Recipe from Kayla, PopCosmo’s Teen Chef: Creme Brûlée is my dad's absolute favorite dessert, so I like to make it for him for Father's Day. For anyone who has never tried it, it is a creamy vanilla custard baked in individual ramekins and topped with crunchy caramelized sugar. Ideally, the texture of the custard is somewhat gelatinous and springy (but not as firm as jello) and is topped with a thin, crispy sugar shell. To achieve this caramel layer, most restaurants use a kitchen torch, but most people don't have one. I found that placing them on a rack as close to a broiler as possible caramelizes the sugar without ruining the dish. I also use coarse, dark turbinado sugar instead of regular sugar to speed up the process. As for the custard, the recipe calls for vanilla extract, but you can use the seeds from half of a vanilla bean to make it even more special. I like this recipe specifically because it only makes two. However, if you need to make more, simply double, triple, or quadruple the recipe. This dessert is elegant and surprisingly simple; it is sure to be amazing!
Creme Brûlée Makes 2, Recipe Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
1 Cup Cream 2 T Sugar Pinch Salt 3 Egg Yolks 1/2 tsp Vanilla 1 T Turbinado Sugar Berries, Whipped Cream, etc. for Garnish, Optional
Heat oven to 300 degrees F and adjust rack to lower-middle position. Place a towel in a deep baking dish and put two ramekins on top.
Combine 1/2 cup cream, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring often. Stir in the remaining cream once cooled slightly. Combine the egg yolks, vanilla, and 1/4 cup cream mixture. Whisk in the remaining cream.
Strain the custard into the ramekins to remove any bits of cooked egg. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come two-thirds of the way up the ramekins.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until barely set in the center. Cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic and chill for at least four hours or until cold.
Wipe off any condensation and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Brown with a kitchen torch or broiler until caramelized, then top with berries, whipped cream, etc. if desired.
For more delicious recipes by our Teen Chef, Kayla, check out her blog, The Nerdy Chef!