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Eggnog Crème Brûlée

Daniela Weiner grew up in Austria’s Tyrolean mountains—a land of legendary snowscapes and kitchens scented with vanilla and cinnamon. As a child Weiner baked with her grandmother, then went on to train in Chicago before moving to Traverse City where she’s cultivated a loyal (and addicted!) following. With the help of partner Laura Salvatore, Weiner markets her sweet masterpieces through her pastry catering business, Daniela’s Delectables. Here, Daniela shares her longtime favorite holiday recipes.

Get more of Daniela’s holiday recipes in the 2013 MyNorth Holidays Guide!

Ingredients

For Eggnog Crème

  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons brandy

For Brûlée

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preparation

For Eggnog Crème

Position rack in center of the oven preheated to 325 degrees. Arrange 8 (1/2-cup) ramekins or custard cups in a large metal baking pan.

Combine heavy cream, nutmeg, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon stick in a pot and bring to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Cover with lid and turn off heat and allow to infuse the flavors for 30 minutes.

Combine sugar, yolks, and brandy in a heatproof bowl and whisk to blend. Bring heavy cream to a simmer again and slowly add to the egg mixture (continue mixing them with a whisk so you don’t cook the eggs). Strain the mixture (to strain out the cinnamon stick and to make sure no cooked egg yolks end in the custard base).

Divide the custard between the baking dishes. Transfer to oven and then pour enough boiling water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of dish. Bake until custard is just set around edges, about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven (custard will be soft in center). Remove dishes from water bath. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate at least 6 hours.

For Brûlée

To brûlée, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, and nutmeg and sprinkle evenly over top of custards. Use a hand torch to carefully melt the sugar. Place the custards back in the fridge for 15 minutes to set. Garnish with whipped cream if desired before serving.