Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Crème Anglaise & Raspberry Coulis

Adapted from Above and Beyond Parsley: Food for the Senses by The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri

Every year I make a flourless chocolate cake for my friend Walter on his birthday. When I'm pulling out all the stops, I serve it with both of these sauces. Eaten with a chocolate cake, one of them is good; two of them are better.

Crème Anglaise 
Adapted from Above and Beyond Parsley: Food for the Senses
by The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri

This recipe seems a little fussy, but doing what seem like extra steps (straining, washing pans) help ensure a good result.

3 egg yolks at room temperature
¼ cup granulated white sugar 
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons Amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur, I like Luxardo) or Frangelico (hazelnut- flavored liqueur, if you prefer that flavor to almond)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt by hand until light and thickened. Don't be stingy; take enough time to do this - at least 5 minutes.

Combine the cream and vanilla bean in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, and cool for at least 5 minutes.

Whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs, add the cream-vanilla bean mixture to the egg mixture. Put the resulting mixture through a fine strainer to make sure it's smooth with no bits of cooked egg in it. Rinse the strainer because you will be using it again. Wash the saucepan. 

Pour the combined cream-and-egg mixture back into the now-washed saucepan, and cook over low heat, making sure the mixture does not boil, until it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. To test this step, dip a teaspoon into the mixture, remove it, and run your finger down the back bowl of the spoon. If you get a clean stripe, it's done.

Take the pan off the heat, add the Amaretto or Frangelico and the vanilla extract. Remove the vanilla bean, stir the mixture, and strain it again through the clean sieve.

Refrigerate until cold.

Raspberry Coulis   
Adapted from Above and Beyond Parsley: Food for the Senses
by The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri

I am very fond of Mathilde French Framboise Liqueur. However, in this recipe, I prefer Chambord, made of  blackberries and raspberries,  for its intense flavor and thick, almost sticky texture, which combined with raspberries and sugar makes a velvety sauce.

Puree the following ingredients in a blender or food processor.

1½ cups fresh raspberries or frozen no-sugar-added raspberries
¼ cup powdered sugar (I use India Tree Fondant & Icing Sugar)
¼ cup Chambord (a thick and sweet raspberry-flavored liqueur)

Pour through a strainer to get rid of the raspberry seeds, and refrigerate until cold. 


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