An elegant beer for an elegant dessert. The Bruery’s Autumn Maple is a very beautiful brew, made with roasted sweet potatoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses, maple syrup, and fermentation with their traditional Belgian yeast strain; it packs all the flavors of Fall into each sip. These flavors makes this beer a wonderful beer to cook with, as they come through in this Crème Brûlée dessert and are further accentuated with the candied toffee like crust that covers this classic French treat.
In a medium-sized saucepan, over low heat, add cream and warm to 150°F | 66°C.
In a large bowl, add room-temperature egg yolks and, using a whisk, beat until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat for another minute to fully mix it in. Add the beer and salt, whisking to combine. Slowly add the warmed cream in a steady stream, whisking as it is added to the bowl.
Preheat the oven to 250°F | 121°C.
Take the finished custard base and divide it equally among 10 six-ounce ramekins (or other oven proof containers). If there are bubbles on the surface of the custard, using the torch, lightly wave the flame over the bubbles, causing them to burst, creating a flat surface. Place the ramekins into a large, oven-proof container and fill with warm water halfway up the sides of the dishes. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 1 hour, checking to see if the custard has set. Give one ramekin a slight shake, and watch the surface of the custard. It should create a small ripple like wave, not watery, but like a jelly or jello like wiggle. This is what you are looking for. If the surface is more watery, then continue to bake until the custard is set. If the custard is super firm, and the edges of the custard look like scrambled eggs, then the custard was cooked too long. With the low heat and water bath (preventing the heat to get above 212°F | 100°C), this takes much longer to happen than an hour of cooking time. If this result happens, check your oven temperature with a IR laser thermometer, as most ovens are not 100% accurate in the temperature they are actually warming too.
Remove the water tray and ramekins from the oven. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and place onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, wrap each with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Candy Topping Directions:
To finish the crème brûlée, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and add anywhere from a teaspoon (for a thin crust) to a tablespoon of sugar (for a thicker crust) evenly over the surface of the custard. Lightly shake the ramekin to even out the sugar over the whole surface of the custard. Taking a torch, such as the Searzall from Booker and Dax, slowly wave the flame over the sugar, watching the sugar melt. Don’t keep the flame in one place, but slowly pass back and forth over the entire surface. This will prevent the sugar from burning on one side. The sugar will dissolve and turn a light caramel brown color. Repeat with the next ramekin and serve immediately.
Suggested Beer Pairings:
This recipe can be paired several different ways, as there are so many different elements one can use to play off. With all the Autumn flavors, a Spiced Ale can be used to enhance the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice or vanilla flavors in the dessert, that come from The Bruery's beer. A roasty American Stout could also be used, to have a nod at coffee served at the end of a meal. While a Winter Warmer will add the malty complexity, that will express some of the toffee flavored crust and flavors found in the custard.