Creme brulee, a classic French custard, is not often considered as a dessert that you can make at home. Perhaps it is because It is a staple on restaurant menus or has a caramelized sugar coating that people find intimidating. No matter the reason, the truth is that creme brulee is simple. You do not need any special equipment or ingredients - not even a blow torch.
Creme brulee is a baked custard so that means the base is made up of mostly egg yolks, cream (whole milk and half and half would also work), and sugar. These three ingredients are cooked on the stove top and then poured into molds and baked in a water bath. I scared you with the word "water bath" didn't I? A water bath is nothing more than a pan (usually a roasting pan) filled with warm water to ensure even, slow cooking of the custard so it does not become rubbery. The best way to go about doing this is to place the roasting in the oven with the creme brulee already inside and pour the water just until it reaches half way up the sides of the ramekin.
The golden brown caramelized sugar crust sets creme brulee apart from other custard desserts. The sound of the spoon cracking it against the creamy interior is music to my ears. Depending on how you like your creme brulee and how much you make it, a blow torch is not necessary. Your oven's broiler can do a fine job. The appearance is a little more rustic with the color varying from dark brown, almost black in some spots to a pale golden in others but it is still delicious nonetheless. If you must have a blow torch, you can go full throttle and pick one up at the hardware store or invest in a miniature torch especially made for creme brulee at a kitchen supply shop.
Once you see how easy it is to prepare creme brulee at home, you'll be making this impressive dessert all the time.
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