Bliss turns 2 this month. Yep, just like that my baby is walking on her own! :O
I just can’t thank my friends and family enough for supporting me in my endeavours with Bliss while I have tried to find my feet. And, now I find, I have come to a point where I have had to make some decisions as to which direction I want to take this little business, which has come so far. During the time that I was most involved in my pondering and constant perusal of cooking shows, cake blogs, and other cake-y Facebook pages, my inspiration arrived in a little delivery of first fruits, from my Mum’s blood orange tree.
I first came across blood oranges while I was living in China and was immediately taken by their unique bloody looking flesh and aromatic, tart flavour. They have been described as having a flavour that is between an orange and a raspberry. Expect a smaller, thinner skinned fruit, with a tartness that you do not normally get with a navel orange. There is some question as to whether the fruit originated in China, however it is Sicily that boasts a long history of cultivating the blood orange and using the gorgeous flavour in anything from salads to soft drinks . These finicky fruit trees require scorching daytime heat and frigid night-time temperatures during Autumn to push the naturally produced redness in the fruit, to higher levels within the flesh and sometimes within the skin.
And so, it was these little fruits that put me on the path of remembering what I said after my first Christmas of baking under the Bliss banner. I love creating, I love sharing, and I love fresh, seasonal produce.
Of course, I will keep baking indulgent chocolate cakes for my gorgeous customers! However my time is limited, my resources sparse and as much as I love the idea of going retail with my cakes it is not really the road for me, without a capable partner. So, what I can do, and would love to do more of, is to keep putting together Bliss-ful recipes, of wonderful cakes and desserts (mostly chocolate based!) that I can share with everyone. What do you think? Would you like to hear more about how my brain works and try my ideas out at home?
I really hope so?! And, that is why I am posting a first recipe with this path in mind. Please feel free to share and comment, I love a good chat! If you do share my recipe, I would only request that you please give my blog recognition.
I hope you enjoy this impressive, Bliss-ful, Blood orange, Birthday Brulee!!
*Bake the custard the night before you are serving it, to allow it to cool thoroughly in the fridge and reduce stress!!
Blood Orange Brulee
6 large egg yolks
1 cup castor sugar
1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
Finely grated zest of 1 blood orange
Roughly chopped flesh of 1 blood orange
Slices of blood orange for garnish
3-4 tablespoons brown sugar
150ml whipping cream
2 tsp castor sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Block of good quality dark chocolate
Toffee walnuts (see previous blog for recipe ‘Toffee anything is Bliss”)
Preheat oven to 150C.
Place egg yolks into a 1.65l Pyrex dish (actually, any oven proof dish will do, you just don’t want it too large as the custard will sit too low)
Whisk in the sugar until well combined.
Split vanilla pod and place into a pot with the cream ( or just add a teaspoon of vanilla seed paste to the cream), and heat until nearly boiling. Take out pod and scrape seeds back into the cream. Add grated orange zest.
Pour heated cream slowly into the egg yolk mixture while stirring constantly.
Drop roughly chopped orange pieces evenly around the bowl, into the custard mixture.
Place bowl into a roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with boiling water, until water reaches half way up the oven proof bowl.
Place tray into oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes. Custard should still be wobbly when you take it out of the oven however, it should not shake as if the centre is still completely liquid. Allow to cool.
Refrigerate custard for at least 4 hrs, or leave it over night and get a good nights rest!
Place slices of blood orange on top of the brulee in your own creative pattern or just put 3 slices in the centre, like I did.
Sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the custard and the oranges. Preferably use a brulee torch to melt the sugar and let it caramelize, otherwise put bowl under the grill for approx 2 minutes and allow the top of your custard to brown. ( I have never had much luck with this method, so don’t really recommend it).
Pop it back into the fridge for about an hour to make sure the brulee has hardened.
I would be happy to serve this as is, for a family dinner however if you want it to look extra sexy, keep going!
Whip cream with sugar and vanilla extract until it holds soft peaks.
Drag a sharp, cooks knife across the back of a block of good quality dark chocolate to produce some chocolate curls.
Pipe cream around the edges of the bowl in over sized rosettes. Place toffee walnuts and chocolate curls alternately on top of the cream rosettes.