Thursday, December 22, 2011

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is one of our favorites and this French Friday gave us the opportunity to try it at home !

Per Nana:

Many years ago Tricia gave me a creme brulee set with ramekins
that included a kitchen torch.  I thought about using it a few times
 but just never got around to it.  I think that I was afraid to use the
torch for some reason and put it away with all the other
collectibles in the basement.
I was very happy to see creme brulee as one of the selections 
 for December.  However, finding butane fluid became a problem. 
 I tried a lot of various stores, William Sonoma, drug stores where
 cigarettes are sold, etc. and  all of them telling me to go
 to Walmart.  I don't know why this is so difficult to locate, but, viola,  
Walmart had four.  One for me and one for Tricia. 
 I left two for anyone planning on making creme brulee
this happy holiday season.

Dorie's version of creme brulee is a little different
since she uses a jam or jelly base before pouring the
 pudding into the ramekin.  My choice was a little
marmalade, but I did not taste it in the final results.
For the sugar topping I used raw sugar.

After doing this first set, I was on a roll.  
Hubby loved it, so not wanting to waste the rest of the
heavy cream, I decided to try the recipe that came with the set. 
 This called for only cream, less vanilla, and more egg yolks. 

This was equally delicious, and at this point, I think it
 is just a matter of taste on the individual's part. 
Now that I have mastered the kitchen torch,
I wonder if Tricia and her family would like
Baked Alaska for Christmas dessert.  

Per Tricia:
Yes, please !
So far my only contribution to this week has been to taste test
numerous versions of Nana's creme brulee.  She was on a roll indeed
and I have gained at least 5 pounds from her fantastic creations ! 
 My creme brulee will be coming for holiday dessert as we
 are on our way up to Vermont again to celebrate and I have
6 creme brulee dishes waiting from me at a lovely little
kitchen shop who special ordered them for me. 
 It is actually a retail shop located at the "JK Adams" woodworking
 company whose company headquarters is in a small Vermont town. 
They are famous for their carving boards that are sold all over
 the world and by such retailers as Crate and Barrel, LL Bean, etc.
They have  an amazing "cooks store" and I put a few ramekins
on order at Thanksgiving.  I will take photos of this neat shop
when I pick them up tomorrow and post them later, but for now
 I wanted to get Nana's results posted before we head out.
PS- when my younger son's reaction was priceless when he found
creme brulee a la Nana sitting in the fridge.  His eyes popped open
and he turned around slowly, asking "can I"?
He loves this treat as much as his mother, who had it more times
 than she is going to admit while visiting France :)
Happiest of Holidays to Dorie and all the Doristas !!!!


  1. Ok so clearly I was one of only a handful of Doristas who had issues with this not setting - like not at all. I've made this before but not with this recipe and had much success. This recipe did not work for me at all. Glad it did for you - your dishes were adorable!!! Happy holidays to you both - so glad to get to know you through FFWD!

  2. I love your heart shaped ramekin, it's just too cute! Happy to hear that Nana is now a creme brulee pro. I agree that it is a recipe which one generally imagines to be far more difficult than it actually is.

    Enjoy your Christmas in Vermont.

  3. Baked Alaska - go for it!
    I was having trouble finding butane as well -hence the broiler treatment.
    Hope both of you ladies & your families have a wonderful Christmas & safe travels to your vacation.
    P.S. One of the girls @ work was telling me how her boyfriend's grandfather sent them out to buy eel. I asked if he was Italian - she said yes. I told her to ask him if it was the feast of the 7 Fishes. Everyone was amazed I knew that :-) (but I learned about that one from both of you!)

  4. Love your buy's reaction to his discovery in the fridge - everyone loves custard! :)

  5. Merry, merry Christmas to you both!!! Nana, your creme brulee looks spectacular!

  6. What a cute heart-shaped brulee! Great post this week!

  7. I'm controlling the urge to buy a creme brulee set with torch. Someday when we settle down somewhere and plan to stay put for a few years (once the Navy stops moving us), this, and an ice cream machine, will be first on my list. Looks great!

  8. What a joy to read! A gift from Tricia years ago that Nana turned into a delectable dessert for all the share! The heart-shaped dish is very cute. I totally agree that it's fun to play with fire. Glad both recipes turned out well for you Nana! And of course I look forward to see that shop in Vermont.

  9. How wonderful to use a gift that had been relegated to the kitchen black hole of mystery items that we all have.

    The creme brulee looks restaurant perfect! Quite scrumptious looking!

    Happy Holidays to you both, and your families!

  10. Wow, these brulees look gorgeous! My favourite is the heart. I couldn't taste the jam in mine either. Happy holidays Tricia and Nana!

  11. How fun! I love that heart-shaped ramekin, Nana! It definitely takes practice using the torch, but I got the hang of it and it was fun. Your cremes look so absolutely lovely! @Tricia-my big kids had the same reaction when they saw the cremes chilling in the refrigerator and it was a family affair when we were torching them. This was a perfect dessert for the holidays and so easy to prepare that I plan on making them for dessert for Christmas dinner. I hope you both and your families have a most wonderful Christmas!

  12. I've never had Baked Alaska. Your creme brulees look picture perfect, just like a restaurant. How satisfying! I hope your holiday in Vermont is wonderful. Merry Christmas to both of you and your families!

  13. it's interesting that the marmalade didnt shine through, I chose not to add the jam and went with fresh fruit but Im jealous of your torch!!! :)

  14. Merry Christmas! Your creme brulees both looks scrumptious. I'll have to try the jam base when I make my annual New Year's Eve creme brulee - Santa brought me some very fancy orange marmalade.

  15. Nana, your crème brûlée is restaurant-worthy. I love the little dishes they're in, too. Tricia, I hope the trip up to Vermont went smoothly. A very merry Christmas to both of you!

  16. Happy Holidays! Those brulee's look great! Hope you had a fabulous holiday. Looking forward to cooking with you both in 2012.

  17. Nana's creme brulees look wonderful and the heart-shaped ramekin makes the dessert extra special! Looking forward to pictures of your ramekins and dessert, Tricia! Happy New Year!

  18. Nana, Both of the Creme Brulee's look fabulous! Tricia, I like the taste part...very important! Happy New Year to you both!

  19. I'm glad you finally got to use your set, Nana and that the results were delicious. I look forward to hearing about Tricia's results. I hope you both had a wonderful Christmas!

  20. Your Creme Brulee looks wonderful! I missed making it, so we're having it tonight for New Year's Eve!

    It's been fun cooking with you two!

    Wishing every success & happiness in 2012! xoxo