Saturday, July 31, 2010

Creme Brulee

One of my favorite desserts of all time(I think I say that about every dessert I post) is Creme Brulee. It is surprisingly easy to make, the real trick with this dish being that it needs to be closely watched and not overcooked. If the custard is cooked too long it will curdle and separate. Not yummy. So watch it carefully!
I spent many baking sessions perfecting the ratio of cream to eggs and I think that this is the perfect balance. Not to egg-y and just thick enough. Let me know what you think if you try this recipe!


  • 1 ½ cups Heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups Half & half
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • 6 Egg yolks
  • Superfine sugar
    1. Preheat oven to 300ยบ.
    2. In a large small saucepan, combine the heavy cream and half & half. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and set aside.
    3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the egg yolks and the sugar. Whisk until smooth and pale yellow. About 2-3 minutes. Quickly stir the cream mixture into the egg mixture one cup at a time. * Adding all the cream at once will cause the egg yolks to cook and curdle*.
    4. Place 6 ramekins inside of a large baking dish. Pour egg/cream mixture into each ramekin so that mixture is evenly divided among them. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, keeping the oven rack pulled out about 1/3 of the way. Pour boiling hot water into the baking dish until it reaches about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the ramekins. *This is what is called baking in a hot water bath. Cooking the cream brulee in a hot water bath will allow the custard to fully cook, but not curdle*. Slowly slide the rack back into the oven.
    5. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the cream brulee is set, but not firm (will jiggle slightly when lightly shaken). Remove from water bath and let cool for 10 – 15 minutes. Move to the refrigerator and let cool for a further hour and a half to two hours.
    6. Just before service, remove cream brulee from the refrigerator. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon+ of superfine sugar on top of each custard, making sure that all surfaces are coated. With a brulee torch (a small torch designed specifically for the caramelization of sugar) caramelize the sugar on each custard. The surface of each custard should be a dark golden color with a glasslike texture.
    7. Serves 6

      *Note - If you do not have a small torch, you can caramalize your sugar under an oven broiler. Watch it VERY closely if you try it this way.

      *Also, cream brulee is just as good hot, if you don't want to wait for it to cool!