Creme Brûlée; the famous French custard dessert with a burnt sugar top. It’s made with heavy cream, egg yolks and sugar. The classic flavor is vanilla. My version uses fresh orange zest and ginger for surprising flavor and a tasty twist.
Dessert Done Smart
Even if you focus on a healthy diet, you don’t have to give up desserts like creme brulee. Keep it for special occasions and keep the portions small. Another tip, use big flavors so that just a few bites will satisfy.
Orange Ginger Creme Brûlée
My latest version of creme brulee utilizes zingy ginger and fresh orange zest for a delicious twist. Ginger and citrus are wonderful partners in flavor. Make them in mini, 2-ounce ramekins. Look for the ramekins at cooking stores, online and at stores like Target and Walmart.
How to Make Creme Brulee
Making the custard is simple. Combine heavy cream and sugar in a small pan. Heat and whisk to melt the sugar. Infuse the cream with lots of fresh orange zest and ginger for 30 minutes. Strain out the zest and ginger. Whisk warm, flavored cream with egg yolks.
Line a large flat baking dish with a folded kitchen towel. The towel keeps the ramekins stable. Place ramekins on top of the towel in a flat layer and do not crowd them. Pour liquid custard into 2 ounce ramekins (available at cooking stores and online). Pour boiling hot water half way up the ramekins. This is called a water bath. It enures gentle, even baking for a smooth, luscious custard.
Bake custard in a 300 degree (149 C) for approximately 35 minutes, or until the centers are just set and just a little bit wiggly. The best way to test is with a digital thermometer. It should register 170 degrees (76 C) . Don’t worry about the little hole that the thermometer might leave. Your sugar will cover it. Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
How to Finish: Sugar and Torch
The Sugar: To create the “brulee” or burnt top, you need a coarse, golden brown sugar. Look for either demerara or turbinado style sugar. Wholesome Sweeteners and Florida Crystals make high quality, organic, unrefined, natural sugars that work great for creme brulee.
The Tool: To burn the sugar top, the best tool is a blow torch because it melts the sugar quickly without warming the chilled custard. What I’ve found works best is a torch that locks onto a butane can. Here is what I use.
How to Finish and Serve: Remove ramekins from the refrigerator. Blot any condensation on top of the custards with the edge of a paper towel. Put about a 2 teaspoons of sugar on each custard and tap it to cover completely. Pout off the excess sugar for a thin coating.
Light your torch and slowly move it over the sugar. If the sugar starts to burn to quickly pull back a bit. Start with a lower setting, not as intense of a flame, and don’t get too close. When you have completed burning all of the sugar tops, serve and enjoy!