Chef Allison Shares Something Sweet this Valentine’s Day

Friday, February 11, 2011 15:28
Posted in category From the Kitchen, Recipes
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If you’ve eaten at Anthology, you know that Chef Todd Allison and his team are masters of cuisine— including dessert. This Valentine’s Day, Chef is sharing his secret crème brûlée recipe to sweeten up your special day with your special someone.

Chef Todd Allison’s Crème Brûlée


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar


1. First pour the sugar into the egg yolks.
2. Beat the yolks until smooth.
3. Heat the heavy cream until almost simmering (you can bring to a simmer and let it cool a minute). Add heavy cream to the egg yolks one tablespoon at a time while stirring vigorously. This will temper the eggs so as to not curdle them (or make scrambled eggs) when exposed to the heat of the heavy cream.
4. When about 1/4 cup of heavy cream has been integrated into the yolks, pour the yolks into the heavy cream and mix until smooth.
5. Now, using a fine mesh sieve, strain the custard mixture to remove any small clumps that may remain in the mixture. This step will help ensure a silky texture to the custard. Blend in the vanilla extract after the mixture has been strained.
6. Pour the mixture into six to eight ramekins depending on size
7. Place the ramekins in a baking pan. Pour boiling water into the pan (be careful not to get water into the ramekins), so that the water level is halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cooking the custards in a water bath will provide a low even temperature for the custards to cook evenly and set properly. Place in an oven preheated to 250°F for about one hour.
8. After an hour, check to see if the custards are done. You want them to be set on the outside edge, but jiggly (like jello) at the center. Pick up a ramekin and shake to see if the centers jiggle. If only the center jiggles a little, it’s done. If it’s not done, just put it back in the water bath and check again in ten minutes. Once the custards are done, let them cool on a cooling rack to room temperature. This will let the custards finish cooking the centers on their own.
9. About an hour before serving, pour about a teaspoon of turbinado (“sugar in the raw”) sugar in the middle of each custard. Tilt the ramekin and gently shake to let gravity move the sugar around until the top surface of the custard is covered evenly with turbinado sugar. Using a kitchen butane torch, propane blow torch, or welding torch (whatever strong open flame you’ve got lying around), heat the sugar until it bubbles and changes color.
10. A great garnish for this dish is some fresh mixed berries tossed in a little sugar and lemon zest to help cut through the rich custard.


To learn more about Chef Allison’s biography and resume click CLICK HERE.