Hot and Cold Desserts, Part II: Flambéed Desserts

 Flambéed desserts are literally set on fire, by adding alcohol to a sauce and igniting it with a lighter or torch. 

Crepes Suzette
Crepes Suzette is a French dessert made with Orange Curacao Liquor, rum, and Grand Marnier. The traditional way of making crepes suzette is to fold freshly made crepes into quarters and soak them in caramel sauce. Then, the crepes are soaked in liquors and ignited to cook off the strong alcohol content. This dessert was actually invented on accident, when a waiter was nervously preparing crepes for the Prince of Wales and his beautiful French date, Suzette, and set his dessert on fire. The waiter believed that his dessert was ruined, but served it anyway. Turns out, the Prince and Suzette loved the dish and found that lighting it on fire brought out it's flavors. From that moment on, the act of lighting alcohol on fire became known as flambeing. 
Flambeed desserts can be dangerous to make. The most important part to safely make them is to take the pan off of the stove before adding any alcohol, to prevent a large burst of flames from appearing. When the alcohol is added, it is then put back over heat and ignited with a torch or lighter. This sets the alcohol on fire and brings out the flavor while cooking off the alcohol. As long as you know what you are doing when flambeing, it can be a nice sight to see with the lights off. 

 Suzette Sauce: 

2.5 oz. brown sugar
3 oz. butter
1/2 a lemon's zest
1 orange's zest
2 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
segments of the 1 orange
2 oz. orange Curacao
1/2 oz. rum
1/2 oz. Grande Marnier
 *have crepes ready and folded into quarters*

1. Caramelize butter and brown sugar, do not stir
2. Add zest, half of the orange segments, and juice, stir until combined.
3. Reduce the sauce until it thickens a bit
4. Add as many folded crepes as you can fit into the pan. Flip them to coat evenly in the caramel sauce.
5. Remove from heat, add alcohol.
6. Place back on heat and ignite. Shake the pan constantly until the alcohol is cooked off (test by smelling).
7. Plate and top with remaining orange segments.

Bananas Foster
Bananas Foster is another flambeed dessert. It is also one of very few desserts invented in the United States (New Orleans). Basically, a caramel sauce with bananas and flambeed with banana liquor and rum, traditionally served over vanilla ice cream. 

3 oz. sugar
2 oz. butter
few drops fresh lemon juice
2 bananas 
1.5 oz. banana liquor
1.5 oz. dark rum

1. Slice bananas diagonally uniform.
2. In a pan, caramelize butter and sugar with lemon juice. Do not stir while doing so. 
3. Add bananas and coat them in the caramel sauce.
4. Remove pan from heat and add liquor and rum.
5. Return to heat and ignite using a torch. 
6. Shake constantly over heat until alcohol is fully cooked off (until it no longer smells of alcohol).
7. Serve immediately over ice cream. 

*Always Remember:
When flambeing, it is very important to remove the pan from the heat when adding alcohol, unless of course, it is your intention to burn your eyebrows off.*

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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall