One of my favorite desserts is crème brûlée. On the other hand, I have always been scared of making it myself. I had been told it was hard to do and that it was common for it to curdle if you made one mistake.
So not only was I intimidated by it but I also thought it was very difficult to execute and that I probably didn’t have the skills to make it smooth and great. I thought of this dessert as a treat that I would allow myself to have in restaurant.
But this weekend, as we were having nine of our friends over for dinner, I thought it was a good idea to make vanilla crème brulée for the first time in my life. If there was a time to test a recipe that I considered a challenge, might as well really put the pressure on.
The basic recipe I used called for 18 eggs and 1 and a half litres of cream. Believe me, it was more than enough for the 11 of us! So as I prepared the desserts the night before the diner party, I crossed my fingers and hoped I would not serve vanilla scramble eggs to my guests the next evening.
Turns out the crème brûlée was a success. It was creamy, delicious, exactly what a vanilla crème brûlée should be.
Today I did another batch but adjusted the quantity of cream and sugar, and used real vanilla bean. Here is the recipe, and believe me it is pretty easy to do. All you need is a pinch of confidence and a reason to indulge!
You will need:
6 egg yolks
500 ml of 35% cream
½ cup of sugar
Half a vanilla bean, with the inside scraped
Whisk together the egg yolk and ½ cup of sugar, until the mixture is a pale yellow.
In a pan, bring the cream to a boil along with the scrapings from the inside of the vanilla bean.
When the cream starts to foam, take off heat and pour in the egg, whisking constantly.
Strain the liquid and skim-off any foam that is on the surface.
Put the crème in individual ramekins.
Place the ramekins in a big pan filled with boiling water (bain-maire).
Bake 30 minutes at 325F.
Let it chill and refrigerate before serving.
Before serving, sprinkle sugar on the top of each ramekin and burn it using a cooking torch.
*You can always use the broiler of your oven if you do not have a torch.
NOTE: Crème brûlée are even better when they are baked a day in advance.
Other ideas for your crème brûlée: