With so many easy-to-make desserts out there, would you ever spend time trying to master the crème brûlée? Sure, it’s perceived to be a relatively complex dessert, but as long as you follow a recipe, it’ll be no more challenging to make than your go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.
So before you click away from this page, it wouldn’t hurt to check out the helpful crème brûlée-making tips from Flour Power‘s (Fridays at 8:30 p.m. ET) very own Jessica McGovern. After all, you have nothing to lose.
Take a chance
No, making crème brûlée isn’t as hard as you probably think it is. And the first step to baking a perfect one is to actually take a chance and try making one.
“The first mistake people make is they don’t make it because that they think it’s really hard. But it really isn’t that bad,” Jessica assured me.
Watch the heat
Making the custard on the stove is easy enough. But you do need to focus on the temperature of the cream.
“You have to scald the cream, but don’t boil it — or else, you’ll end up with this skin on top that’s annoying to remove,” warned Jessica. “So get that cream nice and hot, without boiling it.”
Easy on the cream
“When you add the cream to the eggs, you want to add the cream in a slow, steady stream,” McGovern explained. If you add the hot cream in to the eggs too quickly, you’ll end up with plain, old scrambled eggs.
Use a water bath
Make sure to use a water bath when baking your crème brûlées. (Fill the water about half way up the ramekins.)
According to Jessica, “that’s a much more gentle way to spread the heat. It’ll prevent them from cracking in the oven.”
Let it cool
“You have to let it completely cool and set before you do anything with the sugar crust,” Jessica said. Being patient and waiting for your dessert to cool is exactly what allows them to get nice and firm.
You don’t even need a torch
Afraid of setting the house on fire? Then ditch the torch altogether.
“It’s a lot more fun with a torch, but you can put your layer of sugar on top of the crème brûlée and broil it for 2 or 3 minutes,” suggested Jessica. “It’ll go very fast from golden to burnt in seconds, so you really have to watch it.”
Amp up the flavour
Once you master the basic version (and it won’t take you very long to master), try adding in some interesting ingredients to enhance its flavour. You can add in anything from pumpkin puree and liqueur to vanilla bean and cinnamon. But whether you add in a medley of flavourful ingredients or just stick to the recipe, one thing’s for sure: crème brûlée’s certainly a dish worth making.