Thursday, March 17, 2011

Creme Brulee Party

Creme brulee is dessert of the gods and a recent obsession for me. I've had it here and there, but I didn't fully appreciate this decadent dish until I made it with some friends. I couldn't believe how simple it is. It takes just five ingredients and patience for the cooking and chilling time.

Let's do this thing.

It all starts with a half cup of sugar and some eggs: one whole egg and four egg yolks. Beat until just combined - no whipping.

Scald three cups of cream, and SLOWLY pour into the bowl with the sugary eggs while the mixer is on. Don't pour too fast or you'll have scrambled eggs in your creme brulee. That's just gross.

Flavor that creamy sauce with vanilla (1 tsp.) and booze (1 Tbsp.). An orange flavored liquor was suggested. Pour into six ramekins and place them in a sheet pan with a tall lip.

This, I'd say, is the most risky part. The oven is preheated to 300 degrees, and I'm pouring boiling water into the tray, making a water bath. Just be careful and get some assistance. If you're using small, deep cups, you'll need to bake them for at least an hour. Wide, shallow cups will cook more quickly.

You have the option of skimming the foam from the tops of custard, but it's going to be covered with sugar anyway. A little foam never hurt anyone. Now put them in the fridge to chill.

After they have chilled for at least a couple of hours, with a kitchen torch, you can slowly melt the sugar, rotating the flame around until the desired golden brown crust appears. If you don't have a torch, I suggest you get one because even if you only use it to make sugary crusts on top of creme brulee, it's worth it.

I used Ina Garten's recipe, and she's got a short clip from one of her shows illustrating how easy it is to make creme brulee. Oh, next time I make this, it's going to be chocolate flavored.

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