Someday I'm going to stop with the French desserts. Subject lines are getting a smidge pretentious, no? On a completely related note, I am the boys from Flight of the Conchords with their song en Français. "Voila mon passport! Ahhh, Gerard Depardieu. Baguette!"
Anyway. I made crème brûlée a few years ago and it turned out so well, I was pretty confident in this second attempt. And then I screwed it up (and used deeper ramekins than the recipe anticipated so they didn't set all the way through and then they 'sploded in the center. Just follow the directions completely and wait for the thing to set; don't just go by the recommended time). So the THIRD attempt yielded better results. It was a bit plain, however, and I'd like to try various flavors in the future.
In any event, it's a very easy and straightforward recipe so, points for that!
PERFECT CRÈME BRÛLÉE
From The Best Recipe, Cook's Illustrated
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
6 large egg yolks, chilled
6 tbsp white sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, chilled
4 tbsp dark brown sugar
1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Buter six 1/2-cup ramekins or 2/3-cup custard cups and set them in a glass baking pan.
2. Whisk yolks in medium bowl until slightly thickened. Add white sugar and whisk until dissolved. Whisk cream, then pour mixture into prepared ramekins.
3. Set baking pan on oven rack and pour warm water into pan to come halfway up the ramekins. Bake uncovered until custards are just barely set, about 45 minutes.
4. Remove baking pan from oven, leaving ramekins in the hot water; cool to room temperature. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. (Can be covered and refrigerated overnight.)
5. While custards are cooling, spread brown sugar in a small baking pan; set in turned-off (but still warm) oven until sugar dries, about 20 minutes. Transfer sugar to a small zipper-lock freezer bag; seal bag and crush sugar fine with rolling pin. Store sugar in an airtight container until ready to top custards.
6. Adjust oven rack to the next-to-the-highest position and heat broiler. Remove chilled ramekins from refrigerator, uncover, and even spread each with 2 teaspoons dried sugar. Set ramekins in a baking pan. Broil, watching constantly and rotating pan for even caramelization, until toppings are brittle, 2 to 3 minutes, depending on heat intensity.
7. Refrigerate crème brûlées to rechill custard, about 30 minutes. Brown sugar topping will start to deteriorate in about 1 hour.