For Valentine's Day I prepared a lovely Crème Brûlée for my sweetheart. It's one of our favorite desserts and until I went through culinary school I had never attempted to make it.
Let me tell you, it's EASY! There are only a handful of ingredients too. When you make this you'll wonder why you haven't made it sooner. The creamy custard and hard shell burnt sugar is delightful! It's heaven in your mouth.
The first step is to heat your heavy cream and vanilla. I used vanilla bean paste, but you can use a vanilla bean or even good quality real vanilla. You bring it to just a simmer. Then take off the heat. Next is beating your egg yolks with sugar then tempering the hot cream mixture. Tempering is just a fancy way of saying add a tiny bit of hot cream to your eggs, mixing vigorously so the eggs do not cook. You'll keep adding small amounts of the hot cream until it's all incorporated.
Finally, you'll pour the custard mixture into crème brûlée ramekins. I actually had hearts ones from years ago that I had never used. The round ones are perfectly fine and super gorgeous too! Baking these beauties in a water bath is important. You'll put your ramekins into a large dish and add hot water three-quarters of the way up your ramekins. (I forgot to set my timer and baked them a little too long, but they still turned out creamy. Yay!)
*Pro tip- place the dish with ramekins in the oven and pour the hot water into the dish while it's on the oven rack. This helps you to not slosh water into the custards.
You'll cool your custards and then refrigerate for about four hours. Then it's time for the fun part...the torch! Sprinkle the tops liberally with sugar and then use your torch to carmalize the sugar until it's golden brown.
Then serve these gorgeous babies!
You can also top with a dollop of whipped cream and berries. I was so excited to eat them that I spaced off the garnishes! Ha!
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean spilt
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Granulated sugar for topping
In a medium saucepan heat cream and vanilla on medium heat until hot. Bubbles will appear around the edges. Take off heat. If using vanilla bean you'll scrap out the seeds, stirring back into the cream. Discard the pod.
With a wire whisk, beat egg yolks and 1/3 cup granulated sugar.
Temper egg mixture with heavy cream, about 2 Tablespoons at first, whisking continuously. Keep adding cream to eggs, a little at a time until completely combined.
Strain mixture through a fine mesh seive. (I skipped this part. My mixture didn't have any egg particles in it.
Fill ramekins with custard mixture and place in a pan. Move to oven and fill pan with bouling water, making sure it goes half to three quarters of the way up the ramekins.
Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until the sides are set and the center is a bit jiggly.
Remove custards from pan and place on wire rack. I used a fork to lift an edge and a pot holder. Be careful not to burn yourself.
Cool completely, then refrigerate for about four hours.
When ready to serve, sprinkle tops with granulated sugar and use a torch to caramelize the tops. You can also use the broiler if you don't have a torch. Broil for 5-6 minutes or until sugar is caramelized. Refrigerate to cool the custard and serve.
Optional: garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and berries.