Coconut Crème Brûlée
Crème brûlée served in a nougat shell rather than the traditional ramekin has a light tropical look, especially when served over fruit on a plate decorated with colorful sauces.
- Almond-Sesame Nougat Shell
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup, at room temperature
- Sugar - 1-1/2 cups
- Light Corn Syrup - 1 cup
- Cake flour - 2 cups
- Almonds - 1/4 cup, sliced
- Sesame seeds - 2 tablespoons
- White Sponge Cake
- Eggs - 4
- Sugar - 2/3 cup
- Vanilla - 2 teaspoons
- Pinch of salt
- Cake flour - 1 cup, sifted
To make the shells: In an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together. Reduce speed to low and add the corn syrup, then add the cake flour. Stir in the nuts and seeds. Roll the mixture into a 2-inch-thick roll. Cover and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Cut the roll into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place 5 to 6 inches apart on the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly. While circles are still warm and pliable, remove from pan and place on an inverted tall glass to shape into a cup; try to place the bottom side (smooth side) of the circles against the glass. Let cool on the glass. Store in an airtight container.
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Warm a deep bowl: fill the bowl with warm water, empty it, and dry thoroughly. In the warmed bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture thickens and a ribbon forms when a spoonful is drizzled on the surface. Stir the vanilla into the egg mixture. Gradually fold two thirds of the flour into the egg mixture. Blend a large spoonful of the mixture into the butter, then gently fold the butter and the remaining flour into the mixture. Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the pan cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack. You will have two 1/2-inch-thick cakes.
To make the crème brûlée: In a heavy medium saucepan, simmer the cream or coconut milk over medium heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean halves and put the seeds and pod into the cream. In a double boiler over gently simmering water, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until the yolks are hot and frothy. With a slotted spoon, remove the vanilla pod from the cream. Stirring constantly, add the hot cream to the egg mixture and mix thoroughly, then remove from heat and cool by setting the bottom of the pan into a bowl of ice cubes.
To make the rum syrup: In a small bowl, stir the maple syrup and rum together. Place in a squeeze bottle and set aside.
To serve: Preheat the broiler. Place a nougat shell on each plate. Brush the cake slices with the rum syrup and cut them into 1/2-inch dice. Add 2 tablespoons of the diced cake to each shell. Divide the fruit among the shells. Spoon the custard over the fruit. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of sugar and place under the hot broiler until the sugar bubbles, about 15 seconds (or use a small kitchen torch made for this purpose). Pour 1/4 cup crème anglaise on each plate. Put the raspberry sauce and mango sauce in squeeze bottles. Put 3 dots of raspberry sauce in the crème anglaise on each plate. Squeeze a circle of mango sauce around each dot. Squeeze a larger circle of rum sauce around one mango sauce circle on each plate. With the tip of a knife, draw outward through the sauces from the center dots in a radial design, creating a spoke effect.