Well, if you remember when I made my 30 before 30 list, I'm sure you think I'm quite the slacker! Nothing completed after a whole month! But, you'd be wrong, you see. Because I completed one of the activites last month. I'm only just now getting around to posting about it.
While I was in Iowa visiting my parents, I made crème brûlée! My mom recently received a butane torch as a gift, so I thought I'd take advantage of that and make some dessert. We made the custard part in the evening and then added the caramelized topping the next day. So. Delicious.
I definitely want to make this again. Guess I'll have to buy a torch. [It probably won't be too hard to talk my hubby into this one... I'd be lying if I said he didn't like playing with the flame!]
Luckily, I had my photographer sister, Sarah, on hand to take beautiful pictures of the entire process.
Sarah has a blog: on the road to find out
And an amazing photography shop on Etsy
Give her some love! These pics are great!
I've included the recipe at the end of the post, just in case you'd like to try it out yourself! It wasn't nearly as hard as I expected, it just required a bit of advance preparation in terms of ingredients and tools. Not bad at all, though!
Classic Crème Brûlée
from Crème Brûlée, the Bonjour Way by Randolph W. Mann
1 cup whipping cream
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6-8 teaspoons special brûlée sugar (*see below*) or regular granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put cream in saucepan and stir over medium heat, just to the point of boiling. Set aside.
- In small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla until blended.
- Into this, add the hot cream a little bit at a time, whisking as you go until all is incorporated.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.
- Place four (4 oz.) ramekins in a hot water bath, and fill them evenly.
- Bake for about 35 minutes. Custards should be mostly set, but the centers should still jiggle slightly.
- Remove hot water bath from oven and cool until ramekins are comfortable enough to handle.
- Cover with clear wrap and refrigerate at least 1 1/2 hours or as long as two days.
- Just before serving, evenly sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of special brulee sugar on the surface of each custard and torch until caramelized.
It is possible to use only granulated sugar to caramelize the top of a creme brulee, but some cooks believe that a deeper caramel color and flavor is achieved by making a special 50/50 mixture of white brown sugar and granulated sugar. With the special brulee sugar it is possible to caramelize a thinner layer and still end up with a deeper flavor than if only white sugar were used. However, for the sugar to caramelize properly, it must be very dry.
To make the mixture, you will need:
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
Spread the light brown sugar on baking parchment on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Place in a low oven (about 200 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least 35 minutes or until it becomes very crisp and crumbly. Remove from oven and cool completely to room temperature. Rub chunks of the dried sugar through a coarse strainer until as much of it as possible is finely sieved. Mix the dried brown sugar with the granulated sugar and store in airtight container. As it will not spoil, it will be ready for several batches of creme brulee whenever you should happen to want to use it.