Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Everybody Needs A Little Crème Brûlée

I went out to dinner with some friends the other evening and ordered crème brûlée for dessert. It was lovely—crispy sugar crust and creamy custard underneath. I'm a bit of crème brûlée fan and order it more often than I order any other restaurant dessert, which is not to say I always order dessert—only now and then. On my way home, I remembered I had a crème brûlée kit at home with ramekins, a torch, and a basic recipe. I love the torch.

So, now I have made my favorite dessert at home, and I recommend that everyone have crème brûlée. It makes the world better. I used the recipe on the box, which was simple and basic. My only suggestion for improvement is to use less sugar for the caramelized crust. It was so thick, it was like chipping away at glass. An ice pick would have come in handy, or a diamond. Other recipes suggest 1/4 cup to be divided among six ramekins, making just over 1 tablespoon per serving.

Crème Brûlée
serves 4

1 cup heavy cream
2 extra large egg yolks (I used 3 regular organic)
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup* sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300˚F. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and 2 tablespoons sugar; cook, stirring occasionally until small bubbles appear around edges of pan, 5 to 6 minutes.

In a bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla until smooth and light. Pour hot cream mixture into egg yolks a little at a time, beating continuously until well blended. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Divide among four 4-oz. ramekins.

Arrange ramekins in a baking pan and place on middle shelf of preheated oven. Fill pan with boiling water to halfway up sides of ramekins. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil (I confess to forgetting this step, and it didn't seem to matter. No other recipes call for this anyway). Bake until custard is just set, about 25 minutes. Chill 2 to 3 hours.

Sprinkle remaining sugar (*I really think 1/3 cup is excessive) over top of cooled custards. With torch, move the flame continuously over the surface of the ramekins in a circular motion until sugar melts and becomes golden brown and bubbly.

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I have a cookbook of nothing but crème brûlée recipes. Next time I'll dip into that and make the chocolate espresso recipe.

14 comments:

dive said...

Yummy, scrummy.
When I was little, gran would make toffee and we would break it up with the cutest little tool called a toffee hammer. I've not seen one for decades but it looks like you could add some to your cutlery drawer for cracking open crêmes brulées.

dive said...

Darn it. I got my áççëñts ïñ the wröñg plåce!

Scout said...

Dive, I had a heck of a time with those accents and almost gave up and typed it straight. But I was determined.

Pianist friend said...

The chocolate espresso version? Heck yeah!!
PF

Rich said...

crème brûlée eh? Sounds good but I'll stick to brandy and a good cigar for desert - more manly.

Scout said...

PF, I'll let you know how it turns out.

Rich, more manly? Is that important to you? I'm surprised, what with our stockings and high heels.

savannah said...

absolutely my most favorite dessert, sugar! i NEED a torch now!!! xox

Mrs. G. said...

For me, cream brulee is the most delicious dessert on this earth. I get chills when I puncture that crusty sugar to get to the creamy goodness.

D1 said...

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/240957

The Shan said...

Hi Scout :). I'm making my rounds on this batch of bloggy friends. You guys are so fun! LOVE creme brulee (but am not attempting accents here). Never thought to make it myself. I might be afraid of the torch if truth be told.

Rich said...

hahahaha

Mme Benaut said...

Oh miam! One of my favourite desserts.

Lulubelle B said...

Creme Brulee is my favorite non-chocolate dessert.

Had dinner with The Flirt at one of those New York restaurants where the tables are about three inches apart. When our creme brulee arrived The Flirt treated the guys at the next table to her version of Meg Ryan's deli scene from When Harry Met Sally. They were very impressed.

DearestDragonfly said...

Creme brulee makes me think of Amelie. Like her, I mostly enjoy cracking the glassy sugar top. In fact, the rest of it is just there to support the sugar.

I bought Big Guy a CB torch from the small tools section at Home Depot. Works fine!