crème brûlée

creme brulee

Hi there. Here we are, around post #11 or so. I haven’t told my people about this here blog yet. I’m a little nervous. Nervous that it’s going to be like a teenage journal, in that when you’re writing you think you sound like some sort of genius, Master of The English Language, conceiver of brilliant ideas, discoverer of previously unknown of Human Truths. But when you read it years later, you experience the sort of embarassment that literally makes you cringe.

Dear Diary,

Oh my god. I think I’m in love. The object of my desires is so beautiful, so fickle. It wears the most lovely, translucent and shimmering little dress, demanding to be cracked open with a spoon and devoured. But then it tries to kill me. It’s so lovely, but so full of evil! I can’t stop myself. Will it ever love me back? Alas!

Lovesies,

Jennifer

I suppose I’ve learned a few things since I was a teenager. I am not some sort of genius, not quite a master of the English language, I haven’t really stumbled upon any Human Truths that aren’t commonly known. I have had a few brilliant ideas, though. LOL. But I guess the most important thing I’ve learned, especially important in blogging I suppose, is that I shouldn’t be afraid to put myself out there. I hope you don’t think I’m a ding dong, but I suppose it’s okay if you do. I’d understand. It’s time to share this thing.

So, crème brûlée.

Crème brûlée gives you the chance to use a flamethrower torch, in the house! You could use one of those fancy torches designed specifically for brûlées, if you’re a sissy. I like this thing:

creme brulee torch (from the hardware store)

That’s just how I roll.  It’s under $10 at the hardware store plus it’s handy for all those welding projects I do. All the time. Just be careful that you’re using it on a heatproof/flameproof surface, as it’s pretty easy to accidentally direct the heat onto nothecremebrulee dish. And keep the flame moving constantly, if you direct the heat onto one spot for just a few seconds too long you’ll end up with a burnt spot. That burnt spot (pictured below) looks really pretty and all but I swear, I’m not exaggerating, that piece of burnt crackly crust made my tastebuds cringe in horror at the mere recollection, hours later. Bitter! I’m not really selling the giant torch here, am I?

You could use a broiler to caramelize the sugar.  It has the drawback of heating up the custard, though.  I like cold custard.  Personal preference.

So.  The custard.  Silky smooth, with a hint of vanilla.  Rich.  Very rich. Something you shouldn’t eat often, or it might actually kill you.  But would you really want to live your entire life without it?

burnt creme brulee

 

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Creme Brulee (adapted slightly from alton brown)

makes 6

1 quart heavy cream

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 cup sugar, divided

6 egg yolks

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

hot water

Preheat oven to 325. Grab (6) 8 ounce ramekins and place them in a large cake or roasting pan.

Put the cream, vanilla pod and its pulp into a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring just to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and let steep about 15 minutes. Remove vanilla pod.

Whisk together 1/2 a cup of sugar and the yolks, stirring just until the yolks start to lighten in color. Add the warm cream a little at a time, stirring constantly. Stir in Grand Marnier. Divide the mixture among the 6 ramekins. Pour hot water into the pan to come up halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the creme brulee is set but still trembling in the center. Remove ramekins from pan and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to torch ’em, divide the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar evenly between the 6 ramekins, spreading the sugar evenly over the tops. Fire away with your torch, melting the sugar and creating a crispy top. Let cool for a couple of minutes before serving.


 



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