Thursday, January 10, 2013

Brulee-ing In the New Year

One of the items on my 101 in 1001 list is to make creme brulee. So I'm happy to say I made some to kick off the New Year! I'm unhappy to say that I made them for New Year's Eve, and since my list went into effect January 1, they don't count towards that goal. But after seeing how easy they were to make, it shouldn't be a problem to make them again!

To be honest, this isn't my first time ever making creme brulee. In 10th grade I did a project where I made them with my mom. And in college, my mom bought me a creme brulee kit. Although that just had boxes of a mix to be baked in the oven along with a torch to brulee. This time I made them from scratch and completely on my own. Here's how I did it!

Ina Garten's Creme Brulee
1 egg
(The recipe called for extra-large, but I used large instead.)
5 egg yolks (The original recipe called for 4 extra-large, but since I had large instead, I upped it. And if you're curious, the boy made an omelette with the leftover egg whites.)
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving
3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of sugar together on low speed until just combined.
2. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan until it's very hot to the touch but not boiled. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream to the eggs.
3. Add the vanilla and Grand Marnier.
4. Pour into 5-ounce ramekins until almost full.
(I wound up having a little extra here, and while I did have more dishes, I wouldn't have been able to fit more into the pan used in the later steps.)
5. Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken. (Since my dishes were so shallow and my pan wasn't flat, it was really hard to move the pan. I wound up enlisting the boy to put them into the oven, but even so two wound up diluted with water which you can tell below.)
6. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm. (I read somewhere that you should refridgerate for at least 3 hours, but can for up to 3 days. I did mine for right around 24 hours.)
To Serve
Spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar carmelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.
(No I don't have a shot of the blowtorch in action. Just using it was scary enough, and think trying to take a photo while torching is a complete fire hazard.)
Creme Brulee
This wound up being really really delicious! You couldn't really taste the Grand Marnier, so if you want them to be orange flavored you might want to change it up a bit. What I loved about this recipe was that it didn't call for a vanilla bean. Not that I don't think it would be better with one, I just didn't have one in the house and didn't have a strong desire to go hunting for one. But next time, I'll make the extra effort to use an actual vanilla bean.

Also next time I need to find a flat pan to make it easier to put in the oven. And also want to make sure I brulee all the way to the edge. I was afraid I'd crack to dish, but that didn't happen, and since I have a few extras, I would rather have a crust right up to the edge.

Creme brulee really is my favorite dessert so I'm so happy I was able to do them justice!

What's your favorite dessert? And have you ever tried making it? Or did you cook up something special for New Year's Eve as well?


  1. Wow - they came out beautifully! And so honest of you to not fold it into your list! My all time favorite desert - my mom's famous poppy-seed cake recipe! But I also love any type of crisp!

  2. These look great. I like making puddings and my favorite is chocolate pudding.

  3. I am so impressed! I would never think to try crime brûlée, so intimidating!

  4. Beautiful! We love creme brulee--Zach had actually never had it until we started dating!--so perhaps now I can be brave enough to get the goods to make some at home after seeing you do so. My favorite desserts include ice cream and pie, and I'm not really sure if I have a favorite flavor of pie. If I had to say, it would be chocolate meringue? And my favorite ice cream is Ben & Jerry's Dublin Mudslide! Maybe I should try to recreate that...

  5. yummy! creme brulee makes me nervous,i don't know i could make it lol.

  6. Wow! They turned out beautiful! I've always wanted to try making I'm really inspired! Thanks for sharing!


  7. Those are beautiful! What an elegant dessert to serve to your guests. I've never actually tried Creme Brulee. I really need to change that.