Napa River Grill’s Peanut Butter Creme Brulee -WOW!

It’s been a long week of burning the candle at both ends.  Up at 4:oo AM for live television broadcasts, then classes every evening.  In between, I found time for some naps, then lots of prep work to get the next day ready.  I don’t know how these news people do it!  Well, actually I do.  After 3 1/2 years of rising at 3:45 AM to make a 5:00 AM opening shift at Breadworks, I do know.  I mostly choose the option of forgetting the mind numbing state that pulling those hours can put you in.

This week, live on WHAS-11, I was asked to participate in three segments of CopyKat Recipe creations.  It was quite the learning experience for me.   provides recipes that mimic local and national restaurants use in their kitchens.  Usually they are stand-bys and much requested by the public.  At the request of Rachel Platt, news anchor of the Good Morning, Kentuckiana program, I visited the site and pulled some recipes that were quick and not intimidating for the average home cook.  I then set out to prep and execute each one with a 1-2 minute live segment. 

Obviously, the recipes needed to meet a number of requirements.  The most curious thing though, was that each dish we tried was really good.  I can see that preparing these in a home kitchen and having them served immediately might allow the diner an even better example of what can be done with each recipe.  As far as authenticity goes, we had some tasters that proclaimed the California Pizza Kitchen recipe ‘Exactly’ right.  My taste buds proclaimed the Pecan Sandies recipe definately good enough for the Keebler Elves, truly excellent.

The WOW moment for me spread across a number of days.  First, when researching recipes for desserts, CopyKat came up a bit short as far as local availability goes.  I found Chili’s Mighty Ice Cream Pie, and the Pecan Sandies, but everything else seemed lackluster.  I approached Napa River Grill for the approval to demonstrate and use the recipe for one of my absolute FAVORITE Louisville restaurant desserts.  (Top two, really.  The other being a Mocha Daquoise from Cafe Metro.)

I was a bit surprised and a lot pleased when the owner, JD Rothberg and Pastry Chef Michelle Childers generously supplied the recipe and even converted it to a usable quantity.  (Michelle generally makes creme brulee custard in 8 Gallon increments!!!) 

You could say that I was excited about being allowed to make one of my favorite recipes.  I couldn’t wait to taste this!  When we get the not-too-often opportunity to visit Napa, I have to have this dessert.  I don’t want to share it either.  Get your own!

I was live when I bit into the confection and could hear the anchors talking to the audience.  I uttered ‘WOW’ softly as my mouth caressed this silky smooth, cool custard.  Barely touching the chocolate truffle hidden beneath the crunchy bruleed sugar, I was in culinary nirvana.  Rachel and Andy  came back to me “I heard wow”. 

There were no other words to describe the experience.    I have pared the quanities down further from the recipe originally send to me to yeild 12 – 6 oz ramekins.

Napa River Grill Godiva Peanut Butter Creme Brulee

Napa River Grill Godiva Peanut Butter Creme Brulee


Napa River Grill’s Godiva Truffle Peanut Butter Creme Brulee

For the gananche truffle:

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1 liquid cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 oz Godiva liqueur

Bring the cream to a boil.  Add the chopped chocolate and shake to submerge the chocolate.  Wait a few minutes and stir gently with a whisk until smooth.  Stir in the liqueuer.  Chill until firm.

For the custard:

5 1/2 oz egg yolks – liquid measure

7 1/2 oz – weight or 1 cup + 2 Tbls granulated sugar

1 quart heavy cream

1/2 Tbls vanilla extract

4 1/2 oz (weighed) creamy peanut butter – a bit more than 1/2 cup

Heat cream to a scald or very low boil.  Mix the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with a whisk.  While continuing to whisk, pour in the hot cream.  Whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the peanut butter.  Pour into a large pitcher and chill overnight. 

In 12 6 oz ramekins, place a Tablespoon sized portion of the chocolate ganache.  Using a small scoop makes this process really easy.  Chill the ramekins.  When ready to bake, pour about 1/2 cup of the custard over the chocolate and place the ramekins in a 2″ deep baking pan.  Using a measuring cup with a spout, pour very hot tap water around the ramekins into the baking pan.  Place in a preheated 300 degree oven and bake until set, about 45 minutes.  Chill the cremes another 4 hours or overnight.  Top each one with a teaspoon or so of granulated sugar and, use a brulee torch to melt the sugar to a deep golden brown.  Chill again until the sugar is crisp, about 5 minutes.


 Thanks again to The Napa River Grill for their generousity!  Please visit them to convey your appreciation!  Their outdoor patio is an amazing place to enjoy a temperate evening.  Everything is first class at the Napa River Grill.


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