When coming up with the menu that Simon would use to seduce Bree, halfway through Baking Bree, Crème Brûlée immediately came to mind. It's hard to imagine a sexier dessert than this restaurant staple, and it's the perfect finale to a romantic meal. Plus, spoon feeding to each other across the table? Totally hot.
The cool thing I learned is that it isn't all that difficult to make at home, assuming you have the right tools and ingredients for the job. The whole process does take awhile (especially the cooling stage) so it's best to make this ahead of time.
you will need:
- 1/2 vanilla bean, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 325.
In a small blender or food processor, pulverize vanilla bean and 2 tbsp sugar.
Warm cream, half-and-half, and vanilla sugar mixture in a saucepan over medium heat until steak rises.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, egg, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt together. Then, slowly whisk the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, careful not to cook the eggs.
Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a measuring cup with a pour spout, and divide between ramekins. Arrange the dishes in a baking pan, and then carefully transfer to oven. Add hot water to the pan and bake until the custard has set, about 35-45 minutes. Don't overcook.
Remove the ramekins from the water bath, wipe the wet bottom with a dish towel, and allow to cool before covering loosely with plastic wrap. Chill completely.
To caramelize, remove custard from fridge, unwrap, and sprinkle with sugar. I use sugar-in-the-raw, but you can mix 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a food processor for similar effects.
Pick up the ramekin with the sugar on top and tap the sides while tipping it to evenly distribute the sugar. Then, using a torch, melt the sugar.
Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving to allow the topping to harden, and then top with fresh mint, and berries.
This dessert will simply melt in your mouth, and it just might inspire some romance of your own!
Baking Bree update: I had a 5-day free promo a few weeks ago, and over 17,000 copies were downloaded! Bree now has 37 reviews, most of them stellar, and most of them saying they can't wait for the sequel. Which is why I haven't been blogging much...I've been writing. But I'll try to be more consistant!