Recently I received a kitchen torch to add to my collection of fancy cooking supplies. The first recipe I decided to make with it was this, crème brûlée. This recipe is truly amazing and I actually ended up making this twice in one week, it was such a hit. It’s lightly sweetened and very creamy and the caramelized sugar on top adds the perfect amount of crunch.
I’ve always thought of crème brûlée as some sort of exotic, difficult-to-make dessert, but once I actually made it, my thoughts quickly changed. Hopefully yours will too with this simple step-by-step tutorial.
Pictured below are the first four steps:
1. creaming the yolks, 2. heating the cream, 3. mixing the yolks and cream together, and 4. placing the mixture in custard cups in a pan halfway full with hot water.
Once baked, the custard should look set, as shown below.
You have to chill the custard before you can eat it, but once chilled you sprinkle sugar over top and caramelize it, as shown in the gif above. Below is the final product.
Now, I found that the custard actually tasted a lot better with very little hard sugar on top. Pictured above is a crème brûlée that, in my opinion, had too much sugar. Pictured below is a crème brûlée that I found much tastier as it had about half the sugar of the one above.
Some people, however really like a lot of hard sugar on top, so it just depends on your taste. If you do end up accidentally adding too much sugar though, it’s really not a problem as it is easy to take off.
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1. Set a full kettle of water to boil on your stove.
- 2. Place the heavy cream and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat on the stove. Heat for about 5-8 minutes until small bubbles form, but don’t allow the mixture to come to a rolling boil. Remove from heat.
- 3. Preheat the oven to 325F. In a bowl with an electric mixer, whip the egg yolks and vanilla until thick and creamy. Once the cream mixture has cooled slightly, add it to the eggs and mix. If the cream was still hot, the yolks may have cooked a bit. If so, strain your crème brûlée mixture.
- 4. Divide the cream mixture into 6 oven-proof custard cups. Find a glass pan that will fit all six custard cups. Place the custard cups in the pan, then add hot water to the pan. Only add enough hot water until it about an inch and a half in height. Note: the water should not actually touch the crème brûlée. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 25 minutes. The custard is ready when it has set a bit.
- 5. Allow the custard cups to cool at room temperature for a bit, then chill them in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- 6. Once the crème brûlée has chilled and they’re ready to be served, add about ½ a tablespoon sugar on top of each cup. Note: you can add more sugar if you want for a crunchier custard.
- 7. With a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar. All you have to do is hold the flame above the custard and move it in a circular direction. You don’t want the flame to stay in one spot for too long.