Crème Brûlée


Crème Brûlée.  Just the thought of this dessert makes me happy.  This is the PERFECT ending to your romantic Valentine's Day dinner.  For ages I swore I hated it...but truth be told...I had never tried it.  I remember going out to dinner with my aunt who would order it on occasion,  and I would always order a brownie ala mode.  She would always offer me a taste and I would always decline.  Boy do I regret that now.  Down the road I finally tried Crème Brûlée and was instantly hooked!  Such a light tasting dessert and so so so divine....and so so so perfect for Valentine's Day!  Make this for your valentine and they will be yours forever.  Promise.

Now when my husband and I decide to split a dessert and I see Crème Brûlée on the menu I quickly change my "share" to "I think I'll order mine own dessert, thank you."  Sharing is NOT an option when it comes to Crème Brûlée - so make up a big batch and skip the sharing on this one.

You will be shocked to find out how easy Crème Brûlée  is to make - and how few ingredients there are!  It is simply a custard with caramelized sugar.  That's it!  Simple and delicious!

First start off by scraping your vanilla bean.  If you are using vanilla extract, skip this part.

Now combine your cream and the vanilla bean pulp, throw in the bare bean for extra flavor - just don't forget to remove it when you're done.  Heat to a boil, remove from heat, and cover.

Now combine your egg yolks and sugar.  Whip them with your stand mixer until the color turns pale.

Now start adding your hot cream into the egg mixture, little by little so you don't cook the eggs.  Continue to whisk with your stand mixer.  Once you have added all the cream you can skim the foam off the top.  Now pour that delicious mixture into your ramekins.

Pour some hot water into your pan so that if come about half way up your ramekins.  Bake at 325 for 40 to 45 minutes until firm, but still a bit jiggly.  Let cool slightly on the counter and then transfer to the fridge.  Refrigerate for 2+ hours.

After they have chilled in the fridge sprinkle them with sugar.

Now get out your weapon.  This tool sure makes it easy to make this dessert, but I heard that you can use your oven broiler to brown your sugar.  I myself have not tried this method - but I'm intrigued.

Heat the sugar quickly and evenly in a circular motion until it bubbles and browns.

Use all of your self control to let it cool 5 minutes before you devour it.  You don't want to burn your tongue!!!


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Crème Brûlée 

Crème Brûlée
6 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
3/4 cup sugar
4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar for topping
berries for garnish
Preheat your oven to 325
In a saucepan, combine cream and vanilla bean pulp (or extract). Heat over medium high heat just until boiling. Remove from heat and cover while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a stand mixer combine egg yolks and sugar. Using the whist attachment whisk until the color becomes pale. With the whisk still turning start adding in the hot cream, little by little. (Dumping it all in would cook the eggs, so take it slow.)
Place 6 ramekins on a large baking sheet or cake pan. Fill the ramekins evenly with the mixture. Now pour hot water into your cake pan so that the water reaches about halfway up your ramekins.
Transfer to your pre-heated oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes until set, but still a little jiggly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours...but can be left in the fridge for 2-3 days. By placing them in the fridge your custard will firm up and become the perfect texture.
After the custard is done chilling use the 1/2 cup sugar sprinkle each ramekin with a bit of sugar. I like a thicker crust on mine, so I put a bit more sugar. Using a torch caramelize the sugar using an even circular motion until the sugar bubbles and becomes golden brown. Don't have a torch? Try using your oven broiler to caramelize the sugar. After you are done there should be a firm crust on your custard.
Let cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with berries.

A recap of our romantic recipes for your romantic picnic (ooh-la-la!)
Ricotta Basil Ravioli with Tomato Cream Sauce
Lemon Prosciutto Arugula Salad
Ombré Raspberry Martinelli's
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