Creme Brulee Soiree

Silky, creamy, light and indulgent. What's not to like about creme brulee? Nate particularly adores this dessert and since I aim to please, I learned how to make it last week in my own kitchen.

I work with a former pastry chef whose creme brulee skills were highly touted so I called on her to help me with my mission. And then I asked a few of my adventurous friends to join me in my education.

We commenced the evening with snacks and wine before our instructor began the lesson. Almost two hours later (and two bottles!) we started with separating the yolks and the whites from our eggs. Next up was heating the cream. Once that was completed, we added the sugar to the egg whites, then whisked the cream slowly into the egg/sugar mixture. (The constant whisking reminded me a little of making mayonnaise). After this was completed, we added in a hint of vanilla to our creme brulee base.

The advantage to having a chef in your kitchen while learning a new recipe is the helpful hints that she can share. The secret to my friend's creme brulee is to strain it three times through a cheesecloth prior to putting in the oven. And the final secret is to cook it at 225 for 3 hours, in a water bath. This may not seem like such a secret but so many recipes tell you 300 or 350. You can certainly try it, but you will end up with a creamy scrambled egg.

I followed her advice later in the week when I baked my creme brulee and Nate was delighted in the results. Very smooth, very silky creme brulee that has been double-caramelized (another secret!) with my brand new torch. I'm looking forward to trying out the recipe with some twists such as coffee, lavendar and chocolate.

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