The creme brulee is a classic French dessert. The base is just your averagecustard, but you can add your own twist to it by using different chocolate chips(milk, dark, white, butterscotch, peanut butter, lemon, mint) or by adding anextract to the vanilla chips (rose, pandan, peppermint, mocha). It is a trueculinary chameleon.
What really sets the creme brulee apart though is the crunch when you breakthrough the burnt sugar crust. I think that's what truly gives it its status andsophistication. It somehow brings a smile to your face, no matter how old youare. It reminds me of the scene in Amelie when she breaks through the crust and grins.
Amelie So make this next time you throw a party and wow your guests. You'll definitelybe a femme fatale.
Servings: 6 2-ounce ramekins
1 cup heavy cream 1/4 cup whole milk 1/2 cup lemon peel chocolate 1 Tbsp lemon zest 2 egg yolks 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons sugar, for carmelizing
Preheat the oven at 325°F
On the stove, fill up a sauce pan with the milk and cream, bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat right away and add the white chocolate. Keep stirring until the chocolate is melted.
Separately, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a mixing bowl until it becomes a pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract and combine the chocolate liquid with the egg mixture by slowly adding a ladle of the milk mixture at a time to prevent the yolks from curdling.
Strain through a fine mesh to make sure there are no chunks of chocolate left. Fill up 6 mini ramekins with the mixture. Place them in a warm water bath in a deep baking pan. The water should go half way up the side of the ramekins. Cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
Let it cool down and plastic-wrap each individual ramekin and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour. The fat from the cream may pick up some other smell from the refrigerator if the ramekin is not sealed properly.
When serving, sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar in each of the ramekins, then caramelize with a blow torch.
While waiting for the milk and cream to boil, you have to be very careful. Don't go anywhere else. If the phone rings or someone's at the door, let it be. You gotta focus on your milk and cream otherwise you'll be cleaning your stove and scraping the burnt milk all night long. As soon as some bubbles come up, remove from the stove and immediately add your chocolate chips.
I used Guittard lemon apeels. I got them directly from my local market at the Milk Pail Market, 2585 California Street, Mountain View, CA 94040, but you can order through eBay if you can't find them.
I like to serve my creme brulees in tiny size ramekins so that my guests always ask for more. I serve them in 6 mini-ramekins or you can serve them in 4 regular ramekins for very hungry (greedy) dessert eaters.
Set aside the egg whites in the refrigerator and save for tuiles (literally roof tiles in French).
If you don't own a blow torch, put the ramekins on the broiler of the oven until the sugar caramelizes.