Creme Brulee

Those of you who have been following me for a little while know that every so often I cover our local library’s “Meet the Chef” series, where we lucky attendees get to see local chefs walk us step by step through the preparation of something scrumptious. So far we have learned how to make Blackened Scallops with Mango Tomato Couscous, and Short Ribs with Mascarpone Polenta and Crispy Brussel Sprouts. So it did seem like it was time for dessert, right?

Right! Because this time, we got to meet Rosemary Smith from La Vie En Rose Bakeryand Cafe, and she started us off with one of the Southern husband’s very favorites: Creme Brulee. Here’s Rosemary…doesn’t she look fun?

She brought a few things with her from her bakery, just to get our appetites going. Things like this.

That is a Buche du Noel, my friends. Or maybe you would be interested in some of these?

Linzer Torte cookies. Order them now, they go very fast. So now that we knew we were in expert hands, we were ready for some creme brulee action. One of the things I loved best about Rosemary is that she reads the recipe as she goes along. It made me feel so much better about my own personal cooking style, which involves having to read the recipe 10 times to make sure I have it right.

That, and she laughed and joked through the whole thing. Cooking IS fun!
OK, down to business for some creme brulee. Which starts with heavy cream, as do most sinfully good things in this world.

Followed by sugar. Lots of it. Sugar makes the world go round. Well, along with bacon. But we are making dessert.

Next she cracked some eggs. Note to self: This always looks much better when done surrounded by Christmas decorations.

Then we learned what tempering means. Tempering means adding a little of the heated cream and sugar to the beaten eggs before you add the eggs to the pot. If you don’t do this first, you will have nice, sweet scrambled eggs on your hands. Which doesn’t sound that bad, but we ARE trying to make creme brulee, so focus, people.

Then you pour them into lovely shallow dishes…

It was hugely encouraging to me that Rose had one leftover empty dish. I am always having one leftover empty dish, or all full dishes and leftover ingredients. I guess that is just something we master chefs have to go through.

Of course, there were about a million of us at this cooking event, so Rose did have to turn to some more practical serving dishes. But don’t they look just as inviting? The audience was getting restless. We could almost taste the sugary goodness…

…but first we had to wait for the dramatic part…the crisping of the sugary layer on top. First these babies got sprinkled with coarse sugar, and then came the part that I know for a fact would be the Southern husband’s favorite. It’s not often that you get to use what looks like a serious power tool when you are making dessert.

Rose had the one that was more my speed, and Kristen had the heavy duty Home Depot-type model. I kept a respectful distance from both.

And then came the best part of the night. The Eating Of The Creme Brulee.

And just when we thought it was all over…well, you will need to read my next post tomorrow to find out. But in the meantime, here’s the creme brulee recipe!

Creme Brulee
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  1. Combine egg yolks and half of the sugar in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Put cream, vanilla and the other half of the sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Pour a little of the cream mixture into the eggs and stir to combine. Then add the remaining cream mixture to the eggs and stir thoroughly.
  4. Strain the mixture through a cloth or fine strainer into a bowl.
  5. Place single serving ramekin dishes into a baking pan. Divide creme brulee custard among the ramekins.
  6. Fill the pan with enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  7. Bake at 250 for about 40 minutes or until set.
  8. Chill in refrigerator.
  9. When ready to serve, spread a thin layer of brown sugar on top and either broil or use a propane torch to melt the sugar.


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  1. Nutmeg Nanny says

    Oh man creme brulee is just about my favorite thing on earth. The creamy deliciousness topped with crunchy sugar…yum!

  2. Calamity Anne says

    I've always been so intimidated by the torching part…but you make it seem so easy. I guess it's time for me to make my oh so favorite dessert!

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  5. xlpharmacy says

    Creme brûlée could not be more delicious. When I heard that there is a truck that is driving around the bay area serving joyous cups of heaven I made it my mission to track it down and try them out.

    I tried two of their flavors, honey vanilla bean and strawberry nutella. Strawberry nutella sounded too good to be true, and sadly it was. The cup didn't have the rich, smooth consistency you expect when you order creme brûlée. Instead, it was closer to gelatin with fresh strawberries mixed in. The honey vanilla bean was much closer to traditional creme brûlée, but I still wasn't impressed with it.

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