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Crème brûlée

September 26, 2010

Crème Brûlée

Welcome to my monthly marathon post.  It seems like whenever I blog about my latest baking escapade with my friends Ingrid and Monica, the post is record-worthy.  Sorry about that, but there always seems to be some challenge to share and this one’s no exception.

I happily chose crème brûlée for our bake-along this month.  Let’s just say that my happiness was fleeting, but thanks to my friends’ encouragement, it all ended on a delicious note.  And you know what I found out about crème brûlée?  There’s really nothing to it.  It’s super simple and you get to use a blowtorch!  Woop!

I actually made this twice – the first time, I steeped some chai tea into my milk mixture and tried to use sugar in the raw on top of the chilled custard.  Turned out that even though I love chai tea, I didn’t care for the flavor of the custard.  Plus, the raw sugar crystals were just too big to melt nicely.  It was a huge disappointment.

I was all set to throw in the towel, but Ingrid and Monica have both made this crème brûlée more than once and really liked it, so I gave it another chance. The second time, I followed the instructions exactly and got a perfect crème brûlée.  It was much easier than I’d ever thought it would be and it was a blast using my new torch.  (You’ve met Hoss, yes?  Love him.)  I baked the crème brûlée in ramekins, but then I thought it might be fun to try a different presentation too, which is where the spoon came in.  How totally cute did that turn out?  After the custard was chilled, I just scooped some up with the spoon, then sprinkled on the sugar and caramelized it.  Violà ~ bite-sized crème brûlée.

{one year ago:  pepperoni bread}

Recipe:  Crème Brûlée

(Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)

1 1/4 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. whole milk

3 large egg yolks

1/3 c. granulated sugar

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

About 6 Tbsp. granulated sugar for topping

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.  Put the six baking dishes (gratin dishes or ramekins) on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Bring the cream and milk just to a boil.  In a 1- or 2-quart glass measuring cup or in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla together until well blended but not airy.   Still whisking, drizzle in about one quarter of the hot liquid to temper the yolks.  Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the cream and milk.  Strain the custard into the baking dishes.

Bake the custards for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the center are set.  Lift the dishes onto a cooling rack, and let the custards cool until they reach room temperature.  Cover each custard with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but up to 2 days.

To Caramelize the Sugar: Sprinkle the top of each custard with approximately 1 tablespoon of sugar, or enough to cover the custard nicely.  Brown the sugar with a torch until it bubbles and colors.  Allow the bubbles to subside before serving.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2010 8:15 am

    Oooh… I love creme brulee but have only had it from hotel room service.

  2. September 26, 2010 8:46 am

    Good to see Hoss is there to watch your back!

  3. September 26, 2010 10:06 am

    Love the picture with the spoon! Anything that requires a blowtorch is a winner in my book!

  4. September 26, 2010 11:01 am

    I absolutely LOVE creme brulee! It is one of my favorite desserts. I don’t have a blowtorch that is in usable condition, so I have made these bad boys using my oven. BUT, I would love to have some blowtorch action in my kitchen. I love the spoon sized version. It reminds me of my friends wedding, she had some like that as mini desserts! Yum!!

  5. September 26, 2010 11:07 am

    Michelle, I love, Love, LOVE your photos! They’re gorgeous! And how clever are you to make your creme brulee in a spoon!? You go girl, you totally rocked creme brulee!

  6. September 26, 2010 3:06 pm

    Yummy!!! This looks so good! I only discovered how amazing creme brulee is last year. Great choice! And yes…I love the spoon presentation. Very creative!!

  7. September 26, 2010 4:14 pm

    My post is finally up. Thanks for being patient with me.

    That spoon full of creme looks delicious! I could use a bite of that right now. In fact I just saw banana bruleed spoons in a cookbook the other day- totally reminded me of Ingrid!

    Thanks for a great choice- we loved it.

    BTW, Hoss is a cutie!

  8. September 27, 2010 1:18 am

    OMG. I love creme brulee! This is definitely Anthony’s favorite dessert. The spoonful of creme brulee really looks totally cute! … so cute we could just eat him up ;)

  9. September 27, 2010 5:26 am

    Hmm, absolutely love creme brulee and your recipe looks fabulous.
    :-) Mandy

  10. September 27, 2010 12:12 pm

    Love the idea of presenting creme brulee in a spoon. That’d definitely be a fun way to do a taste sampling especially if you made several different flavors of custard. Glad it worked out in the end :).

  11. September 27, 2010 2:08 pm

    The spoon idea is so cute!!! I love it. Great job the brulee’d top.

  12. September 27, 2010 2:52 pm

    I should make this for my mom…it is her favorite dessert!

  13. September 28, 2010 2:24 am

    Look at how perfectly that crust breaks… Mmm, I love creme brulee! But I always figured it was difficult to make (or so I was told) Now that I’ve read through your post I am very tempted to make it! Looks totally delicious! Love the spoon presentation!

  14. September 28, 2010 2:51 pm

    Hmmmm – I love the creaminess of creme brulee. Yours looks amazing with that perfect crust.

  15. October 5, 2010 10:03 pm

    Love. Creme. Brulee.

    That stuff is dangerous! Heavy cream is always my weakness… Goes right to the hips. But it’s, oh, so worth it.

    Spoon… So cute!

    BTW… How do you not weigh a thousand pounds with all this good stuff you make? Good thing hubby and kiddos are around to help you out. ;)

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