Creme Brulee is possibly one of the most delicious and one of the most screwed up desserts I have had the pleasure of eating. When made right it is heaven, when made wrong you might as well be eating a bowl of pudding. The KEY to a great creme brulee is the egg to cream ratio and it must be made in a proper shallow creme brulee dish. There have been way to many times I have had my mouth ready for a great finish to my meal and order a creme brulee and get a soup cup full of custard, ice cold inside with way to much caramelized sugar on top. Disappointing!
This really is not difficult to make, and the recipe that follows is a great one. Not to sweet and a treat when it hits your mouth. So go for it and give this a try. I've tried to explain it in detail for you so don't be scared and enjoy this very old delight.
Want to know the history behind this dessert follow the link. :-) http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cr%C3%A8me_br%C3%BBl%C3%A9e&redirect=no
1 quart heavy cream
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean split and scraped
1 tbsp sugar for Brulee
Preheat oven to 325. In a stainless steel sauce pan stir heavy cream, sugar and vanilla bean seeds until sugar is dissolved and cream is hot. Separate and place egg yolks in a small bowl. When cream mixture almost comes to a simmer whisk a little of the hot cream with the egg yolks to temper them, about a cup of the cream mixture should do. (This keeps the egg yolks from becoming scrambled eggs). Then add the egg mixture back into the pot with the rest of the cream whisking constantly until incorporated.
Ladle hot cream mixture into shallow Creme Brulee dishes and place in a water bath (A pan filled with hot water to about a 1" depth). Cover with foil and bake about 35 minutes, until custard is set. Remove from oven and gently remove dishes from water bath and chill thoroughly.
Sprinkle 1/2 tbsp sugar over top of each custard and place cups on baking sheet. Broil 4" from heat until sugar is caramelized, or use a torch to caramelize the sugar, which ever way you are most comfortable with.