garnish

Kaffir Lime Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream

4 Kaffir lime leaves

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Candied Virginia Peanuts

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons water

1 cup Virginia peanuts, cooked and unsalted

¼ teaspoon kosher salt


Pad Thai Crème Brûlée
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine first eight ingredients in small saucepot and bring to simmer. Cut off heat and steep mixture for 20 minutes. Next, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Reheat infused cream over medium heat until it comes back to simmer, then slowly pour cream into egg yolk mixture while whisking vigorously. Pass custard through fine-mesh strainer and into a clean bowl. Skim off any foam floating on surface.
  3. Pour custard into 4 4-ounce ramekins, leaving about ⅛ inch at the top. Now place filled ramekins into baking dish and add enough hot water to submerge ramekins halfway. Cover pan in foil and carefully place in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until mostly set. The mixture should still jiggle a little in the center of each ramekin. Remove custards from oven and chill completely.
Kaffir Lime Whipped Cream
  1. Bring cream to simmer in small saucepot, then add lime leaves and steep 20 minutes. Strain cream and place in refrigerator until completely chilled. Discard lime leaves.
  2. Place chilled cream into mixing bowl. Add sugar and whip until mixture forms stiff peaks. Wrap bowl tightly with plastic film and reserve Kaffir lime whipped cream in refrigerator until needed.
Candied Virginia Peanuts
  1. Have Silpat-lined sheet pan at the ready. Place sugar and water in small saucepot and bring to simmer over medium heat. Add peanuts and begin stirring. After a few minutes the water will have evaporated and sugar will crystallize around peanuts. Continue to stir mixture; in about 5 minutes, sugar will melt again and begin to form a caramel.
  2. Quickly pour candied peanuts onto Silpat and allow to cool before chopping them into very small pieces.
To Assemble
  1. Pull custards from refrigerator 20–30 minutes before serving. When ready, apply thin, even layer of granulated sugar to surface of each. Using a blowtorch, melt sugar until light brown and has formed a crisp top. Rest crème brûlée until surface has cooled, about 5 minutes.
  2. To finish, place a quenelle of Kaffir lime whipped cream on top of each crème brûlée, top it with some candied peanuts, and garnish with small Thai basil leaves and fresh cilantro.
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