Monday, August 16, 2010

Creme Brulee

Can you believe that I never had creme brulee until just earlier this year? A couple friends of mine are big fans of it, and when we learned it was the dessert special of the night at the restaurant we met at for dinner, there was no getting around having some! It was delicious.Creme brulee is decadent, smooth and just plain fun. The crystalized sugar layer on top is fun to gently tap, then to crack to get to the lovely custard beneath.
Next time hubby and I had dinner with these friends we all four walked to the grocery store and bought creme brulee ice cream. Also delicious. I had to try making it sometime. The creme brulee, not the ice cream.
Alas, I don't have one of those spiffy hand-held torch things that you caramelize the sugar with. I have heard of people using their broilers, but that doesn't sound fun or ideal. It was then that the hubby tells me he has a welding torch. Nothing huge, but certainly bigger than the little hand held ones at the cooking stores. Perfect!
The recipe was a lot easier than I hoped for. With only a few ingredients- the only thing that really matters is following directions. The outcome is very tasty. Very very tasty. We had those creme brulee loving friends over again and I made this recipe for them. What a hit. Everybody loved it. Yum!
Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures- but a quick internet search would surely give you plenty of ideas.
I used Alton Brown's recipe- and found that it makes more than he says. (That or I give smaller portions?) Anyway- I half his recipe and it makes 4, instead of the 3 it should. Whatever. Hubby then cooks the sugar layer on top and it's done! Alton would be proud that we used the welding torch- not buying a uni-tasker! Hehe.

Creme Brulee serves 4
(adapted from Alton Brown)

2 c. heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and the insides removed
1/4 c. sugar (vanilla sugar if you got it) + more for topping them
3 egg yolks (use the whites to make meringue cookies!)
hot water

Heat the heavy cream and the vanilla bean (and insides) in a saucepan over medium high heat and just bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit for about 15 minutes. Remove the bean and discard (or rinse off, allow to dry and stick in a containter of sugar to create vanilla sugar)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the 1/4 c of sugar and the egg yolks until the sugar is fully incorporated and the yolks begin to lighten in color just a tad.
Slowly pour the cream into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly as you go to prevent scrambled eggs from forming. We want dessert here, not breakfast. Pour your liquid into four 7-8 oz. ramekins and set those ramekins into a cake pan or roasting pan and fill the roasting pan (not the ramekins!!!) with enough hot water to just come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40-45 minutes. The costard will still tremble and wiggle a bit in the middle- that's just fine.
Remove ramekins from the water bath and refrigerate until comepletely cool- a few hours to overnight.
Alton says to take the creme brulee out of the fridge 30 minutes before you want to serve. I usually forgot to, and it worked out just fine. Right before serving, sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of sugar and shake slightly to spread the sugar into an even layer. Safely using a torch (or your broiler), caramelize the sugar on top until nice and browned and bubbly. Let sit for a minute for the sugar to harden. Serve and enjoy!!

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  1. I loveeeeee Creme Brulee but the torch thing always scares me so I have never attempted it at home for fear I may burn the house down! Maybe I will try it with the broiler!! That can't be too dangerous (I hope!)

  2. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that the only Creme Brulee I've ever made was from a box mix and my hubby used his blow torch to brown the top. We loved the crunchy top - but the creme Brolee itself tasted like the box it came from. You've inspired me to try again - this time from scratch! :)

  3. I never made creme brulee! I'm glad yours was a success!

  4. i am so scared to try but man-- it sounds SO TASTY. maybe i will give it a go this weekend. it's one of my favorite desserts!

  5. I've also only had creme brulee once in my life on a cruise and I'm definitely too scared to make it myself! Looks like it's not as hard as I thought!

  6. Oh my gosh, YES! Creme brulee is THE creme de la of my favorite things ever! Sounds absolutely fabulous. Thank you for sharing it with Two for Tuesdays this week! =)

  7. i love creme brulee...isn't it the best!?! thanks for linking up to TNSC!

  8. That's one dessert I've actually never had...can you believe it?

  9. I love creme brulee and haven't dared tackle it at home. Usually a dessert that I order when we go out. I LOVE that you used a torch and wish you had pics!!!

  10. Stacia! I have often savored a good creme brulee after a lovely meal, but never made it myself! No more excuses thanks to you! Thanks for sharing this on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! Alex@amoderatelife

  11. Mmmm, mmmm, mmm! I love Creme Brulee! I'm going to have to try that ice cream, and give Alton Brown's recipe for the actual dessert a try. I haven't made Creme Brulee in ages! My friend Colleen over at Mural Maker and More just featured a craft using a butane torch, so I might as well dust off my torch and do some craftin' and bakin' at the same time! So glad I hopped over from "Tuesday Night Supper Club" and became your newest follower. Best, Jenn/Rook No. 17

  12. It sounds delicious! I've never made creme brulee but will have to try it!

  13. I have a little butane-powered soldering torch that I use for all sorts of things in the kitchen. It's just plain fun, sort of like creme brulee. Dessert should be fun, shouldn't it? Thanks for linking up with Two for Tuesday.

  14. Creme Brulee is a fav or mine too. I love when it's done right, but the last time I ordered it, the custard was warm - I was so disappointed.


  15. Mmmm......sounds good! In all of my baking, I have yet to tackle creme brulee.

  16. Creme Brulee is one of my all-time favorite desserts! If it's a recipe from Alton Brown it has to be good.

  17. Creme Brulee is one of my very favorite! Yummy. And I love the blow tourch!!! Very cute.
    This is the perfect classic recipe. I'm saving this one.
    Thank you so much!

  18. Congrats on your creme brulee success. Nothing beat a cool, silky spoonful.

  19. Sounds super...I made creme brulee for the first time today myself! Plan to use the broiler method, hope it works :)

  20. I've made it a few times, sometimes it's AMAZING, and sometimes it's not. But good stuff is GOOD!!! Thanks for sharing! Thank you for linking up to Topsy Turvy Tuesday's!