MAKE THIS MONTH: Crème Brûlée!

elfCookies, cakes, pie oh my! Office parties, secret Santa, Chanukah, Kwanza, winter solstice, or if you’re like my friend Kiana (who works for some magical company run by elves) cupcakes everyday of December just because! We have been waiting all year for the excuse to eat like this. Tis the season to be jolly and fat, or wait is that just the description for Santa? Lucky for us the weather turns a bit colder so we can pack the extra pounds under the ginormous jackets Mother Nature forces us to wear. The end of the year brings all the cheer and delicious treats. This month’s MAKE THIS MONTH is dedicated to the richest and most decadent sweet of them all,crème brûlée.

First a quick true or false test:

If you make your own treats from scratch they don’t make you gain weight.

If you make Crème brûlée for  a party you will be likened to the most interesting man in the world.

The average crème brûlée has more calories than a snickers bar.

Just saying the word crème brûlée makes you sound fancy.

Find the answers at the end of the post.

Crème brûlée may seem like some thing you should only eat at restaurants on fancy nights out, but the truth is it’s very simple to make at home. The other truth is you need some unusual materials that the basic home chef will not have, like a blowtorch. I’m not a fan of kitchen gadgets but in this case I have made an exception, after all who doesn’t like playing with fire.

MAKE THIS MONTH: Crème Brûlée

WHAT YOU NEED

6 egg yolks

6 TB white sugars

2.5 C of heavy cream

url
No one really owns one of these, but you can easily make your own. See below.

1 TB vanilla

Wire_Strainer
You should absolutely have one of these in your kitchen arsenal.

Double Boiler

      Strainer

Ramekins

Blowtorch

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(easily found at Bed Bath and Beyond & Amazon) 

WHAT YOU DO

  1. If you can boil water you can do the first step of crème brûlée. Boil water.
  2. Prepare your ramekins, this recipe makes about four. Place them in a baking dish and fill the baking dish halfway up with water. Set aside.

    image2
    You can use different size ramekins jus be wary of cooking times.
  3. Combine the egg yolks, vanilla, and sugar in a glass  bowl (That fits over the saucepan with the boiling water.) Place the bowl on a non-slippery surface. On a dish towel works well.

    image1
    Egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla
  4. Warm the heavy cream in a saucepan.
  5. Slowly incorporate the heavy cream into the egg yolks-STIRRING CONSTANTLY, a whisk works best but a fork will do in a pinch. The key is to stir as you pour, in this step you will understand the importance of making sure your bowl is secure and not moving. If you do it too fast you will cook the eggs and end up with a curdled mess. There is no too slow, take your time. If you do find you have pieces of cooked egg in your mixture do not fear! Simply strain them out before you cook stovetop.
  6. Once the cream and eggs have been mixed together place the entire bowl on top of boiling water.

    image3
    Make shift double boiler and my dinner for the evening.
  7. Continue to heat the custard, stirring consistently, until it thickens a bit and coats the back of a silver spoon. This is another time when the egg can cook and form unappetizing pieces in your custard. Again just strain the product before moving on to the next step.

    image4
    Notice the sides of the bowl, that’s hard cooked egg do not scrape that into your ramekins when you pour!
  8. Pour the custard evenly into each ramekin. Carefully place the baking dish into a 325-degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
  9. You know they are done when they look set, kind of like Jell-O. Remove from water carefully. Place in fridge to let cool.

    image1
    The holes came from the water bubbling up and hitting the custard as it cooked. Not perfect but who wants to be perfect anyway?
  10. Sprinkle sugar, brown sugar, or candy cane dust if you want to be festive and follow the instructions on your blowtorch to caramelize the sugar to create the crispy burnt sugar crust. (The whole reason crème brûlée is worth eating)

    image2
    The evolution. Plain custard. Topped with gold sugar and torched to make a crispy black and gold crust.

Notes: The number one issue you are going to have upon first attempt of making this is curdling your eggs. So work slow, be patient, and strain in both steps. There is nothing more disgusting then eating creamy rich custard that melts in your mouth and running into big lumpy chunks of cooked egg. 

So there you have it crème brûlée in less than an hour. For the price of one at a restaurant you can have about 4-5 of these yummy creations.Crème brûlée is perfect for a small dinner party or date night when you really want to impress. The best thing is you can prep the custards and leave them in the fridge for a couple of days until your party. The day of your gathering just pull them out and show off your fancy blowtorching skills. Just don’t light anything on fire, thats a sure fire (haha) way to lose the title of most interesting (wo)man in the world you just earned. Good luck and happy cooking!

Answers to True/False Test (FALSE, TRUE, FALSE, TRUE)

Also I stole the cover photo from this site, http://shewearsmanyhats.com/meyer-lemon-creme-brulee/ , another recipe you can compare and contrast. The more you read the more you know. 

Posted by

my life has been a very interesting journey thus far. in my quarter century crisis im and not certain of much except that i love cooking and entertaining, and pleasing people is my passion. (wait that sounded a little funny) i am goofy eccentric, and love to laugh, in fact i often laugh at the most inappropriate times. i place high value in honesty and working hard. i don’t really believe in faking it until you make it, without some base knowledge or some sort of depth to your cause. i believe in making mistakes and trying everything once as long as you bring yourself no harm and no harm to others. i am a new age hippy, my words to live by are freedom, serenity, and love. i look for signs of the world and listen. i do judge, anyone who says they do not is a liar, but i use my judgements against you to reflect back on me to see how i can better myself. i hate constraints of our society, including grammar, punctuation, and recipes. i think fast except when it comes to numbers. the culinary world has always been and shall be my safe haven and outlet. i want to inspire, teach, and learn.

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