We got into watching Master Chef Junior recently. In one of the episodes, Christina Tosi was astonished that a child made a crème brûlée under 45 minutes. I was astonished that a child could make a crème brûlée. I mean, I only get to eat crème brûlée when I go to a fancy Franch restaurant or bistro, so of course I have to investigate how to actually make a crème brûlée during Memorial weekend.
After leafing through a bunch of cookbooks and watching homemade youtube videos, here is my version. Hope you find this useful!
EATS: Crème brûlée
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar (100g) for the custard part
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar (50g) for the brulee part
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 whole vanilla bean (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325F and boil water for the loaf pan for baking later
- Place your ramekins on the loaf pan, taking care that there is enough room to fit all the ramekins
- Whisk the yolk and granulated sugar in a bowl until smooth; set aside
- Heat the heavy whipping cream with salt in medium heat. If you want to elevate your dessert with the luscious speckles of vanilla bean, halve a whole vanilla bean with a paring knife, scrape out the vanilla seeds, and place the entire content into the cream pot
- Watch the cream and turn off heat immediately when it starts to simmer. This is when the recipe is testing your patience, I know. Maybe this is a good time to practice your tree pose, or call your mom or dad.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and take out the vanilla bean if you had it in there before
- Start whisking the yolk mixture with your dominant hand, then add a ladle of the heated cream with the other hand into the bowl in a steady, measured motion. The point is, you need to be using both hands: whisking the yolk mixture while pouring the hot cream in. You want to temper the yolk so that it’s not cooked like scrambled eggs. Don’t get nervous! Just keep whisking and don’t pour the cream in too quickly, and it will all work out. Promise!
- Keep stirring in more ladlefuls until the egg mixture is warm. Mine took about 3 ladles. Then pour in the entire content of the bowl back into the pot with the cream, all the while whisking the pot steadily. Some recipes call for heating them again. I did not.
- Pour the cream mixture into the ramekins. Go ahead, fill to the top!
- Pop and break any bubbles; or scoop them out with a tiny spoon. This step is optional, since you’ll be covering the top with brûlée sugar anyway. But I want my custard to come out looking smooth (must be my upbringing as an chawanmushi enthusiast growing up in Taiwan).
- Fill the loaf pan with the water you boiled to about 1/2″ in height; taking care not to get the water into the ramekin.
- Bake in the oven for 30 min and check. The middle should still jiggle a bit. If the middle looks firm, you’ve over cooked it.
- Place the ramekins on a cooling rack; then place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 3 hours (see, I am as shocked as Christina Tosi now!).
- Right before you serve, pour enough granulated sugar to cover the top of the ramiken. Shake the ramiken horizonally to distrute the sugar evenly.
- Torch the sugar until the surface is golden brown. Like this:
- Let cool for 5 minutes
- Now go enjoy all the ooohs and the aahhhhs from your admiring guests
- Crack that golden delicious sugar shell, dig in, and enjoy!
- If you are married to a drummer, he might show his appreciation for his good luck by doing this: