Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Little Brother

My little brother just got hitched. I’m pretty sure that she only married him for his cooking *wink, wink*. Anyway, it’s hard for me to think of my little brother as all grown up and married. No matter what, I’ll always think of him as my “little” brother.

My brother is 9 years younger than me. I didn’t want a little brother—I was really hoping for a little sister. And I certainly didn’t want a brother so little that I would always get stuck babysitting. He was a real drag by the time I was a teenager. But now that we’re both mature *another wink* adults, we genuinely care for one another. You can tell because whenever we get together, we do nothing but tease each other, poke each other in the ribs, and generally give each other grief. We’re the best of friends.

It seems that my little brother thinks I’m his personal 24-hour cooking hotline. He’ll call me at all hours, and he always starts, “I have a quick question for you…” It’ll be something completely random like, “Can I substitute whole wheat orzo in your recipe?” or, “Why did the fresh mozzarella I made turn slimy?” or even, “What do you need for decorating a wedding cake, and by the way, will you decorate ours?” Once he gets his answer, it’s, “Thanks, bye.” Just like that and he’s gone. I love that he loves to cook, and don't tell him I said so, but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside that he looks to me for advice.

Though he may not always stick around to chat, I know he appreciates my help. He will call me out of the blue and tell me to expect a package. He’s very generous, but I know he’s not above telling white lies to figure out what to get me. I recently got packages of the cutest lemon-yellow and chocolate-brown espresso cups* that I had been wanting for forever. I’ve already used them to make 3 different batches of pot de crème, 2 of which included lots of espresso. And I made tuiles to go with them.

I feel lucky to have such a clever, fun, giving little brother. His wedding was beautiful, and I cried at the ceremony. But I was really an embarrassing, weepy mess right after, when one of his best friends told me, “Your brother is your biggest fan.” My heart overflowed with love and joy.

Now I’m going to have to get that little brother of mine back for making me cry…

Espresso Pot de Crème
Printable Recipe

8 ounces heavy cream
6 ounces milk
6 ounces freshly brewed espresso
4 ounces eggs
2 ounces egg yolks
4 ounces sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Combine the cream, milk, and espresso in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer. Whisk together the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a medium bowl. Continue whisking while adding the hot cream mixture in a thin stream. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Stir in the vanilla and salt and skim off any foam from the surface. Divide the mixture among 8 ramekins and place them into a roasting pan. Add enough hot water to the roasting pan to come half way up the sides of the ramekins and bake for 24 to 26 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the water bath and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or until firm.

Serves 8. Can be made a day or two in advance and kept covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

*ASA Selection Hot + Fresh espresso/sorbet cups are available from einmaleins (tell Mathias I said hi!) and Joanne Hudson Basics.


avaserfi said...

Thanks sister - besides its not my fault you gave me your number. I warned you, I told you it would be a bad idea, but you insisted. Now I have a 100% free professional cooking service at the touch of a button. It really is useful!

Those coffee custards look great, so do those marvelous cups! I will have to try and make them in my plain old ramekins!

Jo said...

These look amazingly delicious. I love espresso pot de creme. The presentation looks great with the tuilles.

Shannon said...

i am in love with your blog title picture, are those all your wisks? is it a hobby of yours to collect them? where do you find all the diffrent types, and do they all do the same thing? wow I am sorry but those are amazing!

Michelle said...

Oh these sound scrumptious!! I have never made pots de creme, but I feel like I need to have these now!

Lucy Vaserfirer said...

Yep, those are my whisks, but only about half of them. (One day I’ll have to take a picture of the rest.) I get them anywhere I can find them. And yes, though salespeople will have you believe that every whisk has a different purpose, they all pretty much do the same thing. Except for the kinds with the little balls on the ends—they double as good back massagers…I love to find new strange and unusual whisks to add to my collection, but for cooking, I stick with my good old French whisk and my trusty balloon whisk.

Little Brother,
Hahahahaha. You must’ve gotten my number from Mother.

Woodland Fay said...

I have had these ASA Selection Hot + Fresh espresso/sorbet cups, as well as some of their other collections, on order from them for 6 months (we're in the UK and they seem reticent to export them here from Germany, I thought we were all in the Common Market!). If they ever arrive I shall be following your lovely recipe. Great blog, regards F

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