Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Classic Crème brûlée

I had crème brûlée for the first time a couple of years back at this quaint little eatery in Columbus called the Worthington Inn. It's actually an old inn that was built in 1816 that someone cleverly turned into a restaurant while maintaining all of the charm and decor. The first time I tasted crème brûlée, I realized it was very similar to something I had eaten before. It's kind of a cross between custard and flan if you've ever had those. My favorite part of this rich dessert is the crispy, sugary crust on top. Hubby and I absolutely love this dessert and we hope you will too! Enjoy!

(Hint: To make Chocolate crème brûlée, follow the recipe below, but add 2 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate finely chopped to the hot cream mixture on the stove)

What You Will Need:

-1 cup heavy cream
-2 tablespoons sugar plus 1/3 cup sugar
-2 extra large or jumbo egg yolks (I like to use all of the egg so it doesn't go to waste)
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use a little more, but you can add to your liking)
-professional cooking torch (Also known as a blow torch. This can be bought anywhere that sells kitchen/cooking supplies. I bought mine from Bed, Bath, & Beyond)

Preheat your oven to 300°F. Prepare some boiling water.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally until small bubbles appear around edges of pan, 5-6 minutres. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla until smooth and light. Pour hot cream mixture into egg yolks, a little at a time, beating continuously until well blended. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Divide mixture among four 4 oz. ramekins.

Arrange ramekins in a baking pan with raised sides and place on middle shelf of preheated oven. Fill pan with boiling water to halfway up sides of ramekins. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake until custard is set, about 25-30 minutes depending on your oven. Chill for 2-3 hours.

Sprinkle remaining sugar evenly over top of cooled custards. With the cooking torch, move the flame continuously over the surface of the ramekins, in a circular motion until sugar melts and becomes golden brown and bubbly. Serve immediately surrounded by fresh berries or cut-up fruit or refrigerate for later use.

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