Crème Brulee, also known as burnt cream or Trinity cream. It is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a texturally contrasting layer of hardened caramelized sugar. Creme Brulee is normally served slightly chilled; the heat from the caramelizing process tends to warm the custard producing a cool centre. The custard base is traditionally flavoured with vanilla, but can have a variety of other flavourings. These are absolutely superb and always a hit. Also they are loved by both adults and children and when you get to use a blow torch its must be good. You could use a grill/broiler to caramelise the sugar instead.
- In a medium-size nonreactive saucepan, combine the cream, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, and the vanilla bean and pulp over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar together. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture until smooth.
- Slowly pour this mixture into the hot cream mixture, whisk for 2 minutes, and remove from the heat. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Let cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Fill eight 6-ounce custard cups with equal portions of the cream mixture. Place the cups in a deep baking dish large enough to accommodate them comfortably without touching.
- Fill the baking dish with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the cups.
- Bake in the lower third of the oven until lightly golden brown and just set, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.
- About 2 hours before serving, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the raw sugar on the top of each custard. One at a time, using a kitchen blowtorch, approach the sugar with the torch at a low angle until the inner blue flame is 1/4 inch above the surface, and move the flame in a continuous motion over the surface until the sugar has caramelized.
- Broil until the sugar caramelizes, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and allow the custards to cool again. Refrigerate and serve chilled.