Crème Brulée, which literally means “burnt cream,” is a French dessert consisting of a rich custard cream base, topped with a hard caramel. The contrast between the hard caramel and the soft cream makes for a deliciously impressive dessert. I assumed that such contrast would be very complicated to create. To my surprise, I found that crème brulée is actually easy to prepare! After trying several recipes, I found a recipe that is easy to follow, and gives a great result: a delicious crème brulée with a light vanilla flavor. This dessert is sure to impress your guests! Enjoy!
The best recipe I found so far is this French recipe, available here.
The recipe calls for caramelizing with a Butane Torche. Though this is the most common way to do it, you can also caramelize the cream by broiling it in your oven, which is what I did. Hence, you don’t really need to buy a butane torch if you don’t want to. However you will need ramekins to bake the cream in. If you do not have any, you can buy ramekins here:
Additionally, because the cream needs to be refrigerated for a minimum of 4 hours after baking, it is a good idea to prepare the cream the day before, and refrigerate it overnight.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a salad bowl, mix the egg yolks with the sugar. Note: make sure you are only using the egg yolks, not the egg whites! (Egg whites are not used for crème brulée; you can put them aside and use them for another recipe).
Split the vanilla bean down its length using a knife. Scrape out the vanilla seeds with a knife. The vanilla seeds is what we will be using in the crème brulée.
In a pot, warm the cream with the scraped seeds of the vanilla bean until it starts boiling. As soon as it starts boiling, pour the cream on the egg yolk and sugar mix. Mix and filter using a strainer. Fill 6 ramekins.
Place the 6 ramekins in a big dish filled with warm water. This is called a “bain marie”. Bake in the oven for about 30–40 minutes. The cream is done baking once it is no longer liquid. If you take the cream out of the oven and it is still liquid, put it back in and bake some more.
Let it cool down and put it in the fridge a minimum of 4 hours (or overnight).
When you are ready to serve the cream, sprinkle the top with raw cane sugar.
Caramelize the top by using a butane torch or broiling it in the oven for about 3 minutes. Wait 1 minute and serve immediately. Enjoy!
The traditional flavor of Crème Brulée is vanilla. However, you can use other flavors, such as coconut or orange, for example.