Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tasty Tuesday - Creme Brulee
*Edited* I thought I posted this already but I guess I forgot...so pretend it's Tuesday! :)
One of my all-time favorite desserts is Creme Brulee. I learned how to make it a couple of years ago and I try to make it at least a few times a year...or more. OK, it's THE all-time favorite dessert of mine and I make it at least once a month. But I mean come on...what's not to like? The first time I had it I fell in love and thought it must be so hard to make. Nope, nada! It is beyond easy. The only downside to the dessert is you need a few special equipment items that the average person may not have. However, the purchase of such items will be well worth the investment.
Items you will need: ramikins, a creme brulee torch (or really any type of torch will do), a large 13 X 9 baking dish.
Ingredients (which will make 5 servings):
1/2 quart of heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
1/3 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
Separate the egg yolks and add to a bowl.
Add sugar and beat with a whisk until it is a light lemon yellow color.
In a sauce pan, pour in the heavy cream.
Slice open the vanilla bean with a small paring knife, then scrape out the insides of the bean and add to the cream in the pan.
Slowly bring the cream and vanilla to a simmer over medium/low heat. You do not want a rolling boil and you don't want to scald the cream. Once you have little bubbles on the side of the pan, remove it from the heat.
Next you want to temper the eggs. What this means is you can't just add all the cream to the egg mixture at once because if you do, the heat from the cream will cook the eggs and you will end up with scrambled eggs, so how you avoid this is called "tempering the eggs". Take a ladel and scoop up a small amount of the cream and add it to the eggs, then beat the eggs again. Continue to do this, one ladel at a time until the temperature of the eggs is slowly raised. Once it is semi-hot you can go ahead and add the remaining cream and vanilla. Whisk everything together one more time.
(now for some of my helpful hints to make this easy...)
Put the ramikens in the baking dish.
Next, add the mixture to the ramikens using the ladel.
Put the baking dish in the oven, then add hot water to the baking dish. The hot water should come up about half way up the ramikens. You can add the hot water before you put it in the oven but I find it easier to add it after and then you aren't trying to juggle it full of water.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 35-45 minutes until the sides of the creme brulee are firm. The middle will still be a little jiggly. Don't overcook!
Remove the baking dish from the oven and then remove the ramikens from the hot water. I use a set of tongs to do this.
Allow to cool for a few minutes and then move them to the refridgerator.
Allow to cool completely in the fridge. It will take at least a couple of hours. The pudding will firm up while it cools.
Once cooled, it's time to turn it into the classic creme brulee!
Sprinkle a light dusting of sugar over the top of each dish.
Light the torch and heat the sugar until it turns into a light brown caramel color.
TaDa! You have just made creme brulee!
Another hint: I like to serve mine with berries that are in season.