Crème Brûlée is one of my favorite desserts. I like a strong vanilla flavor in custard, so I add not just a vanilla bean, but vanilla sugar and extract. It is a great Valentine’s Day dessert. The recipe is adapted from The New Professional Chef by The Culinary Institute of America.
Triple Vanilla Creme Brûlée
2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. granulated vanilla sugar, divided plus extra for topping
1/2 large vanilla bean
5 large egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Boil 4 cups water for the water bath. Place 4 large ramekins (or 8 small ramekins) in a roasting pan and set aside. Place cream in a 2-quart sauce pan. Add half the sugar to the cream. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the cream, then add the vanilla pod to the cream. Bring cream mixture to a simmer. In a small bowl combine egg yolks with the remaining 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar. Beat well. Pour a little of the hot cream into the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour egg mixture back into hot cream. Return to the stove and cook 1 minute until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Strain custard mixture into a bowl and whisk in vanilla extract. Pour custard into ramekins. Place roasting pan with filled ramekins in the oven. Pour boiled water into the roasting pan so the water comes half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake 25-30 minutes until custard is set on the edges but still quivers slightly in the middle. Remove ramekins from pan and let cool on a rack. Chill uncovered at least 4 hours. When ready to serve sprinkle 1/2-1 tsp. granulated sugar on top of each custard. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize sugar to form hard coating. Serves 4.