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Classic Vanilla Crème Brûlée


So, remember how 2017 was the year of trying new things in the kitchen? Well, I have decided to continue that trend into 2018 and today, I have for you none other than a classic vanilla creme brulee!
You guys, all this time, I was making macarons and not knowing what to do with all the leftover egg yolks...why didn't anyone tell me?! Why didn't anyone tell me that creme brulee is so easy to make? Especially for someone who has made pastry cream a bunch of times, like myself. It was a literal breeze. Too easy to the point that I was sure I missed a step...like is that all there is to it?
Even the torching process wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. The scariest part was having my husband fill the torch with butane; I was just worried he wouldn't do it right and the whole thing would blow up. But, the torch is fine and it was super easy to get that beautiful caramelized sugar crust.
For my first try at this fancy shmancy dessert, I am honestly so impressed. The custard was creamy, smooth and just lovely. I went a little nuts with the whisking and thought I beat too much air into it, but it was actually perfect. Also, I used vanilla bean paste for the first time ever and it was SO good! I thought the little vanilla beans would be speckled throughout the custard but they sunk to the bottom, which is fine cause the flavor was still there.

If you're still on the fence about making creme brulee, I hope this post has convinced you to do it!

Classic Vanilla Crème Brûlée

Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients:

3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together egg yolks and vanilla bean paste until well-combined. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

While water is boiling, add heavy cream, sugar, and salt to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until it comes to a simmer and steam starts to rise.

Remove from heat and very carefully, add to the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously as you do so. Once you have incorporated the heated cream mixture into the egg yolks, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Place four 6-oz ramekins into a roasting pan. Distribute custard mixture evenly between the ramekins. Then, pour the boiling water into the pan, until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Carefully place pan in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the center of the custard is set but trembles slightly when you shake it.

Let custard cool for 1 hour at room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.

Prior to serving, sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar over the surface of the custard. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar. Let sit for a few minutes, then serve. If you prefer a colder custard, refrigerate and serve later. 

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