I’m back with a new recipe … and a few helpful hints for those of you who are new to baking.
July was HOT in VA. Yes, I know it’s hot everywhere … but 95 degrees with 95% humidity each day just makes me close all the blinds, crank down the A/C and hibernate with some good food magazines. I swear, I pulled out 100 recipes in the last month. One of them that caught my eye and motivated me to get back into the kitchen involved using a TORCH! Oh you heard that right … you will need a torch for this recipe. You can purchase one at any kitchen store ($25) or at amazon.com. Honestly, even if this recipe was terrible, I’d find another reason to use that torch! It’s fun!
I have added a new magazine to my grouping this year, Saveur. I was reading the June/July 2012 issue when I came across a 4 ingredient recipe for Creme Brûlée by Gabriella Gershenson’s. I was pretty confident that I couldn’t screw that up! 🙂
Let’s get started with our Mise En Place (putting everything in its place)
- 1 qt heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean – split in half, (longways and try not to cut through) and scrape out all the tiny black seeds, reserve
- 3/4 c sugar
- 8 egg yolks. (Don’t forget to always use LARGE eggs unless otherwise noted) Extra Large eggs will change the consistency because of the weight of the yolk will be more. (Save your whites for an omelet or to make meringue cookies. And yes, you can FREEZE egg whites in a freezer zip lock bag!)
- *8 c of boiling water for the water bath
- Turbinado Sugar, (raw sugar) for serving
To begin, in a large saucepan, heat the heavy cream, vanilla bean and seeds over medium heat, stir occasionally until it simmers. (Simmer means that it will just begin to boil) Remove from heat once it simmers and let it sit for about 30 minutes. (This step is infusing the cream with the vanilla flavor, don’t rush it.) It’s time to PREHAT your oven to 300. I always use the convection setting as it allows for a more even temperature. You can also start to boil your 8 cups of water for your water bath at this point.
While the cream and vanilla are infusing, I move onto the next step of separating out my 8 yolks into a mixing bowl.
Then I whisk the egg yolks and the 3/4 c sugar together until they lighten in color and are smooth, about a minute. Set Aside.
Once the heavy cream has rested for the 30 minutes, I slowly pour the cream through a metal strainer, (to remove any film and discard the vanilla pod) into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking until smooth. Set Aside.
Have you ever done a water bath before? The technique allows for the crème brûlée to gently bake while retaining moisture. I use a glass 9 x 13 pan as my base. I line the bottom of the pan with one paper towel, so my ramekins won’t slide and then place my unfilled ramekins in the glass pan. (You could use any small oven safe container)
I fill them 3/4 full with the mixture. Then I slowly add enough boiling water to reach the halfway point of the ramekins.
Then FIRE up the torch and go back and forth over the top of the crème brûlée. You will slowly start to see the sugar caramelize! If you are pulling your crème brûlée out of the freezer, let it defrost in the fridge for about 4 hours.
Let’s be honest … cream, sugar, egg yolks – this one is going to chunk up your mid section! I did try to use whole milk to lower the calories …it flopped. I have seen other low fat recipes that use corn starch. You could try that or just SHARE a small portion of this one!
Bake on, then go outside and run around your neighborhood, do 50 squats, 60 dead lifts and then JUST maybe … you may have burned off half the calories!