Let me just say. Yuuuuuuuuuuurrrmmmmm! For those of you who have not yet converted to the delicious, cocaine-addiction abating, birth-defect inducing wonders of black licorice, now is the time. The stuff may smell bad, even repulsive. But if you can just chew through that first handful, it will never let you go and you will not want it to.
It is even better when combined with creamy creme brulee that has, if I do say it myself, the perfect crack when struck with a spoon. And YES I made this recipe up myself (at least the licorice part), and I am very proud. Enjoy! I know I did.
P.S. I'm experimenting more with my photo style. Can you tell?
Perfect crack. What did I tell you?
Black Licorice Creme Brulee
2 c heavy cream
4 oz black licorice (get the good kind e.g. not twizzlers)
1/4 c white sugar
1 pinch salt
3 egg yolks
4 T white sugar
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Line the bottom of a large baking pan with a damp kitchen towel.
Combine licorice with 1 c heavy cream. Heat over medium heat until licorice is melted and incorporated into the cream. Take off heat and add the rest of the cream to mixture.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. While water is heating up, combine licorice cream, 1/4 c sugar, and pinch salt over medium heat. Stir ocassionally 4 - 5 minutes, until steam rises. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla until smooth. Pour hot cream into yolks, a little at a time, stirring constantly, until all cream is incorporated. Pour mixture into 4 6 oz. ramekins.
Place ramekins on towel in baking dish, and place dish on oven rack. Pour boiling water into dish to halfway up the sides of the ramekins (bain marie, you know). Cover whole pan loosely with foil.
Bake 25 - 30 minutes in preheated oven, until custard is just set. (I had to bake a bit longer, maybe 45 mins, and it was still pretty runny. But it set up nicely in the fridge). Chill ramekins in refrigerator 4 - 6 hours.
Before serving, sprinkle 1 T sugar over each custard. Use a kitchen torch or oven broiler to brown top, 2 - 3 minutes. A torch is better - I used the broiler and it came out a little uneven.