2 September, 2014
You will need the following ingredients:
For the custard:
Heavy cream–1 quart/4 cups
Eggs (Room temperature)–5-6
Pure vanilla extract–1 1/4 teaspoon
Granulated sugar–1 cup
For the hard caramel crust:
Granulated sugar–a small bowl
A medium saucepan
Crème Brûlée torch
Start by pre-heating the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the heavy cream into the saucepan, and keep the flame on low. Let the heavy cream start to heat very slowly and gradually until its hot to the touch, but not boiling.
..and whisk the yolks and sugar until well combined, pale yellow in color, and slightly thick. Do not over-mix because you’re not trying to incorporate air into it. You can whisk with your hands, or use an electric mixer too.
When the cream is heated, strain the cream and slowly pour a small amount of cream into the egg yolks, while whisking the cream and yolks together. Do this slowly because we’re tempering the eggs, getting them used to the heat of the cream. When you pour the whole thing, there is a chance that it will shock the eggs and they will cook and scramble.
Once the temperature of the eggs change after you add the first few splashes of cream, then you can start to breath again and add the rest of the cream.
Next add the vanilla extract, and whisk one more time to mix everything together.
Pour the mixture into the ramekins/small bowls…
and place them on a rimmed baking sheet filled halfway with water, and stick the pan into the oven.
Let it bake for about 40-45 minutes. If you have smaller ramekins you only need to keep it for half an hour or so. Make sure they don’t turn brown, so check occasionally.
After its set, sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar on top of the ramekins, and gently spread the sugar with your finger to form a layer on top of the custard. Move the flame carefully,and gently in a spiral motion, never resting on the same spot for too long. If you torch the sugar for a long time, it can disturb and mess up the custard underneath, and it can also burn the sugar. So do it carefully but quickly.
Do the same with the rest of the ramekins, and you will see a nice, crispy crust of browned sugar on top of the custard.
Next take a spoon and give the crust a tap, and you will hear the glorious sound of the hard caramel crust breaking and you will see the velvety, soft, smooth custard underneath. Its phenomenal. Enjoy!