Sunday, January 30, 2011

Creme Brulee

Robbie and I were talking with our dinner guests about how we came accross this recipe. And honestly, neither of us remember exactly how it happened. It was many years ago when our favorite channel was the food network and one of our favorite shows was none other than Paula Deen ya'll. We saw her make many an item that we immediately replicated at home within days or hours. Sweet and Sour meatballs ring a bell? And so I am fairly certain that this is how we discovered this recipe.

During a trip with my father and sister I tried creme brulee for the first time. It was amazing. I couldn't believe I had waited so long to order it. I am thankful that Robbie enjoys it just as much as I do. It is one of my all time favorite desserts. And plus you get to play with a torch. How cool is that?

Vanilla Creme Brulee
Recipe from: Paula Deen

2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a heavy-bottomed medium non-reactive saucepan, heat cream with vanilla bean over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring to ensure it does not burn; do not let boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the vanilla bean, or save for another use. Strain cream through a fine mesh sieve.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar. Add about half the cream mixture, a little at a time, to the egg mixture, whisking until well blended. Then pour the egg mixture into the remaining cream mixture. Stir until completely blended.

Pour the custard into 4 (9-ounce) ramekins or custard cups. Place the dishes in large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the mixture is set in the center (it should still wiggle when shaken). Carefully remove the dishes from the baking pan. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours. Let creme brulee stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

Divide 1/3 to 1/2 cup white or light brown sugar in a thin, even layer over each custard, covering it completely. To caramelize the sugar, light a propane torch and hold it so the flame just touches the surface. Start at the center and spiral out toward the edges of the ramekins. If the sugar begins to burn, pull the torch away and blow on the sugar to extinguish the flame. Obviously this one got a little more torched than usual, so be careful when the torch tank is full! Serve immediately.

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