After you're through melting chocolate for Valentines Day candy, start thinking about a romantic Valentines dessert. The secrets of egg custard will enable you to make creme brulee or zabaglione, a romantic valentines day dessert.

I've been a fan of the incredible, edible, egg. It's nature's perfect food. Nutritionally balanced, and filling a long list of roles in the kitchen, it's a great friend to chefs and home cooks alike.

Eggs leaven baked goods, they bind items together, they combine two un-mixable objects, they add color to breads and pies, they're perfect by themselves, and they thicken liquids too!

Egg proteins "coagulate", they stiffen and shrink at 165f or 74c. You can use this knowledge to make scrambled eggs, or to slowly bring the egg proteins to this temperature threshold, combined with milk or cream, to make a thickened custard.

You've got a great skill in the kitchen if you can treat an egg yolk so delicately as to have it thicken your liquid without getting bits of scrambled eggs in your custard. This ability can be transferred to cold sauces, salad dressings, creamy desserts, and even used in a unique way to bind crab meat together. That's the improvisation I used to win the Chesapeake Flavor Crab Cook-Off in Annapolis, Maryland last year.

While the other contestants were using the typical mayonnaise to bind their crab cakes
, I used my knowledge of egg custard to make a creamy crab entree without scooping mayonnaise into the mix. You can see the video Chef Todd Wins Crab Cook Off on my Facebook page.

Today's video will show you how to use egg yolks to thicken liquids and make an egg custard
. Once you've mastered this skill, you're only a step away from Creme Brulee', or Zabaglione, two romantic Valentines Day Dessert Ideas.

If you want to learn my exact process for creating a "soup to nuts" romantic meal at home (and I promise, it's easier than you ever imagined) Click Here now.

Not interested in custard?
How about Melting Chocolate for Valentine's Day Candy?