We had Smokey and his lovely family over for a gumbo dinner tonight, and this is what I made for dessert:
For those of you unfamiliar with crème brulée, you should make its acquaintance at the soonest possible moment. The word decadent was coined for desserts like this. It’s rich, silky smooth, and the crunchy shell of caramelized sugar on the top adds the perfect contrast.
This was the more traditional vanilla crème brûlée. I was kind of experimenting on Smokey’s family, working on proper cooking times and temperatures, how to use whole vanilla beans, and how to get the caramelized sugar just right. I don’t want to brag, but only because I don’t have to. I took a picture (see above). I even got the sugar how I want it, which is something I typically have trouble with; I usually end up with some sugar that doesn’t get toasted, and it doesn’t quite become the shell that I want it to. My only complaint is that the vanilla flavor wasn’t as strong as I would have liked. I cut my recipe in half to make four individual desserts instead of eight, so I only used half of a vanilla bean instead of the whole bean that the recipe called four. Next time I think I’ll just use the whole thing and see what happens.
If you are a budding cook, crème brûlée is actually a lot easier to make than it looks. You have to be a little delicate when you’re heating your cream and tempering the eggs, but other than that it’s not overly difficult.
And the end result is more than worth it.