Crème Brûlée, Barefoot Blogger Style!

Creamy and dreamy, Crème Brûlée is still a beloved classic and lovely dessert.

I am very excited for today is my first entry with a blogging group I just joined, Barefoot Bloggers. It is a blog for fans of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, and her recipes. There are just some chefs that get it right every time, and Ina Garten is one of them. Now some of her recipes can be a bit rich, but they are always delicious.

So for my first test with the Barefoot Bloggers, I get to make Crème Brûlée, from Ina Garten’s cookbook: Barefoot in Paris. Now this dessert has a little history with me. My husband is not a big dessert fan. But one of the desserts he does love, is Crème Brûlée. I, on the other hand, am a HUGE dessert fan and guess what? One of the desserts I least care for is? Drum roll, please! Yes, Crème Brûlée. Needless to say, I don’t make it often! ha! ha! My poor hubby!

Now for those of you who don’t know my man, let me preface this by saying that he’s a bit anal and a control freak. NO! Oh, don’t be shocked. I’m sure he’s not the only engineer out there that is methodical and incredibly detailed oriented with every aspect of their lives. Cooking for him has been an interesting experience. In the beginning, I would frantically prepare something and wait with baited breath to see what his reaction would be. And trust me, there was always a reaction.

With every compliment, there was always something that needed a little improvement.

“This tastes great, but the texture is a little off.”

“Nice flavor, but it needs a little cinnamon.”

“Hmmm… this is interesting.” Ooooh, I hated that one. Interesting in our house means that he didn’t like it and didn’t want to say something mean. Not that he hasn’t told me he didn’t like something.

“Not one of your best dinners, Laura.”

The first time I made Crème Brûlée we were newlyweds and again, I wanted to impress my man. I followed the recipe to the tea, and while I was scalding the milk, stirring it with a rubber scraper, I didn’t realize that the cheap scraper had melted. This was pre-silicone kitchen gadgets. I poured this toxic cream into my ramekins, baked it and only noticed a bit of stringy something hanging on the side. I added sugar, blowtorched it and still pondered what that could be. It was only late when I was washing dishes that I noticed my melted scraper. I was horrified and never made this dessert again!

Luckily, that was 10 years ago and I think I have improved my cooking skills a bit, so I was ready to try this dessert again and to wow my man.

Crème Brûlée can appear to be very intimidating, but I found it to be extremely easy to make. Scalding the cream means you have to watch it and not walk away, because you don’t want it to boil and curdle. I think the hardest part was keeping the water from the roasting pan from dripping into my full ramekins as I was placing it in the oven.

Again, having an engineer in the house, I don’t have a kitchen torch, but I do have a small blow torch and together my hubby and I produced the beautiful candy shell on top.

And the verdict? My man thought this was one of the best Crème Brûlées he ever had. The texture was velvety and smooth. The vanilla and Grand Marnier provided excellent flavor. Even I didn’t mind eating the dessert.

Crème Brûlée

Creamy and dreamy, Crème Brûlée is still a beloved classic and lovely dessert. Recipe adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot In Paris

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg, extra-large
  • 4 egg yolks, extra large
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS Grand Marnier
  • 1 TBS granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix on low speed until combined:
    • 1 egg, extra-large
    • 4 egg yolks, extra large
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. Scald in a small saucepan until very hot to touch, but not boiling (to prevent curdling):
    • 3 cup heavy cream
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the hot cream to the egg mixture.
  5. Mix in:
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 TBS Grand Marnier
  6. Pour into 6 8 oz ramekins until almost full.
  7. Place ramekins in a large roasting pan and add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up the sides of ramekins.
  8. Bake until custards are just set in center, about 35-40 minutes.
  9. Remove custards from roasting pan and allow to cool to room temperature.
  10. Chill custards until firm, about 1 hour.
  11. When ready to serve, sprinkle over each custard in each ramekin:
    • 1 TBS granulated sugar
  12. Using a kitchen torch, melt sugar until deep amber. You can also use the broiler. Place ramekins on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with sugar and melt directly under broiler until deep amber.
  13. Refrigerate 15 minutes to allow sugar to harden. They can be made 1 hour ahead. Keep chilled.

Notes:

Serving Suggestions: Serve alone or with fresh berries.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 6

Cook Time:

Total Time:

 

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