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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

twd: chai spice custard




I almost sat this one out, as the most repeated word describing Lemon Cup Custards in the P&Q section of the TWD website was "eggy."

I've been experiencing egg issues. Namely, as a vegetarian the more I think about eating eggs, the weirder it seems. The last two times I've made veggie scrambles, I've been a little put off by the egginess. Now, I'd never stop using eggs in baking, but to eat a dish that is primarily "eggy," well, that's a point of contention right now. I hate to give up quiches and frittatas and such glorious, nutritious, protein-packed dishes, but if I can't overcome my aversion, they may go the way of all the other delicious foods like ham and bacon...

But I digress. After sitting out last week, I felt a gaping hole in my kitchen. It just wasn't the same without TWD participation! And so, I bravely set forth to make the custards, choosing chai spices--cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, allspice, and black pepper--to overwhelm any possible "egginess." I used 2% milk to lighten these up a bit, and steeped it with one cinnamon stick, a small chunk of vanilla bean--split and scraped, several green cardamom pods, a few allspice berries, and a few whole tellicherry black pepper corns. I didn't measure the spices but tossed them in randomly. As I whisked the eggs and sugar, a fleck of egg flew off my whisk and landed on my face, much to my amusement... I worried that the custard would scramble, but I did a fine job of tempering the eggs, and the custard was smooth and silky. I made a half recipe, which fit into 4 small ramekins. Nestled in their bain marie, they cooked in 40 minutes.

This morning I tested one small bite, concerned that the chai spices would be too subtle...rather, they're *almost* too strong. the custard has a taut skin, and a creamy voluptuousness. I don't catch any pronounced egginess, but with one small bite it's hard to tell. This recipe was utter simplicity to make, and a versatile canvas to paint with any creative flavorings.

Thank you, Bridget, of The Way the Cookie Crumbles, for this week's selection. You'll find Dorie's recipe on her blog. For other eggy tales, check out the rest of the TWD bakers!

16 comments:

  1. Becuase of all that "eggy" talk, I did skip out. It looks like you did a good job!

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  2. Love your spicy additions! I'd say that "too strong" might be better than "too weak" in the flavoring department with this recipe. I had almost too much flavor also, but we did like the creaminess. I'm amazed at the egg aversions out there, but I don't know why; at one of my daughters hates eggs and the other is "meh" on the subject.
    Nancy

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  3. Great idea to go with chai flavors. I agree with Nancy, it's probably not a bad thing to err on the side of too much flavoring with this one. Nice improvisation!

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  4. Wow, that's some spice action! Nice combo.

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  5. So glad that you liked it.

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  6. Wow, I'm just not very creative - a chai variation never would have occurred to me, but it sounds perfect. I hope you like the rest of your custards!

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  7. Your custard looks gorgeous and the chai flavoring sounds yummy.

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  8. Chai spices almost makes me want to try this again! Good choice. I liked it but if I thought "eggy" while taking a bite, I definitely tasted it.

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  9. I love this
    This recipe was utter simplicity to make, and a versatile canvas to paint with any creative flavorings.
    You have such a wonderful way with words.
    I LOVE that you picked chai as your flavor. I love chai tea, my favorite thing ever!
    Great custard and way to go for it!!

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  10. Oh, the chai spice would have been good. I thought about it, but decided to follow the recipe. I will have to try it since someone else did. Wish I had gone with my first thought, cause the lemon was almost too subtle. They look yummy!!!

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  11. I was also amazed by the Egg Aversion. I grew up in OK so we had eggs/bacon/toast for bkfst each morning. I guess I like 'em. ha ha Seriously, I enjoyed making and eating this weeks recipe. I love the chai spices you used. Way to go.
    Hang in there, some of the daffodils are blooming in Missouri so surely spring is moving your way soon.
    AmyRuth

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  12. I'm glad you stuck with TWD! I love the added Chai spice...sounds yummy!

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  13. I like your idea of chai flavorings! nice work

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  14. I am so glad that you were able to successfully mask the eggyness and enjoy this! I love your chai spice flavors -- your custard looks beautiful!

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  15. Chai spices?!? Brilliant! Absolutely inspired. Now I can't wait to make this one again. Thanks!!

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  16. love they idea of chai-flavored custard! how creative. good to know that 2% milk works in this recipe.

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