Creme Brulee

ImageI am about to tell you a secret.  Creme Brulee, or “burnt cream” is a very easy dessert to make.  The Moxie way cuts a few corners, and I promise you cannot tell a difference.  All of that “scraping the vanilla beans, pouring the liquid through a sieve,” business is totally unnecessary.  I have had this dessert at some of the finest restaurants around the country, and I would put this one up to any of the others. Tell me someone who doesn’t love creme brulee and I will call you a liar.  The only problem with this dish is that it must be made ahead and chilled, thereby making it impossible to be thought about at the last minute.  But with a little pre-planning and about 10 minutes of prep., these beautiful ramekins full of creamy lusciousness can be on your table.  Torching the creme brulee is the most fun, and if serving it to guests, I usually let each person work the torch on his or her own ramekin, making it a really fun ending to a meal.  After all, who doesn’t love to work a blow torch?  I use one of those smaller kitchen torches, but real chefs use an actual blow torch, just like you keep out in your shed.  Be cautious with this method, as one of my best friends’ husband nearly burned the house down trying it.  At least for now, I would suggest starting out with the kitchen torch.  You can purchase these at any kitchen store and most big box stores.  Have fun being the girl (or guy) who plays with fire!

Prep Time:     10 minutes

Serves:     6

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar (to caramelize the tops)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until your arm is about to fall off, (maybe 3-5 minutes).  At this point the mixture should be thick and pale yellow in color.  Add cream and vanilla, and whisk until blended.  Try not to think about how many calories you are about to eat.  Divide mixture among 6 ramekins.  Place ramekins in a water bath.  I use the flat ramekins with a cookie sheet.  If you are using the larger, deeper ones, then you will need to go with a deeper pan for the bath.  The water should come up at least to half the height of the dish.  Carefully place in oven. Bake until center is set.  This should be about 45 minutes for the shallow ramekins, and 50-60 for the deeper ones.  Carefully remove from oven.  Take out the ramekins and drain water.  Put the ramekins back in the dry pan and cool for 30 minutes or so, then place in the refrigerator until cold, usually a couple of hours.  When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar on top of each ramekin.  Torch the sugar until it is brownish and hard on the top, usually about 30 seconds.   Enjoy every luscious, creamy bite as you break the crackly top and indulge.  The elliptical machine will take care of all of that later.  Much later.

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