One of the many favorite things I got for Christmas last year was a creme brulee torch. No, I had never made creme brulee before, nor did I really have a need for it. But isn't that what Christmas is about? Getting another pair of pajamas/slippers/bathsalts/etc. even though you don't NEED any of that? I digress.
But creme brulee was a happy coincidence. Never had I attempted what was thought to be a complicated dessert, but "complicated" couldn't be farther from the truth. Though 8 egg yolks is pretty excessive, the whole process was so easy, from start to finish and required such little forethought, that surely you can make it at home.
You will need:
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 300F. Either by hand or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg yolks and sugar together in large bowl until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add cream slowly and the vanilla. Strain the whole thing into a large bowl or huge glass measuring cup. I prefer the latter because it is easy to pour.
Divide mixture into 6 ramekins or custard cups. Place in a water bath and bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and leave in water bath until cooled. Remove cups from water bath and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
When ready to serve, sprinkle 2 tsp of sugar over each custard. Torch or broil the sugar until caramelized and serve.
(it's smiling at me!)
Be sure to move the torch around while burning the sugar, or you will end up with some unevenly burnt spots. When you're done, let the sugar cool and it will harden into a delicious crispy sheet of burnt sugar.
Tap, tap, crack.