The secret of making an enticing Crème brûlée lies in the caramelized, brittled sugar layer that beautifully contrasts with the rich, creamy, and smooth custard underneath. It is an elegant dessert that is surprisingly easy to make and guaranteed to wow your guest during your dinner party or impress that special someone in your life.
There is an elegance and refinement in making Crème brûlée, but it is all about in the subtlety of flavours. The history of this dessert can be traced back in France around 1691. It has always been the simple combination of egg yolk, cream, sugar and vanilla that is topped with hardened caramel that needs to be cracked to get through the creamy custard.
Crème brûlée is one of the few desserts in my dessert repertoire that I always make for my dinner parties. It is the perfect dessert to make the night before so I don’t have to do a lot of cooking on the same day. For my recipe, I am using a vanilla bean pod as it adds the best natural aromas and sweetness of vanilla. I am also using orange zest and orange liqueur of Grand Marnier to extract fresh and deeper nuances of an orange. The vanilla and orange flavours are subtle, which makes this dessert truly delightful!
With my dinner parties, It is a tradition that I always make my guest finish their own Crème brûlée by making them use the torch to “brûlée their own crème”.
I hope you will enjoy and love this beautiful Crème brûlée recipe.
Crème brûlée with Candied Blood Orange
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
6 Ramekins, 6-8ounces size
1 large roasting pan to hold the ramekins
1 large Egg
4 large Egg Yolks
1/2 cup Sugar
3 cups Heavy Cream
1 Vanilla Bean Pod (You can substitute 1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract)
1/2 teaspoon of Grated Orange Zest
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or any Orange liqueur
6 tablespoon of sugar (1 tablespoon for each ramekins to brûlée)
2 quarts of Hot Water
For the Candied Blood Orange Garnish:
1 Blood Orange (or Regular Navel Orange, preferably organic seeds removed). Sliced into rounds, about 1/8 inch thin, discard the end cuts. Need at least 6 slices, one for each ramekin.
2 cups Granulated Sugar
2 cups Water
2 tablespoon of Orange Juice
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- In a mixing bowl, use a whisk (or an electric mixer at low-speed, paddle attachment) to mix egg, egg yolk and 1/2 cup of sugar until well mixed. Set aside.
- If using a vanilla bean pod: Using a knife, carefully split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise in half. Use the back of the knife or a spoon to scrape the vanilla bean off the pods. Set aside the vanilla bean
- In a small saucepan over LOW heat, add the cream, scrapings of the vanilla bean, and orange zest. Carefully heat the cream mixture, stirring frequently until it is hot to the touch but NOT boiling. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
- “Temper” the egg mixture so it doesn’t get cooked like scrambled eggs with the cream mixture. To do this, slowly add a 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture while using a whisk (or electric mixer on low-speed) to mix it well. The egg mixture is now tempered.
- Slowly add the rest of the hot cream mixture, a little at a time, into the tempered egg mixture using a whisk or electric mixer to slowly mix everything well.
- Add the Orange Liqueur into the egg-cream mixture. If using Pure Vanilla Extract, also add it in.
- Pour the egg-cream mixture evenly into the ramekins u
- Place the ramekins into the roasting pan. Pour hot water into the pan until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until the cream is set but still slightly jiggling in the center.
- Transfer ramekins to cooling rack and cool to room temperature. And refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to 2 days before serving.
- Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
- To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and use the kitchen blowtorch until the sugar browns and caramelizes evenly. The more sugar you put, the thicker the burnt sugar layer. Wait for 1-2 minutes for the sugar layer to cool down and harden before eating.
- Topped with candied Blood Orange or fresh berries to garnish.
Candied Blood Orange Recipe
- Fill a large bowl with water and set aside.
- In medium saucepan, add water and bring it to a boil. Add orange slices.
- Boil the orange slices for 1 minute. Remove the slices and place in the ice water bath until it cools down. Drain well.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 cups of water, 2 cups of sugar, and 2 tablespoon of orange juice. Bring to a slow boil while stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the orange slices to the skillet and turn the heat down to maintain a slow simmer. Simmer the orange slices for 45-60 minutes, turning every 15 minutes until the rinds are translucent.
- Place the candied orange slices on a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least one hour or overnight.
- Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container and refrigerate until ready to use. The candied slices can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 month.