Although I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic and have attended many chocolate buffets, parties, and tastings, crème brûlée is my all time favorite non-chocolate dessert! There is just something about the crunchy, sugary topping, and the rich and creamy, vanilla custard filling that I cannot get enough of! Even when I was in Paris, I had to order two things every day: crème brûlée and a chocolate filled crêpe (I still had to get my chocolate fix somehow).
Granted, even though crème brûlée may not be the healthiest of desserts, it does not make you feel as full and overstuffed like many other after dinner treats can. Although I love the lightness of crème brûlée, some may view it as a danger, as you can often eat more than one! What makes this dessert even better though, is that it is surprisingly easy to make. I had always assumed that making crème brûlée would be an extremely difficult, tiresome, process, but thankfully it is the complete opposite!
-1 extra large egg
-4 extra large egg yolks
-1/2 cup of sugar plus more for sprinkling
-3 cups heavy cream
-1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In a bowl, blend the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of sugar until just combined. Meanwhile, scaled the cream until it is just hot enough, but do not boil. When the cream is ready, pour it slowly into the egg mixture while blending it together on low-medium speed. Add the vanilla. I usually use all of the vanilla because I like the taste, but if you prefer a lighter vanilla taste, then just use 1 teaspoon.
Once the mixture is ready, pour into individual ramekins. Place the ramekins in a larger baking pan and fill the pan with hot (preferably boiling hot) water until it comes about halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until the custard is set. Carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, chill in the fridge for at least one hour, but they will taste even better if you let them sit overnight.
When ready to serve, sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar evenly over each individual ramekin. Using a kitchen blowtorch, heat the sugar until it caramelizes. If you do not have a torch, a broiler can work as well. Allow to sit for one minute so that the caramelized sugar will harden. Serve plain, or with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!