Sunday, 5 June 2011

Crème Brûlée

The recipe for Crème brûlée was first recorded in 1691, in famous French chef’s François Massaliot’s cookbook. It was described as a modern variation of the vintage recipe Crème a la Versailles which, according to an old French legend, was Marie Antoinette’s favourite. Crème brûlée must be the most popular dessert in France. Eating Crème brûlée is a small adventure in the pursuit of great pleasure. In order to the get to the rich and creamy custard of Crème brûlée, you have to break a hard layer of caramelized sugar that melts slowly in your mouth. Creamy custard, flavoured with vanilla caresses your tongue with warm and spicy notes. I also like to garnish my Crème brûlée with a sprig of dried lavander. It reminisces of endless fields of purple flowers in the midst of French Provence.


1 cup plus 6 tbsp of sugar, 1/2 cup of water, 2 cups of milk, 1 cup of 35% whipping cream, 1 tablespoon vanilla, pinch of salt, 8 egg yolks.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Make a caramel with 1 cup of sugar and the water by placing them in a large saucepot and bringing to a boil without stirring. The sugar will dissolve and begin to bubble. Let it boil for about 5 minutes, watching carefully as the water boils off and it begins to turn yellow. Gently swirl until the sugar turns an even golden. Take it off of the heat before it gets brown. Quickly pour the milk and cream into the caramel along with the vanilla and salt and whisk until incorporated.
Whisk eggs and then slowly pour the caramel mixture into them, a little at a time, whisking constantly.
Pour into 6 ramekins or crème brulee dishes and bake in a hot water bath in the oven for 30 minutes, or until edges are set and centre is slightly jiggly.
Just prior to serving, sprinkle with the remaining sugar and caramelize with a blowtorch.