There are very few desserts which are as delicious to look at as they are to eat. With its name derived from a French word, the term ‘crème brulee’ literally means ‘burnt cream’. This spectacular dessert serves as a classic finale to a great meal. It can be served either chilled or slightly warm.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Egg Yolks (chilled) – 6
Granulated Sugar – 6 tablespoons
Whipping cream (chilled) – 1 ½ cups
Granulated Sugar (for the topping) – 4 tablespoons
1. Preheat the oven to a temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter six ramekins or custard cups and place them in a baking dish. If you are using a metal pan for cooking the custard, cover up the pan’s bottom with a newspaper to make sure you get even temperature at the bottom.
2. Take a large bowl and beat the egg yolks till they become slightly thickened. Add sugar and continue to mix till it is dissolved completely. Next, add the cream and mix well; then pour the mixture into the custard cups. Pour warm water into the baking pan till it reaches half-way up to the side of custard cups. Not adding enough water is one of the biggest mistakes that people make while baking crème brulee. It is very important to protect the custards from direct heat.
3. Bake the custards for around 35 to 40 minutes or till the crème brulee gets set around the edges, but is still wobbly in the center. The time of cooking also depends on the size of your custard cup. So begin checking if the custard is done half an hour after you start baking it, and then continue to check after a gap of few minutes. When the center is just a little set, it will jiggle when shaken a little, this is when you can remove them from the oven. \
4. After removing it from the oven, leave it to rest in a water bath till its gets cooled down to room temperature. After this, remove the cups and cover them up with plastic wrap. Store the crème brulee in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours.
Torching the Crème Brulee
When you are ready to serve the Crème Brulee, remove the plastic wrap from the ramekins. If you find condensation on top of the custards, use a paper towel to soak up the moisture from the surface. Sprinkles about 2 teaspoons of sugar on top of each crème brulee. If you have a hand-held torch, hold it after 4-5 inches away from the sugar and torch it using a slow and steady motion. Stop the process just before you get the desired level of caramelization as the sugar will cook for few second even after removing the torch.
If you do not have a torch, put the crème brulees at a distance of 6 inches below a broiler till the sugar starts bubbling and becomes golden brown in color.
Refrigerate the crème brulees for a minimum of 10 minutes before you are serve them.
Photo Credit: Godine.co.uk