Sunday, September 26, 2010

Crème Brûlée and My Torch!

Eeek! I'm running late in posting this! My cheeseball girlfriends Ingrid and Michelle were waiting on me to get this crème brûlée up- sorry to have you waiting ladies! Michelle chose this crème brûlée recipe to make together this month and it comes from Dorie Greenspan's book: Baking From My Home To Yours.

I've wanted to make crème brûlée for years! I even bought vanilla beans ages ago at Costco and never made it. I think I was waiting for a special occasion or maybe I was intimidated by the whole water bath thing. I'm not really sure, but I'm kicking myself now for waiting so long. This recipe could not be more straight forward and simple. You don't need a water bath, since it's baked in a low oven and you don't need expensive vanilla beans since it uses extract. And did I mention it's delicious?

Here's my torch- I named her Cali, short for Caliente! ha!

I've tried many crème brûlée in my life and I can't say it was the best one I've ever had, but it was right up there. This version was very silky and lighter than I expected. Most of the time, they're very thick and custardy, but this was pleasantly different. Don't get me wrong, it's loaded with calories but it doesn't feel as heavy going down :-). I made this twice, a vanilla version, with and without chocolate chunks on the bottom as well as an espresso version (I just added a couple teaspoons of instant espresso powder to the custard). I don't really have a favorite as they were all good, but I can tell you that the brûléed sugar on top is the best part!

Crème Brûlée from Dorie Greenspan

  • 1 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • granulated sugar for topping

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Put the six baking dishes (gratin dishes or ramekins) on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Bring the cream and milk just to a boil. In a 1- or 2-quart glass measuring cup or in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla together until well blended but not airy. Still whisking, drizzle in about one quarter of the hot liquid to temper the yolks. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the cream and milk. Strain the custard into the baking dishes.

Bake the custards for 50 to 60 minutes* (see note), or until the center are set. Lift the dishes onto a cooling rack, and let the custards cool until they reach room temperature. Cover each custard with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but up to 2 days.

To Caramelize the Sugar: Sprinkle the top of each custard with approximately 1 tablespoon (I used just enough sugar to coat the top of the custard) of sugar, or enough to cover the custard nicely. Brown the sugar with a torch until it bubbles and colors. Allow the bubbles to subside before serving.

NOTE: I used four larger ramekins rather than 6 smaller ones, so they took longer to bake. Rather than 50-60minutes, my crème brûlée took about 75 minutes to bake.

Autumn liked it! Go see how Michelle and Ingrid did!


oneordinaryday said...

Ha! Love that you let Autumn lick the bowl. You are a nicer dog-mama than I am. :)
You've got me wishing I'd tried it w/ chocolate chunks in the bottom. Sounds delicious.

(Great pic of you and Cali!!)

From the Kitchen said...

Why am I thinking "Woman With Blow Torch--Enter Kitchen With Caution!"? Your creme brulee (I have the right marks on my keyboard but don't know how to make them work) looks delicious. It's one of my favorite desserts. I've never owned a torch but am tempted.


Ingrid_3Bs said...

Hey, how come Michelle commented on your post and not mine! She's playing favorites!

Love your little dishes and don't you look cute with Cali. :) Oh, and don't think I didn't notice that you were showing off your Le Creuset, too.

Love baking with you guys! I'm looking forward to this month's!

Autumn's no dummy!

Duh, I like you new header! Where's mine? :)

Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer said...

Friday night I made cookies, while my kids where licking the beaters I laughed and thought of you, then asked them..."Is it lick the beater good?" Their reply was YES! I have never made Creme Brulee, I will have to add it to my long list now! PS- I like Cal, hahah.

Amber said...

Those look and sound delicious! I'm terrified to make them even though I love them so much. By the way, I just adore your photography and your blog title picture is gorgeous, it makes me smile every time I check out your blog. You rock!

Kerstin said...

Gorgeous Monica - it looks perfect!! I want a torch too :)

Abby said...

My college roommate gave me a torch, a set of ramekins and several creme brulee recipes for my birthday years ago. I've never taken the torch out of the box! I was intimidated. But I'm going to have to give it a go after see y'all do it!

Becca said...

that looks really good. i dont think ive ever really had creme brule before except for maybe a taste of someone elses and if i dont remember then maybe it wasnt all that special haha xD well anyways ive always wanted to make it to see if i could but i dont think my parents would let me near a blow torch xD but i guess ill admire the beautiful picture! :P

Kathleen said...

Oh YUM! I love that you named your blow torch!!!

Unknown said...

I love it! Great job on this. The creme brulee looks delicious and I love the sound of the espresso one! I love the name of your torch!!! I think I need to name mine now that I saw you, Ingrid and Michelle had named yours...hmmmm...

Julie said...

Approved by the pup, it must be good! It certainly looks it.

Unknown said...

Oh I love the pic of you and Cali-very cute :) Mmmm did you put the espresso over the chocolate? I need a torch!

Keeley said...

Chocolate chunks on the bottom?! OMG, that sounds sooo good, especially if they are melted when you serve the creme brulee.

I need a kitchen torch!

Sue said...

This is my favorite dessert and I order it out any time I can. I've also made it at home. I don't have a torch, I have a tool for the purpose that is almost like a branding iron.

Healthy and Homemade said...

DROOL. I've never even tried making it because I know it wouldn't turn out, so I just order it in the restaurants =P Yours looks fantastic!

Monica H said...

H&H- This recipe is so simple. You can't mess it up, I promise!


Anonymous said...

That looks so good! you say it's easy? My v. favorite dessert. I've seen those torches and wanted one, I might just try it! U rock!

Grimmy said...

This looks so simple and amazing. Will have to give it a try. I love the sugar on top.

Megan said...

Aww - the pup loved the custard! I wish I could let my dogs do that - but they're such sissies it would make them sick!

Smitten Sugar said...

This is my favorite dessert of all time and I have never actually made it at home. I think I even bought my kitchen torch so I could make these! Looks like Autumn got a little treat, so cute.

Anonymous said...

Love it, love crème brulee, it looks so delicious! I could eat some right now, it's on of my favorites! :-) I found your site by linking from another blog, glad I did you have a lot of good recipes!

I also make crème brulee,

Unknown said...

I love your blog. Most items that I couldn't even begin to make correctly, but nevertheless- they LOOK delicious enough for me to put on a couple of pounds!

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