Monday, February 11, 2013

Classic Crème Brûlée

I did not plan to make crème brûlée last week. I don't even have a funny story as to why I ended up making it. It is pretty straight forward, I bought a carton of heavy cream when it was on sale. I noticed that the best before date was coming up. I took Baked Elements off the shelf and happened upon their classic crème brûlée recipe. Reading through the ingredient lists, I noticed that it allowed me to use up all of the heavy cream. Score!

Classic Crème Brûlée
Recipe adapted from Baked Elements

2 cups of heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C). Place four 6-ounce ramekins in a small roasting pan or a baking dish with sides higher than your ramekins.
  2. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds with a knife. Pour the heavy cream into a medium saucepan and add in the vanilla seeds and the bean pod. Heat the cream and occasionally stir to prevent a skin from forming on the top. When the cream starts to bubble and boil, remove it from the heat and turn off your stove. Let it cool and steep for 10 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and salt together. The mixture should turn a shade lighter in colour and be well combined.
  4. Pour a third of the heavy cream into the egg yolk mixture while whisking (the cookbook says not to, and to stir instead, I'll leave this up to you). Continue to add the heavy cream until it is all combined.
  5. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a ramekin and carefully pour in the mixture, reaching just below the top. Repeat with the other three ramekins.
  6. Take the small roasting pan with the filled ramekins to your oven and set it on the oven rack. Gently pour hot water into the roasting pan - be careful not to get any into the ramekins! The water should reach about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the custard is set, it'll still be wobbly in the middle. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan filled with water. Set it aside to cool in room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours). When your oven has cooled, carefully take out the roasting pan and pour the water out.
  8. Remove the ramekins 15 minutes before serving. Divide the 3 tablespoons of sugar (you can also try it with dark brown sugar as the cookbook recommends) evenly between the four ramekins and sprinkle it on top. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar to create a smooth top.
For some reason, my kitchen torch refused to work for me that day. Despite many attempts in refueling it, I don't think any of the butane fuel made it in (yikes). I ended up using a lighter. I do not recommend this. I should have waited for Howard to do it, but I was impatient.

Boy was this crème brûlée smooth! Even smoother than the recipe I tried here. Let's stick to this one from now on!

1 comment:

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