How to make crème anglaise

The perfect sauce for my triple chocolate bread pudding, or any of your favorite desserts

Ingredients for crème anglaise:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 egg yolks

1 cup half and half

1/2 vanilla bean

In a small saucepan, heat the half and half over moderate heat. Do not boil cream - it should just come to a simmer.

Use a paring knife to cut a vanilla bean in half, then scrape the sticky seeds from inside with the back of your knife.  

Add vanilla bean seeds and the scraped out pod to half and half. Let it come up to a simmer, then set aside.

Whisk frequently while half and half is heating to avoid scorching and so a skin doesn't form on top.

Combine sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl. Fill a slightly larger bowl halfway with ice water and set aside.

Whisk egg yolks with sugar until combined. *Note that the color of your sauce will depend on the color of your egg yolks!

Slowly drizzle the warm cream into the egg and sugar mixture while whisking constantly. *This is tempering the eggs so they don't scramble.

Pour custard mixture from the bowl back into the sauce pot. Heat slowly over medium low heat, while stirring.

Stir crème anglaise frequently over moderate heat until thickened - about 5 minutes. Do not let custard boil!

Here's how to tell when the sauce is ready: Coat the back of a spoon and draw your finger through it. If the sauce stays separated, it's DONE.

Pour crème anglaise through a fine mesh sieve into a  bowl and place it into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

Straining the crème anglaise will ensure a SILKY SMOOTH sauce with zero lumps.  Now let's pour it over triple chocolate bread pudding!

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