Monday, July 4, 2011

Micheal Smith's Caramel Creme Brulee

If you have ever watched The FOOD NETWORK, you might have caught an episode of Michael Smith's show ~ Chef at Home. I love the laid back style of Micheal Smith's show because he presents the cooking in a way that you can imagine yourself doing the recipe's in your own home. He also has a warm screen presence that connects with the audience. (He actually looks like a rock star with his long hair~ ~no stuffy french cook here!) I actually love his house. It has a full pantry of every ingredient you can think of and outside, he has a huge garden. I think his house in Prince Edward Island. (he has views of the sea)

This is my first creme brulee. I have experience making custards before. Namely, the local leche flan (milk, eggs, sugar). But this is my first recipe to use a torch. Yes, we are a trigger happy bunch.. yes we are!!! (even the kids were bugging me to let them try... I was just afraid they would burn down the house!)

although.... I have to admit, using a torch kind of makes you feel like a professional.... doesn't it?

This week, I have an abundance of egg yolks courtesy of my husband who only uses the egg whites in his oatmeal. So, I decided to try out the recipe I got from the food network application I have on my iphone. This one is from Michael Smith.

Caramel Creme Brulee
  • 1 cup plus 6 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of 35% whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 egg yolks
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. (about 160C)
  2. Make a caramel with 1 cup of sugar and the water by placing them in a large saucepot and bringing to a boil without stirring. The sugar will dissolve and begin to bubble. Let it boil for about 5 minutes, watching carefully as the water boils off and it begins to turn yellow. Gently swirl until the sugar turns an even golden. Take it off of the heat before it gets brown. Quickly pour the milk and cream into the caramel along with the vanilla and salt and whisk until incorporated. (the caramel will solidify- just put it back to the heat until the caramel melts back)
  3. Whisk eggs and then slowly pour the caramel mixture into them, a little at a time, whisking constantly.
  4. Pour into 6 ramekins or crème brulee dishes and bake in a hot water bath in the oven for 30 minutes, or until edges are set and centre is slightly jiggly. (cool in the ref for about 1 hour or more)
  5. Just prior to serving, sprinkle with the remaining sugar and caramelize with a blowtorch.
My daughter helped me mix the milk and eggs and she had fun putting the custard into the ramekins. (I only had 4 so I put the rest of the mixture into a larger bowl)

I cooked the custard about 35 minutes. I think you can still add another 5 to this and the custard would turn out ok. One thing though when I made this, I didn't have much experience using a torch. (which was required to caramelize the sugar)
I thought this was all I needed
I asked my husband, "how am I supposed to open this thing?" ~ I was then hunched over the ramekins, ready to fire up the torch. My husband quipped, "well, you have to buy butane first and put it on!"... OH! (my husband had a laugh) So, there I was, trying to torch a creme brulee without butane. I had to put the ramekins back in the fridge and go out to buy the canister of butane. (I think the anesthesia from childbirth damaged some brain cells)..

Finally, with butane in hand... sprinkle the sugar, ~ ask hubby to fire up the torch! hahaha (yeah, I was scared! ~ I also had to take pictures....)
The creme brulee --- which was finished with the whole family pitching it. Mixing c/o my daughter and torching- c/o my hubby.

They were actually were very good. The sugar tops cooled and became crunchy when you poke the spoon into it. The filling was very creamy (compared to a firmer leche flan consistency). This is actually something very nice to serve dinner guests (you can prepare this a day before and just torch it when you are ready to serve) the sight of a solid caramel top would surely wow your friends.

Recipe Rating: (4.5 because you need to buy a torch)


  1. wonderful post,I dont have a torch but I use my small oven toaster to caramelize the top.I found you from the foodie blog roll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this creme brulee widget at the end of this post so we could add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about how to make a creme brulee,thanks!

  2. Thanks Alisa for visiting! I hope the widget works. =)