Ahhh…Valentine’s Day. If you’re madly in love, it’s magic. If you’ve been married 20 years (with three teenagers), it’s about food, the more decadent, the better. Honey crème brûlée is truly a special occasion dessert that couldn’t be easier to make. The secret to its success lies in the technique, which is a little out of the baking ordinary, but worth the culinary stretch. Luscious custard with honey’s floral notes and topped with caramelized sugar formed directly on top. Really…who needs chocolate?
Don’t skimp on quality: This recipe for crème brûlée has just 5 ingredients, so you’ll want to make sure every single one is fresh and of the highest quality.
Taking a water bath: Custards and puddings, because they don’t contain flour, bake better in a water bath. Individual ramekins for crème brûlée are placed in a larger (13×9-inch) baking dish and that’s partially filled with water up the sides of the ramekins. This contraption goes into the oven and the heated water protects the crème brûlée from uneven cooking and cracking.
Brûlée secret: Brûlée in French means burnt, as in sugar, which is placed directly onto the cooked custard and caramelized. If you’re ordering crème brûlée in a restaurant, chances are the pastry chef has a nifty little blowtorch firing all over the sugar creating a hard, caramel-like top. Fear not, home cooks! You can purchase your own blowtorch, however, a simple (and logical) alternative is to place the crème brûlée several inches under the broiler for several minutes. The sugar will melt, caramelize and be just as “brûlée” as the chefs version.
- 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar, divided
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon honey
Finished creme brûlée's will require chilling time before serving.