Crème brulee is cold, creamy custard with a crunchy caramelized sugar topping. It is both light, rich and bursting with vanilla flavor. This desert dish is great for serving to company, because you can make it a day ahead.
You will need to invest in a culinary torch before making crème brulee, unless you use your husband’s hand held welding torch. Yes, my butane fuel ran out and I didn’t have a back up. The welding torch worked perfectly, but I suggest you go out and buy the culinary torch for safety. My sister bought me the William Sonoma culinary torch as a gift and it is one of my favorite kitchen tools.
I make this crème brulee at the same time along with my chocolate mousse. Crème brulee uses egg yolks, while chocolate mousse uses the whites. That way, I don’t have to through any of the egg out and desert if ready in advance for the next night too.
The custards do require a hot water bath when cooking. Not for cleansing reasons…the bath provides a gentle, even distribution of heat so the filling cooks uniformly.
My husband and I love to take our boat out and cruise along the coast of Santa Monica and Malibu. This picture was taken in the early evening when all the birds were gathered on a rock about 5 miles off the Santa Monica coast. It’s so nice to come home from a long day out on the boat and know that desert has already been taken care of.
vanilla crème brulee
Note: You will need 4 (4 ounce) ramekins for this recipe
2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, split and inner beans removed with knife
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup of sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoon sugar for caramelizing
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- In a medium saucepan, pour in cream and heat, just to point of boiling, add vanilla bean, stir and put aside
- In a medium bowl, whish egg yolks and sugar until blended
- Add a small amount of the got cream into the egg mixture, stir and keep repeating until the cream is gone. This is done to keep the hot cream from cooking the egg yolks which could cause curdling
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a measuring glass. This is for easy pouring.
- Fill 4 ramekins and place in a 9 x 13 size pan and fill with hot water ½ ways to the top of the ramekins
- Bake in oven for about 40 minutes, until custards are set but the centers should still jiggle slightly.
- Remove hot water bath from oven and cool until ramekins are comfortable enough to handle.
- Distribute 1 teaspoon of sugar on each custard; shake ramekins to spread sugar out evenly
- Use troche one each custard until sugar is caramelized (nicely browned, but not burnt)
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours for up to two days.