This dessert is one of my top five…ever. It’s gorgeous, it’s classic, it’s elegant. It’s EASY. Also, it involves a torch if you have it – and a torch makes everything more fun.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I sprinkled sugar in a heart shape….but please, consider this dessert anytime of year. It’s a perfect make ahead sweet treat and has many lovely variations.
The recipe included below is for a classic vanilla bean creme brûlée. For the Valentines version, I placed a heart shaped cookie cutter in the middle of the dish, sprinkled sugar inside, then torched and lifted the cookie cutter off.
Classic Creme Brûlée
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 5 egg yolks
- sugar for sprinkling
- Hot water
- garnish of mint and berries
- Turn on the oven to 325F
- In a sauce pan, heat the cream and sugar on medium heat while you prepare the vanilla bean.
- With a sharp knife, slice the vanilla bean down the middle lengthwise and with the tip of the knife, scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the vanilla bean to the cream mixture, stir and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring to a soft boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on, stirring every now and then.
- Take off the heat, remove the lid and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.
- Prepare 6 oven-proof ramekins and place into a 9 x 13 inch cake pan
- Next, in a medium bowl beat the egg yolks until combined, then very slowly drizzle in the warm cream mixture and whisk until it’s all combined.
- Pour the mixture into the ramekins which are sitting in the 9 x 13 pan. Open the oven and pull out the shelf a bit, place the pan onto the shelf then pour in some hot water to surround the ramekins in a hot water bath. Pour in enough hot water to bring the level up to 1/2 way up the ramekin.
- Bake until the creme brûlée is set up, but slightly jiggly in the middle – about 30 minutes depending on the depth of your ramekin dish. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath. Cool on the counter then place in the frig and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days in advance.
- Before serving, lightly sprinkle with sugar and if you have a mini kitchen torch, heat until caramelized to your desired color. You can also broil, under high heat, carefully watching with the oven door slightly open. Pull out when it’s the color you like.
- Serve with berries and garnish with mint leaves.