Recipe: Classic Crème brûlée
While traveling through France, one of the sought after desserts was always either a perfect Chocolate Mousse or a Crème brûlée. The whole family would taste test different ones as we traveled to find the perfect one. When we got back Stateside, we found this terrific recipe that was so easy.
You just need few essential tools: a whisk, a fine strainer, and 4-6 ramekins/custard cups.
Note: for best results you should let them sit over night in the refrigerator. *We did try using soy milk once & another time using half & half. Both came out ok, but to get the true creamy texture you need the real deal- the heavy cream
8 egg yolks 1/3 cup of granulated white sugar 2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup of granulated white sugar (for the caramelized topping)
Preheat oven to 300 F. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissloved and the mixture is a thick yellow color. Add cream and vanilla, and continue to whisk until is well blended.
Using your strainer, strain the mixture into a large bowl. Your goal is not to get all the bubbles/foam in the bowl. Take a spoon and skim the top of the mixture to collect any more bubbles. This helps them to become nice and creamy without the air in them when they cook.
Divide the mixture into the ramekins or custard cups. Pour the mixture slowly, so you don’t have more bubbles or foam. Place in a water bath before putting in the oven.
Water Bath Directions:
To prepare a water bath for baking, put your filled pan (your ramekins) in a larger pan and add enough boiling-hot water (I just used normal tap water) to reach halfway up the side of the smaller pan.
Bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the middle. When you take it out of the oven you should be able to jiggle it a little bit to see if the middle is loose. If it jiggles like jello then it’s not done. This should be about 40-50 minutes. *However, the thicker it is, it might take up to 60 minutes. Remove from the water bath and allow them to cool to room temperature. Then chill for 2 hours or up to 2 days in the fridge.
When you are ready to eat them, sprinkle the 1/4 cup of sugar on the 4-6 ramekins (it’s about 2 teaspoons per ramekin). Spread the sugar out evenly. For the best results, use a cooking torch to melt the sugar. If you haven’t invested in one that’s ok. You can place the ramekins with the sugar under the broiler until the sugar melts. Be careful not to burn all the sugar.
Some advice on broiling from thekitchn.com:
“I follow Alton Brown’s advice of putting the ramekins in a cold oven, then turning on the broiler. This helps keep the custard cool while getting the top crisp.
An oven-broiled crème brûlée tends to be a little more rustic, spattered with with craters of burnt sugar, blackened around the edges, with piebald pale spots here and there. I do not mind this. In fact, I like my crème brûlée just this side of burnt; I think that such a sweet, rich custard needs the dark, nearly bitter burnt sugar to balance it out.”
How to use under the broiler:
Move the top rack in your oven up as high as it will go. Place the ramekins in the oven on the top rack, and turn on the broiler. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes, rotating them frequently so that they broil evenly. Take them out when they are golden brown and bubbling. http://www.thekitchn.com/
Place the ramekins back in the fridge for 6 minutes to re-chill and then enjoy!