10.06.2008

Creme Brulee

Crème brulee (French for “burnt sugar”) is one of my favorite desserts. Before I started baking, I thought that this was a dessert only reserved for restaurants and I could never attempt it home. I was completely wrong, as I discovered that it’s so much easier than any cake or mousse that I’ve ever made. In fact, it was so easy that at one point I was making this every weekend. That’s the excited little kid in me, and I’ve settled down now.

This dessert consists of a rich custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel. The caramel is created by burning the sugar with a blow torch. The custard is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but you can enhance it with other flavors. Sometimes I add grand marnier and orange zest. Pistachio paste gives a very unique flavor too. Or try infusing it with tea or coffee!

The only tricky part of crème brulee is testing for doneness. You want a perfect creamy and silky consistency without it being runny. The best test for doneness is the “jiggle” test. As the custards cook, reach into the oven and gently shake one with tongs or an oven mitt. It’s perfect when the edges are set but the inner custard jiggles slightly. You want to be careful not to cook them past this point or you will end up with a pasty consistency.

Crème brulee can be made in advance, but you shouldn’t caramelize the sugar until you are ready to serve. I’d say 30 minutes max…any longer and the hardened sugar will start softening. The contrast between the hard, bitter sugar and creamy, sweet custard defines this dessert. Serve it with a glass of moscato for the perfect compliment.

See Recipe!

2 comments:

Zesty Cook said...

I love Creme Brulee-- This looks amazing. Thanks for sharing. I have to stumble it!

chocolate cookies said...

Thanks a lot for sharing. I loved the recipes they all look good!
Keep it up :)
A blogger next door.