Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Crème Brûlée

The very name sounds gourmet - Crème Brûlée. A hard sugar crust hiding a smooth and creamy custard. Never would I have thought that creme brûlée would be so quick and easy to make.

I had never made a creme brûlée before, daunted by the thought of having to blow-torch my dessert before enjoying it. However, after I read that a broiler could be used to create the iconic brown sugar shell, I decided to give it a go. One day, when I get up the nerve, I would love to try out that blow torch though...

Crème Brûlée
Adapted from the Pioneer Woman
Makes 6-8 servings

4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
10 egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar (or honey sucanat)
6-8 tablespoons superfine sugar

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

In saucepan combine cream and vanilla. Simmer mixture over medium-low heat.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and thick.

While whipping yolks, slowly drizzle in about 1 cup of the warm cream. (Pour slowly so as not to cook your egg yolks. After adding the first cup, slowly add the rest of the cream mixture. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain mixture.

If using ramekins, place on a rimmed baking sheet and fill evenly with custard. (or you can use a 13x9 pan). Fill bottom of pan with water, until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins (creating a water-bath). Bake until set, about 30 minutes for ramekins, or 1 hour for 13x9. (Do not allow custard to get brown)

Cool ramekins on counter before covering with plastic wrap and transferring to refrigerator to chill for 2-3 hours.

When ready to serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over each ramekin, or 7 tablespoons over 13x9 pan. Use a kitchen torch or broiler to brown the sugar. It should create a thin, crisp surface of browned sugar over the top. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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