I have been dreaming about tasting this recipe since the very first time I looked at Chef Dominic Orsini's stunning Silver Oak Cookbook. Being a wine enthusiast and absolute cheese-lover, I couldn't think of a more beautiful dish than his Gouda creme brulée — rich, luxurious, decadent, and crisp all in one perfect bite. And paired with some phenomenal Napa wines? I was sold.
When I asked Chef Orsini about how this dish came about, he explained that a lot of the big, bold Cabernets Napa's known for don't necessarily pair as well with desserts as other wines, but he wanted to create a dish so people could continue to enjoy red wines after dinner. There's always the traditional "cheese plate" that so many people default to when figuring out dessert selections, but, he thought, why not give them something a little different? And thus his Gouda creme brulée was born.
Now, you could actually use a few different types of cheese in this dish, but the distinctive salty butterscotch notes in a well-aged Gouda seemed like the perfect pairing with those bold reds, and after I took my first bite, I could totally see why! The custard was silky, smooth, and creamy while the crisp crunch of the tuile added a lovely textural note to the dish. He paired it with a thin nut-and-fruit-filled cracker and a new 2013 Alexander Valley Cabernet, which added a subtle peppery flavor to the whole experience. I would recommend you go home and make this immediately. It's honestly not just a delicious dessert, as it would make for an incredible breakfast, a good lunchtime treat, and a satisfying anytime snack. Basically, this is something you'll want to eat anytime you have a cheese craving.
There's also a few tips, tricks, and notes from the chef for perfecting this dish. First off, the tuiles can be made in the microwave, but if you want to be a real pro, you can also make them in the oven. Set it to 400ºF and bake them for about five minutes or until the cheese melts and just starts to bubble. Second, make sure not to skim on the heavy cream. Do not substitute other kinds of milks, however; it must be heavy cream. And if you have the chance to get some farm-fresh eggs, that will only make it better. Make sure the Gouda is aged at least one year, but over three years is ideal. And finally, when mixing the warm milk with the egg yolks, it's very important to do this step slowly as that steady, thin stream of milk is what makes for a delicious custard.
Given that this after-dinner dish isn't quite the same as eating a fresh bowl of fruit, I did ask Chef Orsini how he likes to stay in shape. And this is for real: he said that every morning he wakes up and does the 10-minute yoga routine on POPSUGAR. He said not only does it help with his back, but it centers him and helps him deal with the stresses of being a chef.
So how excited are you to try this dish? Let us know in the comments below!
Expenses for the author were provided by Silver Oak for the purpose of writing this story.
- For cheese tuiles
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely grated aged Gouda cheese
- For the creme brulée
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup aged Gouda cheese, coarsely grated
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- To make cheese tuiles: Rub the bottom and sides of six 2-ounce ramekins with butter. Put approximately 2 tablespoons of the Gouda into the bottom of each ramekin. Place the ramekins, one or two at a time, in a microwave oven and cook on high for 1 minute. The cheese should be melted and bubbling. Remove from the microwave.
- Run a paring knife around the inside of each ramekin to loosen the cheese tuile, then transfer it to a paper-towel-lined plate to cool for 10 minutes. The tuiles should be crisp at this point. If they are not, then transfer to a plate and microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
- Once the tuiles are cool, transfer to an airtight container and keep at room temperature until use.
- To make creme brulée: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Once simmering, add the Gouda, give it a stir, and remove from heat. Let steep in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 275ºF. Strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl and discard the cheese remnants.
- In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until combined. Then slowly whisk in the cheese mixture, a few teaspoons at a time, until all of the cream has been incorporated. Whisk in the salt.
- Pour the custard into the ramekins and then very carefully place the ramekins on a baking dish just large enough to accommodate them. Pour 2 cups of hot water into the bottom of the baking dish and then cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the custard is set. It should be slightly firm on the top but still move slightly when jiggled.
- Remove the ramekins from the dish and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.
- To serve, place a single cheese tuile on top of each creme brulée and serve with olives, almonds, and crackers. Enjoy!
- North American
- 6 Servings