Monday, April 14, 2008

Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee

I recently read in a cookbook that, “if you make a man crème brulee, he will follow you anywhere.” That is especially true with my other half. He isn’t much of a dessert person, but he is a crème brulee person. This recipe makes eight small ramekins and Ethan would eat them all.

8 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split and the goo in the middle scraped out
Sugar, for caramelizing

Set oven to 300 degrees. Set a kettle of water over low heat to simmer.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed until light yellow and smooth. Add the cream and the vanilla extract. Beat until combined.

Place a mesh strainer over a pitcher or batter bowl. Pour egg mixture through the strainer into the pitcher. Transfer the strainer to the mixing bowl and pour the egg mixture back in. Then again, transfer the strainer to the pitcher and pour the egg mixture through it. That should equal three times through the strainer. Add the vanilla goo and lightly stir with a wooden spoon.

Divide the egg mixture between eight ramekins. Place in a large pan and then pour warm water in the pan making a water bath. Add enough water so it comes half way up the ramekins.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the tops are light brown and top springs back when touched. Let cool completely in the water bath and then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

Just before serving, sprinkle a small layer of sugar on top and shake off the excess. With a kitchen torch, burn the sugar on top until dark brown and caramelized. Bon appetite!

Rookie’s Notes: When pouring the water bath, do it when the pan is already in the oven. It is easier to take a pan of water out of the oven than it is to put it in. Also, we use raw sugar for the caramelizing.

There are so many variations of crème brulee. During the holidays, Ethan caters for a family for their Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners. They always ask him to make pumpkin crème brulee. It is ridiculous. The next time I make crème brulee, I am going to add a layer of raspberries on the bottom of the ramekin before I pour the egg mixture in. Doesn’t that sound good!?


Tara said...

Yummers! I have to agree with you on the "give a man Creme Brule" comment. Although, I've been too scared to actually try it myself. (I just buy it and feed it to my man)...but I think I Might have to try this one! Sounds Yummy Whitney!

ruth said...

Creme Brulee is my FAVORITE! You would definitely have my heart!

Ingrid said...

The addition of raspberries does sound good but what REALLY gets me is the thought of a pumpkin one. MMMMMmmm!