Eat Your Heart Out // Crème Brûlée
Crème Brûlée is an intimidating dessert. One of those things that always seemed totally out of reach - maybe it's the french - maybe it's that they were too fancy. Either way - it's all bull. It just takes a bit of translating to lift the veil - it simply means "burnt cream". Yep, slightly less stuffy now, eh? The first time I made these - I was shocked at how incredibly simple it was. Frankly I'm a bit mad that all the hubbub turned me off of making these for so long...
Okay here's the recipe. This makes two small ramekins but can easily be multiplied for larger parties. It's a small amount of dessert, but it is RICH, people. A little goes a long way.
1 cup of double cream
3 eggs (yolks only!)
lil bit of light brown sugar (for the caramel topping)
1/4 cup of white sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (it's a good idea to splurge on a nice one - this is where the flavour comes from!)
So, this is what you need to do:
1/ Pour the cream and the vanilla into a small saucepan and put it over medium heat. If you'd like to add any other flavour infusions to your cream - now is the time! I've added strawberry puree, a cinnamon stick, and even chai tea bags at this point to infuse the cream with a specific flavour.
2/ Stir the cream occasionally to ensure it doesn't scald, and remove from the heat once it gets a bit bubbly - should be just below a boil when you take it off the burner. Allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Then remove any infusing bits and bobs that need to be tossed away (cinnamon stick, tea bags etc!)
3/ While your cream is resting, put your sugar and egg yolks in a bowl and lightly whisk together.
4/ Add your cream slowly, bit by bit to the egg and sugar mixture, whisking it all up to combine.
5/ At this point you can put the mixture through a sieve if you want it to be extra smooth, but I usually skip this step as I think it tastes amazing either way! I ain't picky.
6/ Pour your mixture into two oven-safe ramekin dishes (Or Gu dishes if you're an addict like myself), in a deep baking tin. Then, pour freshly boiled water into the tin around the ramekins until the water comes up about halfway on them. Carefully put the pan with the ramekins into an over preheated to 150 degrees Celsius. Leave to cook for about 30 minutes - or until the custard sets and the top has a very slight crust. The custard should still be a bit wobbly if you give it a shake.
7/ Once cooked, remove from the water and allow to cool on the counter. This next bit is up to you. Traditionally you should chill your crème brûlée prior to burning the sugar on the top but I've found I like it a bit better served at room temperature and a bit on the warm side. So chill or don't - your choice.
8/ The final step - is to create the burnt sugar topping which you can do with either a cooks blowtorch, or using the grill setting on your oven. Cover your puddings with a thin layer of brown sugar and prepare to melt it. If you have a cooks blowtorch - this is quite a bit faster. Don't get too close - allow the heat to melt through the sugar, if you start too close then you'll just scorch it and you'll have lots of un-melted bits. If no blowtorch, no worries - put your oven on the grill setting and let it heat up a bit before placing the crème brûlée just underneath. Watch them like a hawk - they will do absolutely nothing and then the next minute they will be blackened, so babysit them until they are perfectly browned. This option takes considerably longer that the blowtorch - but they will be just as delicious.
9/ Finally - let cool a bit longer (at least 5 minutes) so the sugar hardens completely - makes cracking into them with a spoon much more exciting. And enjoy!
That's it! Hope that if you make these you enjoy them - and if not I hope you at least enjoy the video! :)