One of my favourite things about travelling is experiencing new and tasty foods. I have uncovered this great recipe from a French chef in Provence who gave me a tour of his kitchen and the equipment needed for the perfect Crème Brûlée. I should note, that I did not speak a word of French, other then the obvious “Merci” and he did not speak any English. However, after countless attempts and recipes, I have come close to replicating the taste of Provence.
- 8 Egg Yolks (6 Full Eggs)
- 7 Tablespoons of white sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 Cups of heavy cream
- 1/2 Cup of regular milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Beat eggs, 5 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl until it is thick and creamy.
- Mix cream and milk into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to a boil. Remove the cream from the heat immediately, making sure that the mixture is smooth. Stir the milk/cream mixture into the egg/sugar mixture; place back over low heat and continue to stir until it is combined. (This should take about 3 minutes). The key to a great crème brûlée is a smooth mixture.
- Pour the cream mixture into individual crème brûlée dishes. It is better that the dishes are thin and wide as it results in a more caramelized surface.
- Place your individual brûlée dishes on a tray and pour boiling water onto the tray carefully so that the water comes up halfway to the dishes. Place in preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, until it is set.
- Take your crème brûlée out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
- Evenly sprinkle 3 tablespoons of sugar on top of your crème brûlée. Use a crème brûlée torch to crystallize the sugar. Alternatively, you can preheat the oven at a broil. It takes about 2 minutes to Broil the Crème Brûlée but pay close attention so that it does not burn.
- Your crème brûlée is now ready to serve if you have refrigerated the crème brûlée over night. However, if it was just in the fridge for an hour you may want to let it cool down in the fridge prior to serving.
- To top the crème brûlée, it is best to use berries such as Blackberry, Raspberry and Strawberry.
If you are feeling extremely adventures, you can try using maple leaf sugar (the Canadian version of crème Brûlée). (Please note, that to crystallize the crème brûlée you will still need to use sugar as Maple Leaf Sugar will not melt as easy.) You can also add a hint of cinnamon or replace the vanilla extract to actual vanilla bean. For a healthier Crème Brûlée, you can use more milk and more egg whites.