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Creme brulee recipes as delicious as the ones you find in Paris cafes and bistros? That's easy!
What's difficult is imagining that only four simple ingredients – cream, eggs, honey and sugar – can create such a spectacular dessert.
Our creme brulee recipes come by way of Provence where Chef Jean-Marc Larue showed us how to make this classic French dessert. It was his idea to infuse the cream with lavender for a distinctive Provençal taste. You can try that variation if you have lavender available, but the basic creme brulee recipe is equally delicous.
Although you can experiment using half milk and half cream, the texture will not have the richness of a Paris bistro classic. Since this really is a special occasion French dessert, we recommend using real cream for the best results in creme brulee recipes.
This recipe comes from our award-winning book – How to Cook Bouillabaisse in 37 Easy Steps: Culinary Adventures in Paris and Provence. To get all 49 recipes, as well as to read the stories of our culinary adventures in France, order the 300-page book. It's only $19.95 and shipping is free (US, CA, Europe).
2 cups heavy cream
6 egg yolks
¼ cup honey
¼ cup granulated sugar
Serves 4 to 6
Preheat oven to 275° F
In a small saucepan bring the cream to a boil, but don't let it boil over. Remove it from the heat, and stir in the honey until dissolved.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk the yolks until they are combined. Continue to whisk while slowly adding a small amount of the warm cream. Add a little bit at a time so the yolks don't cook, until all the cream is mixed in.
Divide the liquid custard among 6-ounce ramekins. Place them in large, deep baking dish. Fill the baking dish with hot water to halfway up the sides of the ramekins and put the baking dish in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes and then check every 5 minutes.
When fully baked the brûlée should be almost firm but will jiggle just slightly when shaken. Remove the ramekins from the water bath, let them cool and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
To prepare for serving, sprinkle each dessert with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Next, brown (brûlée, or broil) the sugar using a kitchen torch. Sugar can burn quickly, so use the torch carefully until the top is a deep golden brown. Serve immediately.
The most complicated part of the creme brulee recipe is learning how to work with the kitchen torch.
Here's The One We Recommend »
½ stalk fresh lavender or
3 T dried cooking lavender
Follow the above instructions, up to bringing the cream to a boil. When you remove the cream from the heat, add the lavender and infuse for 1 hour at room temperature. Using a fine sieve or cheesecloth, strain the mixture and return it to the same saucepan. Heat to a simmer and then remove from the heat immediately. Continue as above.
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