Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The post in which we get to play with fire

A few years ago my family bought me a creme brulee set for Mother's Day. And by 'set' I mean four ramekins and a butane torch. Creme brulee is my favorite dessert and they thought it would be fun for me to try making it at home. I think it was the whole torch thing that put me off...I never even took it out of the box. I started thinking about that set recently as I'm having a little dinner party this weekend and I'd like to make creme brulee for dessert. Hubs has been wanting us to try our hand at homemade pasta so we found a lobster ravioli recipe we decided to try too. We had our own little food network happening here last Saturday.

The lobster ravioli was delicious. And a lot of work. I don't have a pasta machine so this was all done the old fashioned way and its a good thing I've been keeping up with Jillian or I don't know if I'd have the muscle required for making pasta.

Here I am working out my biceps rolling out the dough. I took pictures of the filling but it looks kinda like raw fish and I think it might put you off so I'm not posting those.

We made the dough, the lobster filling, and a cream sauce and while I don't think mine looked as pretty as it could have it did taste magnifico. If I made this again I think I'd throw some parsley on top.

On to dessert because that's really why you're still here reading. The creme brulee needs to be made early in the day or better yet a day ahead and then just before serving you fire up the torch and heat the sugar topping. The hard sugar topping is the key to a good creme brulee...gotta hear that tap tap tap when you touch it with your spoon. We pulled them out of the frig about 9 PM and realized we had no butane for the torch. That was disappointing. I was happy to pop them under the broiler but hubs said no way! and off he went to the supermarket. He returned with a can of fuel so I let him play with fire do the honors.

Creme Brulee
(I used a recipe found here)

4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 pt. heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350. Put the egg yolks into a small bowl and set aside. Put the sugar into a mixing bowl and add the cream. Stir gently with a whisk. You're not whipping this, just stirring. Next, put it into the microwave for 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar.

While that's heating whisk the egg yolks to break up. When the sugar mixture is done stir it a bit to be sure it's completely dissolved. Stir in the eggs and whisk thoroughly. Add a dash of salt and the vanilla. Whisk well and pour into ramekins. I think this recipe would have filled 5 but I just made four in our practice run. Put the ramekins into a roasting pan and add enough hot water to the pan to come about halfway up the ramekins.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. They will be a little jiggly when you pull them out and will set up more in the frig. Let them cool a bit and then refrigerate overnite or at least several hours.

When ready to serve sprinkle the tops with sugar and then fire up the torch. If you don't have a torch you can set them under the broiler but what fun is that? I used plain sugar last weekend but am making some vanilla sugar this week to use on Saturday. You can also use brown sugar.


I'm definitely going to make these for my guests on Saturday. I think I'll add some berries alongside but it's not necessary. It's a light dessert and one that I can make a day ahead which is my favorite way to cook for a dinner party. Enjoy!

I'm linking up with Tasty Tuesdays today...visit Jen for more great recipes. Edited to link with Kelly's Korner-SUYL Desserts


  1. I am "drooling"....wow!!
    Blessings, andrea

  2. Looks good! And my husband loves anything he can cook with an open flame!

  3. Those look just like fine dining establishment quality!

    My Hubs would love the whole gadget thing! :)

  4. Those look wonderful! What fun and very impressive!

    until next time... nel

  5. The ravioli are more to my liking and they look delicious! :-) But I could probably force myself to TRY the creme brulee. :-)

  6. Joyce,

    I've love creme brulee ever since Julia Roberts told Cameron Diaz she could never been creme brulee only jello in My Best Friends Wedding. Ever since then just the thought of playing with the torch has inspired me as well. Love how well this worked out for you and how easy it was.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  7. I love creme brulee, but have never made it at home. You have inspired me to give it a try. I'm impressed with your lobster ravioli too. It looks delicious! You will be wanting a pasta maker. I have thought about getting an attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. What time is the dinner party on Saturday? I'll be right up. Love & blessings from NC!

  8. My family loves creme brulee too. I gave Brooke (2) a brulee set for her birthday several years ago because she loves it so much and loves to play in the kitchen (and I wanted one!). We've had a lot of fun with it and have made some great desserts. I also use "my" torch with salmon. After I grill the salmon, I sprinkle brown sugar on top of each piece and brown/char it. I love the flavor it gives. Barrett (3) loves to roasts marshmallows!

    I've never made homemade pasta before. I better revisit Jillian before attempting it.

  9. you are quite the chef, my friend! :)