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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Classic Crème Brûlée

Since I have some free time over the weekend, I made my very first crème brûlée. I found these cute crème brûlée (pronounced krehm broo-LAY) ramekins (among other little cutesy thingy….) during my daily visit to one of my favorite stores. Right next to them are copies of cookbooks for making crème brûlée (can you foresee where this is going?) so I put down my credit card and made the purchase. I am not a person with a big sweet tooth although I like making desserts and bake cakes. I have only tasted my very first crème brûlée from Galaxy Dessert last year and was fascinated with the caramelizing process most. I even bought a cooking torch because of that. However, it was in storage up until now.

The process was astonishingly easy and preparation time was shockingly short. The original recipe suggested using 1/3 cup sugar, but I don’t like things too sweet so I cut the sugar back to 1/4 cup. Although it is suggested to leave the crème brûlée in the fridge for 2 hours, I left them overnight. The exciting part is learning to use the cooking torch. It took me sometime to figure out how to ignite the torch (I am a visual person and instructing is in words only….). I don’t think I sprinkle enough sugar on top so it wasn’t crunchy enough but it still taste superb :P

Classic Crème Brûlée
Serves 4

1 cup whipping cream
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 to 8 teaspoon granulated sugar for the caramelized top

Preheat oven to 300 degree F. Bring cream just to the point of boiling in a saucepan over medium heat. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract until blended or pale. Add the hot cream little by little, whisking as you go until all is incorporated (never stop whisking).

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and skim away any forth on top. Put the ramekins in a roasting pan then pour boiling water into the pan to about halfway up the side of the ramekins. Fill the ramekins evenly with the crème mixture. Bake for 35 minutes or until set but the center should still jiggle slightly. Remove ramekins from hot water bath and let cool. Cover with clear wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, evenly sieve 1 to 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar on the surface and torch gradually in small, spiraling circles until caramelized. I read somewhere that you can also use brown sugar for the caramelized top if you like a stronger favor.

Although this taste great but I can’t wait to try other spices infused variations! Check back soon for my up coming crème brûlée variations!

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