- 30 min
In the famous film Amélie, the protagonist shows how breaking the top of a crème brûlée with the tip of a teaspoon is one of her guilty pleasures in life. Who can blame her? The secret to this delicious French dessert lies in the contrast of textures between the caramelized surface and the soft and silky cream underneath. Visually similar to Catalan cream, crème brûlée differs from its Spanish cousin in its aroma and in the way it is cooked, but its preparation is just as simple. Follow our instructions and you too will sink your teaspoon into a fabulous crème brûlée... also available in a chocolate version!
To prepare the crème brûlée, first pour the milk and cream into a saucepan 1, add the vanilla bean and seeds 2. Bring it gently to a boil. Meanwhile, put the yolks in a bowl with the sugar 3.
Gently mix the yolks with a whisk (or wooden ladle), making sure not to beat them to make them frothy 4. When the milk and cream mixture has come to a boil, remove the vanilla bean, and pour the mixture little by little into the bowl with the yolks 5, stirring continuously to obtain a homogeneous mixture 6. It will be very runny.
Place 6 ramekins with a capacity of 2/3 cup (150 ml) in a high-sided baking tray. Fill the cocottes with the mixture, which you have previously filtered with a strainer 7. Pour boiling water into the pan until it covers one-third of the height of the ramekin 8, to bake the cream in a bain-marie. Cook in a static oven preheated to 285° F (140° C) for about 70 minutes, until the surface is golden brown and compact 9.
Once the ramekins are out of the oven, sprinkle the surface with sugar 10 and use a blowtorch to obtain a crunchy, caramelized crust 11. Alternatively, you can put the ramekins in the oven under the grill for a few minutes. Your crème brûlée is ready to be enjoyed 12!
It is recommended to eat the crème brûlée as soon as it is ready. If you wish to prepare it in advance, you can keep it in the fridge for a maximum of one day; caramelize the surface before serving.
If you prefer, you can replace white sugar with brown sugar.
It seems that the origins of crème brûlée are actually not French, but English: in a recipe book of the late 17th century, in fact, it is called "crème anglaise" or, English cream.