Thursday, March 19, 2015

Creme Brûlée

 


Im reposting this recipe because it truly is my favorite plus Im making this for dessert tonight. ENJOY

Creme Brûlée has to be my all time favorite dessert. There is just something about cracking the caramelized sugar topping and diving into the creamy custard bottom. Not as sweet as some but just the right amount of goodness...Yum!

I can remember around Christmas one year my grandmother telling me how Creme Brûlée was a special treat for her as a child and was usually only made around the holidays.  She recalled her mother and and an aunt working for hours in the kitchen.  Honestly I just couldn't picture slaving over the stove for hours to make it..but what did I know. I remember saying I was sure I could make it---wrong thing to say.. she quickly snapped at me  -Creme Brûlée should really only be made by a professional chef because it's simply just too difficult for a home cook to make.

So began my quest to make it right. I learned that you need a little patience and a little practice. I have to admit the first couple of times I made it I did curdle my eggs and I think I over baked but sometimes you have to do that in order to get it right.
It really is a simple dish with simple ingredients .
Just take your time and be sure to watch what you are doing.
It comes down to not over beating, watching your temperature and time.


RECIPE
6 Egg Yolks
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract-If you have a vanilla bean please use it. It does provide a much better flavor of vanilla.

5-6 shallow ramekins                                                                            
I use a large cake pan to use for the water bath



In a large sauce pan heat heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar just to low simmer DO NOT BOIL Remove from heat and add either your vanilla extract or the scraped inside of a vanilla bean. Set aside.


In a large bowl mix egg yolks and the other 1/4 cup of sugar. Be sure not to over beat yolks. You do not want to cause too much foam to form. Next you will need to temper your yolks. Slowly add the hot cream to eggs. Pour a small amount at a time so not to scramble your eggs. Remember to continue stirring this will help prevent eggs from turning into a mess.


Once you have combined the cream with the eggs you can run the liquid through a mesh stainer to be sure your have no lumps. Fill your ramekins about 2/3 full. Place in a shallow pan and fill pan 1/2 way with hot water. This way you'll be steaming the custard which will keep it moist. Be sure not to get any water in your ramekins.

Bake at 325 for approximately 35-40. I usually check after 20min.  Give a ramekin them a little shake.  If see a lot of jiggle in the center- you'll need to bake a little longer. Continue checking every 8 minutes. Once you see very little jiggle you'll know they are done.

Try not to over bake or you will see the tops crack or begin to turn brown. Remove from oven but keep in the water until they are cool enough to handle. I like to refrigerate them for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  This will ensure the custard has set. Plus when you go to place them under your broiler they won't melt to mush.



If you have a cooking (blow) torch-which you can find at "Micheal's" or a "Bed and Bath" type store.
But if you are like me and don't have one you can use your broiler.
Turn your broiler on low.

Remove the ramekins from the fridge. Add 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar to the top of each custard.
Try to spread the sugar out evenly-you'll want them to caramelize evenly.

Once they are all covered put the ramekins on a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Keep the door open a smidge-keep checking as not to burn.

It may take a few minutes. Once you see the sugar begin to bubble and turn a golden brown remove. If it doesn't seem to brown the way you'd like given them a 1/2 turn. Remember be patient and keep a close eye as not to burn the sugar.

ENJOY




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