Until a few months back, it was a restaurant-only dessert for us. But I recently conquered the wide spread fear of making creme brulee at home and was ready to serve it to our friends for a farewell dinner. Creamy, smooth and delicious, this classic French dessert left a lasting impression on their minds!
Try out this in your own kitchen and experience the "wow" effect for yourself....
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 whole egg
3 egg yolks
1 tbs vanilla extract
1. Combine the heavy cream, milk and vanilla extract and bring it to a boil. Cool for about 10 minutes while you prepare the egg mixture.
2. Mix the egg yolks, egg and sugar in a bowl. Beat the mixture with an electric beater just until well incorporated. Do not over beat.
3. Now comes the slightly difficult part. You have to add the hot milk mixture to the eggs without curdling it. Add the milk in a slow and steady stream into the eggs while continuously whisking the egg mixture. Remember that you should not over whisk the eggs as you do not want to add air into the mixture. By slowly adding the milk to the eggs, you will ensure that at any time the temperature of the eggs is almost the same as that of the milk.
4. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer to remove the foam.
5. Divide the mixture into four small ramekins (about 4 ozs each). Pour hot water in a baking dish and set the ramekins such that the water comes half way up the sides. This is a water bath which will ensure even baking.
6. Place in a 325 deg oven for about 25 minutes or until the centers are just wobbly.
7. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the counter.
8. Cover the ramekins and keep them in the refrigerator overnight.
Before serving , sprinkle brown sugar on top and caramamelize the tops with a torch or under the broiler. You have to be very careful if you are caramelizing the tops under the broiler. Set the broiler to 300 deg F. Place the ramekins in a baking dish under the broiler. The caramelization will take only about 10-15 seconds.