Creme Brulee for Two

Creme Brulee is one of those classic desserts that offers the perfect end to a meal shared with friends, family or that special someone. A delicate balance between something so rich and creamy, yet light and sweet at the same time.

This is one of those desserts that I never thought I would eat outside of ordering it from a restaurant after the master chefs have done all the work preparing it and serving it to me. Well, master chef I am not. However, knowing that this sweet treat is my Valentine’s Day date’s favorite dessert, I decided to test my skills with a blow torch.

To my surprise it turned out to not be the stressful, mess in the kitchen, set something on fire undertaking I expected. So, I have faith that you can pull this one off as well.

Creme Brulee for Two
(makes two full, round ramekins)
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt

1. Heat oven to 325F and place 2 round ramekins or custard cups in a roasting pan or brownie pan (something with sides).
2. In a small saucepan, combine cream, half of the sugar and vanilla. Gently heat over medium, just until mixture begins to bubble around the edges. Do not boil.
3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, remaining sugar and salt until light and frothy.
4. Temper the eggs: Use a ladle to pour a small amount of cream into the egg mixture. You want to temper the eggs by slowly adding the hot cream so you don’t cook the eggs. Continue whisking and adding small ladles of cream until all the hot cream has been added.
5. To make things easier, I poured the mixture into a measuring cup to help fill the ramekins. Divide custard between the two cups. Pour hot water into the pan so water comes half-way up the sides of the dishes. Bake until custard is set. Depending on the size of the ramekins you use, the timing will vary. Check the custards after 30 minutes and continuing baking until set.
6. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and remove the ramekins from the hot water. Let cool for 30 minutes, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. I chose to make these the night before so they would be ready to eat after dinner on Valentine’s Day.
7. When ready to serve, lightly coat the top of the custards with sugar. Working with one at a time, pass the flame of the torch in a circular motion 1 to 2 inches above the surface of each custard until the sugar bubbles, turns amber, and forms a smooth, crisp surface. Top with berries and and serve immediately.