Classic vanilla Crème Brûlée. Figuring out how to do this at home has completly spoiled me… Most of the restaurant made ones don’t seem to measure up. Consider yourself warned!
If you can’t get your hands on the torch, you can set your oven to broil and put the rack as high as it goes. Then carefully use the element to broil the sugar crust. It heats up the custard a bit too much, but still yields tasty results.
Special hardware :
1/2 cup of sugar
6 eggs yolk
1 liter cream
2 liters boiling water
1 vanilla pod or 3/4 teaspoon vanilla caviar
Maple sugar, to taste
1. Pre-heat the oven to 325F
2. In a thick bottom pot, combine the cream and the vanilla.
* If using a vanilla pod include the husk, not just the seeds as it adds a ton of flavor.
3. Over medium heat bring the cream and vanilla to a boil (not a simmer!). This is called scalding the cream and is important for the final texture.
Once boiling remove from heat and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
* Remove the vanilla pod husk at this time.
4. While the cream is cooling, combine the eggs yolks and sugar in a large bowl.
* For an even stronger taste of vanilla you can use vanilla sugar instead of plain sugar.
5. The yolks and sugar will turn into a lumpy paste. Keep whisking until it becomes smooth and light.
6. While whisking continually add the cream to the eggs mixture. If you stop whisking you will end up with vanilla scrambled eggs, so don’t be shy to ask for help for this step!
7. Transfer into the ramekins. If you are not sure of how well you did with the previous step or if you want absolute perfection you can strain the custard into the ramekins to remove any lumps.
Place the ramekins into a cake mold and add boiling water up to the middle of the ramekins.
8 .Put in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the sides are set but the middle are still slightly woobly.
9. Cool the custard in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. They will keep for 3 days, so you can do these steps ahead of time.
Take the ramekins out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving and allow to come back to room temperature.
Then add maple sugar in an even layer on top of the custard.
10. Heat the sugar with the torch until it melts and becomes a cracking caramel layer.
* Different sugar will give different results. Try with brown sugar, white sugar or vanilla sugar!