| Regional Foods | Cooking Articles
| Culinary Dictionary
Very few desserts are more delicious to eat and to look at than this Perfect Crème Brulee. Translated from the French, this popular dessert means "burnt cream,"
referring to the caramelized finish. A classic finale to a meal, creme brulee can be served slightly warm or chilled.
This is one of my favorite desserts to serve at my dinner parties.
Perfect Crème Brulee Recipe:
Puddings and Custards
Yields: 6 servings
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 40 min
egg yolks, chilled
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups
whipping cream, chilled
4 tablespoons granulated sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Adjust oven rack to
center position. Butter six (1/2 cup) custard cups or ramekins and set them into a glass baking dish. Tip: Place a non-stick baking mat (called a silpat) on
the bottom of your baking dish to both insulate and keep the ramekins firmly in place.
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until slightly thickened. Add sugar and mix until dissolved; mix in cream, then pour mixture into
prepared ramekins or custard cups. Bring the water for the water bath to a light simmer on top of the stove; carefully pour hot water into the baking pan to
come half-way up the sides of the custard cups. NOTE: The most common mistake people make in baking a custard is not putting
enough water in the hot-water bath. The water should come up to the level of the custard inside the cups. You must protect your custard from the heat.
Definition of Water Bath or Bain-Marie (bahn
mah-REE) - A hot water bath or bain-marie are used to cook custards and baked eggs in the oven without
curdling or cracking, and also used to hold sauces and to clarify
butter. Water baths are most often used for egg-based dishes. The proteins in the eggs are very
heat sensitive and only need to be warmed to cook thoroughly.
They will start to get firm at only 145 degrees. Cooking them
with a slow, gentle heat keeps the eggs soft and smooth.
Bake approximately 30 to 40 minutes
(25 to 30 minutes for shallow fluted dishes) or until set around the edges but still loose in the center. The cooking time will depend largely on the size
of the ramekin or custard cup you are using, but begin checking at a half hour and check back regularly. When the center of the custard is just set, it will jiggle a little when
shaken, that's when you can remove it from the oven. If using a
digital instant-read thermometer, inserted
in the centers, the
internal temperature should register approximately 170 to 175 degrees F. Begin checking temperature about 5 minutes before recommended time.
is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers
asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the
Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the
right. To learn more about this excellent
thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined:
Remove from oven and leave in the water bath
until cooled to room temperature. Remove cups from water bath, cover with plastic wrap,
and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
When ready to serve, uncover
ramekins or custard cups. If condensation has collected on the custards, place paper towel
on surface to soak up moisture. Sprinkle approximately 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar over each crème brulee (tilt and tap ramekins for even
coverage). For best results, use a small hand held propane torch. Hold the torch 4 to 5 inches from the sugar, maintaining a slow and even motion. Stop
torching just before the desired degree of doneness is reached, as the sugar will continue
to cook for a few seconds after flame has been removed.
If you don't have a torch, place
crème brulees 6 inches below the broiler for 4 to 6 minutes or until sugar bubbles and turns golden brown.
Refrigerate crème brulees at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve
within 1 hour (30 to 45 minutes), as topping will deteriorate.
Makes 6 servings (depending on size of custard cups).
More Delicious Creme Brulee Recipes:
Chocolate Creme Brulee
This very elegant dessert is sure to cure your "chocolate craving."
Ginger Creme Brulee
Very few desserts are more delicious to eat and to look at as creme brulee!
Kona Coffee Crème Brulee
These desserts are perfect for company - just bake them ahead and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve!
Lavender Creme Brulee
If you love lavender and love creme brulee, this dessert will instantly WOW you! I've served this wonderful creme brulee at many dinner parties.
Raspberry Creme Brulee
Fresh raspberries in a delicious creme brulee! What could be better?
Linda Stradley - By
What's Cooking America© copyright 2004 by Linda Stradley - United States Copyright TX 5-900-517- All rights reserved. -