Somethin's Burning, Somethin's Burning. Fiyah!
After having travelled to so many places in the last two months, one thing I was happy to come home to was knowing that so far, not one of the 15 countries I've been to in my life has ever even remotely smelled like California. The creek side scent of blended Bay Laurel, Redwood and Eucalyptus that's typical of the parks right here in Oakland is an amazing characteristic of where we live.
In coordination with this month's Sugar High Friday #34 theme "Going Local," I bring you my personal rendition of Jerry Traunfeld's Bay Laurel Leaf Creme Brulee.
Other than the inanely explicit instructions NOT to use California Bay leaves (where else am I going to get fresh bay leaves?) it was a decent recipe well received by the brunch crowd. I was worried the bay leaf would overwhelm, but using 1/4 of what the recipe called for and being exact about the 30 minutes the leaves and vanilla were to steep in the milk and cream made this a yummy dessert.
So the story behind our local specialty, bay leaves, is that they're part of the native ecosystem here. But this recipe's true allure (in addition to being a fabulous solution for that ever growing population we bakers stress out about socializing with- those gluten free people) is that it is a "guy magnet" should you be so lucky to actually have a torch to do your bruleeing by hand!
This month's Sugar High Friday was participated in around the world with entries from so many countries I can't even count- take a gander at this global roundup of participants and their extraordinary local creations on our SHF Host's (Seven Spoons) blog!
Watch the turbinado burn in the video, click here.