Crème Brûlée is my boyfriend’s self-proclaimed favourite dessert of all time. I have never made it before, and on a whim, while my lamb ragu was simmering, I looked up a recipe on-line. The ingredients are pretty basic: eggs, heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla bean, which I bought while in Mexico on Christmas vacation.

The heavy whipping cream is heated with the vanilla bean until simmering, and slowly poured into egg yolks that has been whisked with sugar. The mixture is then strained to get rid of little extra bits of eggs. I also scraped the seeds from the vanilla bean and whisked it into the egg cream mixture. The mixture is poured into ramekins and the ramekins are placed in an oven proof pan with at least 2 inch sides.

Then hot tap water is added to the pan until the water line reaches half way up the sides of the ramekins. This will ensure that the Crème Brûlée cooks evenly.

The oven pan is placed in a 300 F oven for approximately 1 hour, or until the sides of the Crème Brûlée are set but the middle is still jiggly. Do not over cook, or else the Crème Brûlée will be cake-y. You can see little bits of vanilla bean seeds floating in the Crème Brûlée.

The Crème Brûlée is chilled in the fridge for at least 3 hours, which I did, but I think it honestly needs at least 8 hours or overnight for it to completely chill.

When I was ready to serve, I sprinkled some brown sugar on top of the custard, and blasted it with my mini torch. A mini torch is actually a very useful tool in the kitchen, you can use it for meringues, and even to brown meat to give it a crusty exterior. The recipe asked for raw sugar, which I did not have any, so I used regular brown sugar and it worked fine. After browning the sugar, I put the custard in the freezer for a few minutes to cool down the sugar.

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To finish off the Crème Brûlée, I put some sliced fresh berries on top to cut down on its richness, and also add to the visual presentation.

Creme Brulee recipe: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/le-cirques-creme-brulee

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