SprinkleBakes.com

I've had my serious hat on for a couple of weeks now, mostly due to  deadlines and commitments. I believe that's partly how these rainbow meringue cones came about. I just couldn't take one more day with a furrowed brow. And do you know that rainbow treats are the opposite of a furrowed brow? They are.

Another reason why these rainbow puffs made it onto my baking sheet is because ThinkGeek sent me a Sprinkles the Unicorn Sprinkle Shaker. It's just the cutest thing. I've been waiting for the right  inspiration to use it in a blog post, and I felt something rainbow-themed was in order. This morning while drinking coffee and cloud gazing (I do that sometimes when the clouds are extra puffy), I saw a vaguely horse-shaped cloud illuminated by light, and felt it was a sign to use my unicorn shaker today.


Do you see it too? Practically a unicorn without a horn, right? 
Or maybe a dog. A goat with an abnormally fluffy tail? (smile)


Because the folks at ThinkGeek are so awesome, they sent along another Sprinkles the Unicorn shaker for a giveaway, and I'm opening the contest worldwide. You can enter with the Rafflecopter widget below. Email subscribers, please visit the blog post to enter.

Happy July, friends! This will be a month of celebrations and birthdays (including my own!) so I've been trying to think up new ideas for party food. One of my favorite desserts of all time is creme brulee, and with all the juicy ripe strawberries at the market right now I felt the two should get together.

The hollowed-out berries each hold one spoonful of creme brulee. The tops of the strawberries are heaped with granulated sugar and then torched until caramelized. It's all so nice together - the freshness of the berry, the creamy custard and the crack of the caramelized sugar - it's a perfect bite!


To make the berries stand upright, cut the pointed end off flat with a serrated knife. Hollow the centers and take extra care to avoid piercing through the sides. At this point the berries can be filled with creme brulee and stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve them.


Just before serving, place a spoonful of sugar on top of each berry and use a chef's torch to caramelize the sugar. You can also caramelize the sugar under the oven broiler, just be sure to get it good and hot before you put the strawberries in. The strawberries will break down under heat, so they should only be allowed to stay in the oven for 2-4 minutes, just long enough for the tops to caramelize. Keep a sharp eye on them, it won't take long!


These turned out better than I'd hoped! I served them with mini forks but honestly there's no need for utensils. If you serve them to guests, I suggest putting the berries in paper liners for easy pick up, or have napkins close by to keep fingers tidy.


Crème Brûlée Filled Strawberries
[click for printable recipe]

1 cup/232 g heavy cream
1/3 cup/80 g half and half
Seeds from 1/4 vanilla bean or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup/50 g granulated sugar
30 to 40 medium strawberries, capped, hollowed and pointed ends trimmed flat
Additional granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 300F.
Heat the cream, half and half, and vanilla bean (or vanilla extract) in a medium saucepan over medium heat just to a boil. Immediately turn off the heat. Set aside to infuse for 10 minutes.

Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until just combined. Whisking constantly, gradually pour in the hot cream mixture. Pour the mixture into a 10x10-inch baking and remove the vanilla bean.
Place the 10x10-inch pan in a large roasting pan and pour in hot water until it reaches halfway up the custard pan. Bake in the center of the oven until the custard is set but still has a slight wobble (it will cook more as it cools), about 55-65 minutes. Remove it from the water bath and let it cool. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until chilled, about 2 hours.

Fill each berry with a spoonful of creme brulee. Store the filled berries in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve them.

Just before serving, place a spoonful of sugar on top of each berry and use a chef's torch to caramelize the sugar. You can also caramelize the sugar under the oven broiler, just be sure to get it good and hot before you put the strawberries in. The strawberries will break down under heat, so they should only be allowed to stay in the oven for 2-4 minutes, just long enough for the tops to caramelize. Keep a sharp eye on them, it won't take long! Let the berries stand for 5 minutes to let the caramelized sugar harden.

Note: The longer the berries stand at room temperature, the more likely they are to weep a little berry juice around the bottoms. I suggest serving these in paper liners or cute candy cups. They'll keep things tidy and disguise drips of berry juice.



Privacy Policy