A few years ago I received a “Chef’s blowtorch” as a Christmas present and instantly wanted to make crème brûlée with it. Said blowtorch has been sitting in the cupboard gathering dust since then, so I figured it was finally time to buy some butane and give it an outing.
A crème brûlée is in simple terms a ramakin filled with a set custard, topped with a layer of sugar which is then burnt (“brûlée”) to a crispy caramel using either a blowtorch or the grill. As you can guess I used my blowtorch for the first time making these and while they turned out to be delicious, I did get a little carried away with the technique hence the slightly too dark caramel topping.
Given how easy crème brûlée turned out to be, this is definitely a recipe worth keeping around over Christmas (a time when you’re likely to be running around doing other things). It takes just a few minutes preparation and then it’s forgotten about for the best part of an hour while it bakes in the oven (the brûlée part is left until just before serving). A real time-saver!
I’ve increased the festive spirit of this one by adding some festive spices and rum (à la eggnog), but you can simply leave out those ingredients (increasing the cream correspondingly) if you so wish.
Recipe: Creme Brulee
Summary: A crème brûlée is in simple terms a ramekin filled with a set custard, topped with a layer of sugar which is then burnt (“brûlée”) to a crispy caramel using either a blowtorch or the grill. This one adds spices and rum to increase the festive spirit.
- 320ml (1 1/3 cups) Double (Heavy) Cream
- 2 tbsp Dark Rum
- 65g (1/3 cups) Caster Sugar
- 8 additional tsp Caster Sugar for the brulee
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 1 Vanilla pod
- 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 150c / 300f.
- In a pan empty your cream, the seeds from the vanilla pod (slit lengthways then scrape them out with a knife), and the spices. Heat gently until it starts to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, then stir in the rum.
- While this is going on combine your egg yolks and sugar and whisk until fluffy.
- When your cream is ready pour a small amount into the egg mixture while whisking quickly; this will temper the mixture and prevent the eggs from curdling. Now slowly pour in the remaining cream while whisking until it is all smoothly combined.
- Place 4 ramekins in a deep baking tray and pour in water up to half of the ramekin height. Fill them equally with the custard mix from a jug.
- Place into the oven for 45 minutes approximately; it’ll look as if they’re not quite set, this is how you want them to be (they’ll set more as they cool).
- Place into the refrigerator until cool.
- When ready, remove from the fridge and sprinkle 2 tsp caster sugar on each, spreading evenly across the surface. Using your blow torch (if you have one) slowly heat the sugar evenly until it melts and appears golden. If you don’t have one, place under the grill but keep a close eye on them to prevent burning.
- Now set aside again to cool back down so the sugar sets (about 10 minutes); after this, they’re yours for the eating!
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4