I got one of these mini blow torches for my Birthday...
So I had to make this. Good call.
It always amazes me how a few simple ingredients can result in something so delicious, with minimal effort. This really is a fairly simple dessert to make. I used vanilla beans, but if you'd rather use vanilla extract, it would be just as delicious. In fact...this particular recipe only called for a vanilla bean but next time I will add a teaspoon of vanilla, as well. Just make sure it's pure vanilla extract.
1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 cup sugar, plus a little extra for brûlée
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place cream, vanilla bean and it's pulp into a medium saucepan set over med high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove vanilla bean.
In a medium bowl (or bowl of mixer), whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and pale yellow. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour through a mesh strainer. Pour mixture into 6 (8 oz) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of ramekins. Bake just until the cream is set but still trembling in the center, approximately 40-45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
Remove from refrigerator for at least 30 min prior to browning the sugar on top. Sprinkle 1/2-1 Tbsp sugar evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow creme brûlée to sit for at least 5 min before serving.
*brulee method can also be done under the broiler set on high. Watch closely until it begins to brown and bubble. Using hot pads, remove from oven.
Recipe source: Alton Brown; www.foodnetwork.com