Saturday, August 20, 2016

Creme Brulee by Chef in Training

Creme Brulee - made July 14, 2016 from Chef in Training
Remember that test run of the crème brulee before I hosted some friends over? Although it turned out pretty well, I decided it wasn’t sweet enough so I took a risk and went with another recipe for the actual dinner. Some days you just have to live on the edge and hope it works out. I had snickerdoodles as a backup anyway in case the crème brulee didn’t work out.

Fortunately it did. This version was just as easy to make as the recipe from Cooking Classy. I think I could’ve whisked the custard mixture a little more thoroughly though as when I baked the ramekins, even in the bain marie (water bath), the tops of some of the ramekins formed a crust and had brown spots from where the sugar hadn’t completely dissolved in the cream before baking. That was a little worrisome and, ahem, a rookie mistake. But not to worry. Once I sprinkled sugar on top and bruleed it with my torch, the crust issue went away.

I liked this recipe a bit better than the first one. It appeared to have a little more flavor than just cooked cream and I think I baked the custard better so it was more firm, even after torching the top. My only issue is the same one I had with both crème brulees: I used real vanilla beans scraped from a vanilla bean pod to flavor the custard and the seeds ended up on the bottom of the ramekins instead of being evenly distributed throughout. That’s probably inevitable but a bummer nonetheless.
1 quart heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
seed scrapings from one vanilla bean (optional but that's my preference, save vanilla pod)
1/2 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water
1/2 cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, vanilla, vanilla bean seed scrapings and vanilla bead pod after seeds have been scraped out. Stir constantly over medium heat, for about 7-8 minnutes, until mixture starts to bubble, close to a simmer.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat; cover and let set for 15 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring constantly until all is combined.
  5. Pour liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees F, just until the creme brulee is set, but still jiggles slightly in the center, approximately 40-45 minutes.
  7. Remove the ramekins from pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
  8. Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving.
  9. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup sugar equally among the 6 ramekins and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy and browned top. Return to the refrigerator for 5 minutes to let top set. Serve.

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