Crème Brûlée (Burned cream)

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Burned cream, also know as Crème brûlée, is a traditional French dessert, made of a rich custard usually flavored with vanilla, and topped with sugar burned with a blowtorch and forming a hardened caramelized layer.

I give you here my very favorite version. The cooking process may depends on your oven so you may have to try this recipe several times to get the perfect consistency. Nevertheless, it is so quick and simple to prepare so you won’t mind giving it a few trials, and it will always taste good!

Crème brûlée (Burned cream)

Servings 4
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 4 hours

Equipment

  • 4 ramekins (I use 11 cm wide and 2,5 cm high ramekins for this recipe)
  • blowtorch

Ingredients

  • 88 g egg yolks corresponds to about 5 medium-size eggs
  • 15 cl fresh liquid cream 30% fat
  • 15 cl semi-skimmed milk
  • 50 g cane sugar
  • 4 tbsp cane sugar or caramel chips (see note below)
  • 1,5 tsp vanilla powder or 1 vanilla bean

Instructions

  • In a bowl, mix the cream, milk and vanilla powder or split vanilla pod.
  • Cook over a low heat in a pan and bring to the boil.
  • Then turn off the heat and leave to cool until the temperature reaches about 30°C.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together gently.
  • Once the cream has cooled, remove the vanilla pod (scrape out all the seeds) if you have used one. Then very gently pour over the egg + sugar mixture, making it run down the side of the bowl. This is to avoid adding air bubbles to the mixture.
  • Then mix very gently with a wooden spatula, again to avoid adding air bubbles.
  • Place the 4 ramekins in a large baking dish that will hold them.
  • Then pour your mixture into the ramekins up to 2/3 of the height. You can use a cheesecloth to prevent air bubbles.
  • Place your dish on the baking tray or rack of the oven.
  • Boil some water. Pour the water into the casserole dish until the level almost reaches the edge of the ramekins.
  • Close the oven and heat to 110°C (gas mark 3/4).
  • After twenty minutes, check the cooking: a film should start to form on the top of the crème brûlée but the cream should remain very creamy and melting inside. I check this with the tip of a knife. Usually I bake it for 26/27 minutes in total (with a gas oven). The cooking time will depend on your oven so check fairly regularly.
  • Then immediately remove the creme brulee from the oven and dish.
  • Let them cool down a bit before placing them in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  • Take the creams out just before serving.
  • You can either sprinkle them with brown sugar (you don’t want to put too much, a thin layer covering about the top of the cream is enough) or with caramel chips.
  • Melt the sugar or caramel with a blowtorch and leave to harden for 1 minute and enjoy!

Notes

You can flavour your crème brûlée in many different ways!
I like to add a few drops of orange flower extract.
You can also flavour them with violet syrup, lavender or other flowers…
You can also replace the vanilla with tonka beans for example.
There are so many possibilities! Just try what comes to your mind…
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To make caramel chips, make a caramel with white sugar and a little water. Then spread the caramel on a baking sheet covered with baking paper and let it become hard, then break the caramel into small pieces.
   
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French

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