Somehow, recently I have found myself amidst a new group of folks that love food probably as much as I do! We foodies always manage to find each other!
So, it's my turn to host "Cooking Nite" at my house. My style/ethnic choice will be, French. I've already picked up the Edith Piaf (since my tapes from the 80's are well-worn and long lost in my attic), a little burgundy as well as chicken and potatos for the roasting. So far, one other person is bringing a brie fondue- how good does that sound? What happened to my new, nutritious, leafy green, fibrous filled diet you may be asking yourself? In my defense, cooking nite was planned long before my southern saddlebag enhancing expedition ;) LOL! Ok, on to the creme brulee.....
Crème brûlée (French for "burnt cream") is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel, created by burning sugar under a grill or other intense heat source. It is usually served cold in individual ramekins. The custard base is normally flavoured with just vanilla, but it can be flavoured in a number of ways: with chocolate, a liqueur, fruit, etc.
I have a very simple recipe under my belt that I've used for so long, I have no idea where it came from. All I know is that it works, and that's all I need to know! If you've never made it before, you will be amazed at how insanely simple this rich, decadent and impressive dessert is.
My recipe (some would call this a stirred method):
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups cream
1 tspn vanilla
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Stir egg yolks and sugar together until sugar is dissolved and mixture is light yellow. Add cream and vanilla, stir until combined.
Pour through strainer (I use paper towels placed in a hand seive) over pitcher/bowl to remove bubbles.
Place towel in bottom of large baking dish/roasting pan. Pour cream mixture into 4-5 ramekins (depending on size) and place in baking dish on towel.
Place dish holding ramekins onto oven shelf. Pour hot water in to baking dish (I turn up a corner of the towel and pour the hot water under the towel so I don't splash the creme brulees) halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 40-50 minutes, depending on size of ramekins. Take out oven and let cool in water bath.
Chill thoroughly for at least 2 hours, up to 2 days.
If you don't have a hand torch, you can use your broiler-- just keep an eye on it! :)
I use turbinadao sugar for the caramelized tops, but I also like demerara(they are practically the same thing) when I can get my hands on it!