Yield: 6-7 individual crème brûlées
“Back to Baking”, pp. 191
Considering that I was, to my surprise, fairly successful in making the classic crème brûlées last time, I thought that I would be a little fancy and attempt the dulce de leche crème brûlée. Dulce de leche consists in sweet milk which can be obtained by caramelizing sugar in milk. I made the classic vanilla crème brûlée several months ago and sadly I had forgotten how delicious it was. I dare say, however, that this caramelized version is my favorite of the two. It gives the “burnt cream” a sweet taste that complements the cream well without overwhelming it.
- 1 tin (300 mL) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 ½ cups whipping cream
- 1 cup 5% half-and-half cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Sugar, for torching
I have not yet mastered the art of caramelizing the sugar on the surface of the crème brûlée, but I think that I am getting a little better with practice. I followed Anna’s advice from the cookbook and caramelized two (actually three!) thin layers of sugar as opposed to a thick one to favor the formation of a hard surface. Perhaps it is not apparent here, but I assure you that the surface of these little crème brûlées was hard and cracked upon the first spoonful. I brought these at a movie night and let me assure you that they were a great success! Friends told me that this was one of their favorite desserts thus far. A scrumptious, sweet and creamy dessert awaits you if you make this recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease six or seven 6-once ramekins and place them into a baking dish that is at least as high as the dishes.
- Pour the condensed milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepot and whisk in ½ cup of the whipping cream. Constantly stir the condensed milk mixture with a silicone spatula over medium heat until it thickens and caramelizes lightly to a golden brown color, about 13-16 minutes.
- Whisk in the remaining 1 cup of whipping cream and the half-and-half cream and bring this to just below a simmer. Make sure to whisk until the caramelized condensed milk mixture (dulce de leche) dissolves into the cream.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, egg and vanilla extract.
- Pour the condensed milk mixture into the eggs and whisk until the mixture is homogenous.
- Carefully pour this mixture into the ramekins. Pour boiling water around the ramekins so that the water comes at least halfway up the ramekins. Bake the custards for 30-35 minutes, until the custards are set at the edges but still jiggle in the middle. Let them cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then carefully remove to cool at room temperature before chilling for at least 3 hours.
- To serve the brûlées, sprinkle the tops of each of the custards with a thin layer of sugar, then melt and caramelize the sugar using a kitchen torch. Add a second layer of sugar and repeat. This technique builds a crunchy top that is less likely to burn than if you put on a thick layer of sugar.