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Floral Fixation - Lavender Crème Brûlée

These past two weeks have been a whirlwind of madness at work. I'm so glad I finally have a chance to share this recipe with you! Crème brûlée has always been one of my favorite desserts. I just love cracking that sugary top with the back of my spoon to get to the creamy goodness inside. Yum!

I decided to make crème brûlée this year as my Valentine's treat for Chris. For a creative and romantic twist, I tried infusing lavender into the cream. It was a hit! The subtle floral flavor balanced well with the richness of the custard. Crème brûlée is surprisingly easy to make, and I can't wait to give rose, jasmine, chrysanthemum, and violet a whirl sometime.

Lavender Crème Brûlée

2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract  
8 egg yolks
1⁄3 cup granulated sugar

Preheat your oven to 325°F. In a saucepan, combine and heat the cream, vanilla extract, salt, and lavender over moderate heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture begins to simmer. 

Remove pan from heat and let the mixture sit at room temperature for about an hour. This gives the lavender flavor extra time to steep into the cream. Isn't this so pretty? :)

Reheat the infused cream to a low simmer, then remove from heat once again.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together into a slightly thickened mixture. Add this to the hot cream while whisking to mix completely. Make sure you pour slowly and mix evenly, to avoid making egg drop soup!!

Strain the custard mix through a fine sieve into a spouted bowl. Skim off any floating bubbles.

Fill six ramekins with the custard mix. Place them in a shallow roasting/baking pan, and add hot water until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Tent the pan with foil and bake for 35-45 minutes. 

Remove the ramekins and allow them to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate uncovered until thoroughly chilled.

Dust the top with a thin, even layer of granulated white or turbinado sugar.

Calling all pyromaniacs- here's the fun part! Using a kitchen blowtorch, heat the sugar until it liquefies, bubbles, and browns. You can see Chris going to town with the torch here.

Allow the top to cool to a crisp, glossy coating. Sprinkle some loose flowers on top of you'd like an extra hint of flavor. Enjoy!

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Reader Comments (10)

Looks good =) i love it when experimental anythings comes out good ^^ Chris is a lucky man. hehe

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShampoo47

I love cooking/baking, and really enjoy trying new recipes that friends and family recommend! This is definitely one that I plan on trying very soon! Thanks for sharing :-)

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSash'

Honestly, my favorite part about this post are the photographs. You really have a talent Jenn! And that (I think it is called) mortar you have with the lavender leaves is so beautiful I am in love with it. You have the nicest cooking tools. And your prep table - don't even get me started. You are a seriously so classy - I guess that happens when you are an adult!

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJess

I am lucky! Thanks for spoiling me :)

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhusband

ahhh, can't wait to experiment! looks delish =)

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermaggie

Great job sis! Love the flavor you chose, and it looks scrumptious!

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertalida

This looks so delicious. Where did you get your cute heart dishes from??

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCIndy

@Shampoo - Yea, it's always so exciting when an experiment turns out well, especially in the kitchen :D
@Sash' - I can't wait to hear how it turns out for you! Would love to try one of your recipes sometime too!
@Jess - Haha you're so sweet! We'll have to hit up Williams Sonoma together now that it's down the street from us.
@husband - Goes both ways, love!
@Maggie - Aww definitely let me know how it goes!! Miss you!
@Talida - Glad to have your stamp of approval ;-)
@Cindy - Thanks babe! They are from Broadway Panhandler in SoHo. Love that store!

March 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterJennifer

I'm actually scared in making a brûlée because I'm afraid I might ruin everything. But you. You did everything perfectly.

Looks so yummy! Maybe you could add red food coloring to make it more look like a heart. :)

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBlake

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