Whew!! We made it!! Five days of healthiness together!! And for today's Famous Friday post we stray just a bit, but with a portion-controlled, fairly healthy treat from Bobby Flay, the celebrity chef, restaurateur and TV personality. He's particularly well known for food with a Mexican and Southwestern flair which makes my choice to highlight his recipe for Creme Brulee Yogurt Parfaits a little bit strange, but I'd been leafing through his brunch cookbook lately and made these for an informal New Year's Day brunch and they were so amazingly delicious and so "right" for the theme of this week, that I decided to throw all caution to the wind and go a little outside of the "Bobby box"! Once you taste these delightful concoctions, you'll understand why!
It's kind of amazing how much a part of mainstream culture, chefs are today. Twenty years ago maybe you knew who Julia Childs and Paul Prudhomme were but now there's Emeril and Giada and Ina and Mario and...Bobby. I have to admit that I haven't cooked many of his dishes over the years cause my kids only recently discovered their love for Mexican/Southwestern food, but there is certainly no shortage of recipes to try from this guy. Not only does he have his own website, but he's also featured on the Food Network and has written over a dozen cookbooks, so if the yumminess of this yogurt parfait is any indication, I really must get to it!
If you've been a little bit intimidated about making creme brulee before, this is the time to try it because there's absolutely no custard or cream to make--you're simply using store-bought vanilla yogurt. All you need is a hand-held blow torch which is a luxury, yes, but you can get one for anywhere between $20-$50 and it works like a dream when it comes to making things bruleed. Hey, you only live once and if you need more justification, making desserts like this yourself costs a heck of a lot less than it would in a restaurant! Ok, enough of a sell--you start by making a simple fruit compote out of berries, water, sugar and lemon juice and dividing that between the ramekins.
Next you top the berry mixture with nuts, granola--whatever you like.
Then top that with the vanilla yogurt--
And a few spoonfuls of turbinado sugar.
Now comes the fun part. I don't care how old you are, using a blowtorch is always exciting. My 18 year old and my 14 year old vied just as fiercely to use it as they did when they were 8 and 4 and wanted a chance to stir the brownie batter!! Of course, we had to take turns!!
Just like it does with regular creme brulee, the tops get all crackly and hardened, shattering when you spoon into them, while beneath is smooth cool creamy yogurt, nuts and berries. Every bite is a real treat for your mouth but other than a couple of teaspoonfuls of sugar, each little cup is fairly nutritious and all-natural and will satisfy your sweet tooth without totally derailing all the hard work you've done!
Wouldn't these be fun to surprise someone with on a lazy Saturday morning or as an unexpected after-dinner treat? My entire family LOVED these and I know I will be making them again and again! Try them and see how popular you become! And now it's time to sign off--have a great weekend, eat some yummy stuff in moderation, check out some other great Bobby Flay recipes and I'll be back next week with more great healthy and a little bit less-than-perfectly-healthy dishes for you to tackle on Monday as we hurtle into mid-January!! Yikes! Time is really flying!!
Bobby Flay's Creme Brulee Yogurt Parfait
Makes 4-6 parfaits depending on the size of the ramekins you use.
You will need a small handheld blowtorch for these.
Prep Time: 20 minutes: Cook Time: 2-3 minutes
- 16 ounces low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 pint fresh berries (I used a mixture of blueberries and raspberries)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts or granola (or both if you want)
- 8-10 teaspoons turbinado sugar
1. Place the berries in a small saucepan with the water and simmer for about 5 minutes until berries are softened and have begun to break down. Add the sugar to taste and stir. Then add the lemon juice and stir. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes.
2. Fill the ramekins (I used 6) with the cooled fruit. Then top with the nuts or granola or a combination of both. Divide the yogurt evenly between the ramekins, filling them to the top. Then cover each one with plastic wrap and freeze for 5-10 minutes.
3. Remove the ramekins from the freezer and take off the plastic wrap. Sprinkle a few teaspoons of the turbinado sugar over the tops of each ramekin and caramelize the tops with the blowtorch. Let the sugar harden for a couple of minutes and serve immediately.
Note: Recipe adapted from Brunch @Bobby's by Bobby Flay. To cut down on time, I used vanilla yogurt rather than plain yogurt infused with a vanilla bean and also added some chopped nuts.