Chef Pascal of Classic Cooking Academy teaches with great passion and energy. In this last Saturday’s class he taught us about sweet custards. Paying close attention to the chef’s explanations and demonstrations on how to make crème caramel; crème brûlée; and sabayon – I was shocked at how simple these classic desserts are to make.
You can make a classic French crème brûlée (English translation is burned cream) for 3-4 people this way: Preheat an oven to 295° F. Over medium-low heat, bring to a boil, 1 cup of heavy cream. In a mixing bowl, whisk 1.25 oz (2.5 Tablespoons) of sugar with 2 yolks until they are fully incorporated. Temper and whisk the egg mixture with the hot cream, slowly and gently because you don’t want to cook your eggs nor create a foamy mixture. Swirl a pinch of salt and vanilla to taste into the tempered mixture. Strain mixture into ramekins and bake in a warm water bath until done. Baking time will vary depending on the size of your ramekin. To test if it’s done baking, gently nudge the ramekin, what you’re looking for is a slightly jiggly center.
Chill your crème brûlée for at least 3-5 hours. Once chilled, top them with an even layer of sugar, then burn the sugar with a torch (or carefully under a broiler) until it caramelizes.
Once you hear the caramel crack; feel and taste the sweet crunch of the caramel; feel the silky texture of the chilled custard; and taste the ever so comforting flavor of vanilla – you might want dessert for supper.