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!