My Favorite Dessert: Crème Brûlée

May 11, 2011

I have long had a love affair with crème brûlée. There is something about the contrasting textures and flavors of the crispy caramelized sugar and rich smooth custard that is utterly delicious!   

Crème brûlée can be made in an assortment of flavors like lemon, orange (zest), chocolate, rosemary, coffee, peppermint, almond, raspberry, and chocolate macadamia nut to name a few, but my favorite flavor will always remain the traditional vanilla. So whether you call it crème brûlée, burnt cream, crema catalana, or Trinity cream, this dessert will always have you coming back for more.

Here is a simple recipe for you to try at home.

Ingredients for 6 persons:

·         8 egg yolks
·         1/3 cup granulated white sugar
·         2 cups heavy cream
·         1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
·         1/4 cup granulated white sugar (for caramelized tops)


Preheat oven to 300ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add cream and vanilla, and continue to whisk until well blended. Strain into a large bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles.

Divide mixture among 6 ramekins or custard cups. Place ramekins in a water bath (large pan filled with 1 or 2 inches of hot water) and bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the center, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove cups from water bath and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar over each custard. For best results, use a small, hand-held torch to melt sugar. If you don't have a torch, place under the broiler until sugar melts. Re-chill custards for a few minutes before serving.


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