Sunday, February 13, 2011
Crème Brulee for Two
Looking for something really fast and simple to make your sweetheart for Valentine's Day? This crème brulee is simple and decadent and will make it look like you spent hours in the kitchen!
I tried crème brulee for the first time last year after having one of the best cheesecakes of my life, a crème brulee cheesecake at a restaurant called The Grape. I originally went to the restaurant to hear a jazz/neo soul band play but the cheesecake ended up being the star of the show.
The custard is good and can be flavored with coffee, brandy, lemon, orange...the possibilities are endless. But what does it for me is the crunchy top, which is usually achieved by using a culinary torch to brown the sugar. I happened to be out of butane today so the oven broiler had to do. Sometimes it does not turn out quite as pretty with the oven broiler but the taste is the same.
I highly recommend you making the topping right before you plan on serving and then popping the custard back in the freezer for about twenty minutes before devouring this dessert. Just don't let the custard sit for too long as the sugared topping may melt back into the custard.
1 c heavy cream
1/4 c sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Grand Marnier liqueur
½ tbsp sugar (turbinado sugar, recommended)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar over high heat until little bubbles form around the edges. Remove from heat.
Whisk egg yolks and vanilla in a bowl, then add a tiny bit of cream mixture while whisking. Continue to incorporate the cream mixture slowly until gone. Be careful not to add the hot cream mixture all at once because it'll cook the yolks and you'll have scrambled eggs.
Pour mixture into ramekins. Place ramekins in a baking dish with edges taller than the ramekins. Heat up some water to the boiling point. Very carefully pour enough water into the baking dish to halfway cover the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow custard to cool on cooling rack. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
When ready to serve, sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of sugar evenly over each ramekin, and torch in slow, steady circles until sugar caramelizes. OR if you do not have a culinary torch, you can put the custard on the uppermost rack in the oven and broil for 3 minutes, watching carefully to keep from burning.
All photographs are actual pictures of the recipe listed, prepared by Virtually Everything Sweet, and cannot be used without the owner’s consent.