Someone recently complained that I had a food blog with no dessert recipes on it. To remedy this, I’m going to share one of my best.
Creme brulee is my favourite dessert to make. And eat. I love the creamy, smooth custard and the caramelized sugar top. And (most importantly), I get to use a blow torch in the final phases of preparation!
6 egg yolks
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
The ramekins I use for this are quite large, so I get 5 servings from this recipe. If yours are a bit smaller, you should easily get 6 servings.
Add the vanilla bean paste to the cream. If you can’t find the paste, you can also use the insides of a whole vanilla bean. If you can’t find either, 1 tbsp of vanilla extract will do, but you won’t get the lovely little vanilla specks in your custard. Stir some more.
While the cream is heating, separate 6 eggs and add the yolks to a large bowl. Add the white sugar and whisk until blended.
What do you do with the egg whites? Make them into an egg-white omelet later! Or, if you’re like me, put them in a container in the fridge with the intention of making an omelet later and then completely forget about them.
Once the cream is hot (after about 5-6 minutes on the stove), remove it from the heat. You need to mix the cream and the eggs together, but first you must temper the eggs so they don’t turn into scrambled eggs on you. Take a large spoonful of the hot cream and slowly drizzle it into the egg mixture, whisking as you do so. Add another couple spoonfuls of the cream like this. Then you can pour in the remainder of the cream and whisk some more.
Add the mixture to ramekins to get ready for baking. I like to strain the custard first, but it’s optional.
Put the ramekins in a baking pan, then add water to the baking pan, until it reaches about halfway up the ramekins. Using a water bath like this will help to prevent the surface of the custard from cracking as it cooks.
Cook in the oven at 325°F for about 35 minutes.
Once they are done, let them cool off a bit then put them in the fridge for a few hours. If you want to make this in advance, you can keep them in the fridge overnight, just cover them with tinfoil after they’ve cooled so the tops don’t dry out.
When you’re about ready to serve, add a thin, even layer of the superfine sugar to the top of each dish. I personally like a thin layer of caramelized sugar but if you like yours thicker, you can add more sugar.
Now comes the fun part.
This is my blow torch. There are many others like it, but this one is mine.
You could use one of the little kitchen torches but I like this bad boy better. I think it does a better job. Also, a mini-kitchen torch is going to run you about $40, while you can get something like mine from your local hardware store for half the price.
Start torching the sugar. Try to keep the torch upright or else you may have problems with your flame going out. Also, make sure you’re doing this over a non-flammable surface.
Keep going until the top is as brown as you like it.
Once you’re done browning the sugar, the ceramic will be very hot, so let the dishes sit and cool for a couple minutes. Then serve!
This one probably could have used a little more browning, but I was impatient.