Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hurray for brûlée!

*yuk* *yuk* - okay that was a pretty corny title, I admit. I sat here rhyming brûlée for 2 minutes before giving up on witty and just settling for lame. Be thankful you didn't get "Brûlée without delay" or something having to do with Malay[sia]...
Nummy, nummy...

Crème brûlée is soooo easy to make and fast to boot. I can whip up a batch in an hour - with most of the time spent waiting for the oven timer to beep (remember the days when it'd ring?)

I swear, this can only lead to something good

Often times I make crème brûlée when I have a bunch of leftover egg yolks (like after making macarons). There's always of course, custard or ice cream or pastry cream or cheesecake to make too. But none of those is quite as simple as crème brûlée.
THIS is a water bath. I cook all my custards in water baths
(bread pudding, cheesecake etc.) It cooks the eggs more gently.
Fill almost to the top, but don't get water in the dishes!!

I always have everything on hand and if I have special things (like the pint of egg-nog currently hanging out in my fridge) then it makes it even better. This particular night was the same night I made the ribs for Connie and then macarons for um - midnight snack. It was plain ole crème brûlée with a little heavy cream and a little non-fat milk. I basically use whatever dairy I have around (I usually *gasp* have heavy cream around - such is the life of a cook!) Half and half works. Fat-free half and half works. Whole milk works. I recently found out that egg-nog works . I haven't tried it with straight up fat free milk, but I could imagine it wouldn't be too shabby and I'm always willing to give food a little leeway when it won't derail my girlish figure. What do you mean "what girlish figure?" (That is now twice in recent posts that I've had a conversation with my own blog.)

Armed -------------------- Usually dangerous

I can't say I've ever tried brûléeing without a torch but supposedly you can do it in the broiler. Just sprinkle a thin (THIN - you don't want to have to set your table with chisels!) layer of sugar on the top of the custard and put it close to the heat source - I'd guess mere inches away. Try it with one first to see if it works since it should go pretty quickly if so.
You know what else is great - these stay in the fridge for a few days with absolutely no problems. Maybe even more than a few days.... Imagine the look on friends' faces when they stop by to borrow your 'Sex and the City' DVD and you go "hey want some crème brûlée?" That's what it's all about.

Crème Brûlée
2 cups half & half
5 yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1 T vanilla extract

1/8 t salt

Heat half & half in a heavy saucepan over med-high heat until bubbles form around the edge. Put aside. Whisk yolks, sugar, vanilla, salt in a large pourable cup. Pour cream slowly into yolks as you whisk constantly. Pour into dishes. Makes ~4-6oz dishes. Bake 325
° for 35-40 minutes in water bath.

Put in fridge until ready to serve - at least allow to cool all the way through. Sprinkle with ~1 t sugar and torch.

*Note the rim of the ramekin will be quite hot - warn your guests or let it sit a couple minutes.


  1. I love creme brulee too but cannot prepare it very often; it is pretty rich. I must say though I would have a REAL good rice pudding or bread any time before creme brulee. Even though it's good, I think it's overrated in flavor. Don't you think?

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  2. I've been intending to try making some creme brulee for, forever and a day. I even bought one of those boxed sets that has everything you need to be successful. I also purchased a couple of books but still no brulee. Life and other yummy desserts keep popping up and in my way I guess.

    Yours looks great and I hope gets me going!