cookbooks

Creme Brun. Recipe

Creme Brun, also known as "burnt cream" or "creme brulee," is a classic French dessert that has gained popularity all over the world. Its origins can be traced back to the late 17th century when it was first mentioned in French cookbooks. This creamy and rich dessert is known for its contrasting textures of a smooth custard-like base and a caramelized sugar crust on top.

To prepare a delicious Creme Brun, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon of almond essence
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 3 egg yolks
- Powdered sugar, for sprinkling
- Sliced or crushed almonds, for garnish

Now, let's move on to the step-by-step preparation of this delightful dessert:

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).

2. In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Be attentive and make sure not to let it come to a full boil.

3. Once simmering, remove the saucepan from heat and add the almond essence and ground cinnamon. Stir well to ensure the flavors are evenly incorporated.

4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they are well beaten and smooth. It is important to strain the beaten eggs using a sieve to remove any lumps or impurities.

5. Slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the beaten egg yolks while continuously whisking. This step is crucial to avoid curdling the eggs. Continue stirring in one direction to keep the mixture smooth.

6. Once well combined, pour the custard mixture into individual ramekins or ceramic dishes. Ensure that the ramekins are placed in a water bath, which means placing them in a larger baking dish filled with hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins. This water bath helps to evenly cook the custards and prevent them from cracking.

7. Carefully transfer the baking dish with the ramekins into the preheated oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes until the custard is set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Keep a close eye as the baking time may vary depending on your oven.

8. Once cooked, remove the ramekins from the water bath and let them cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, to allow the custard to set completely.

9. Just before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of powdered sugar over the chilled custards. Use a kitchen torch or a salamander to caramelize the sugar until it forms a golden-brown crust. Alternatively, you can place the ramekins under a broiler for a few minutes, watching closely to avoid burning.

10. For an extra touch, garnish each Creme Brun with some sliced or crushed almonds. This will add a nice crunch and enhance the almond flavor.

Now that you have successfully created a delicious Creme Brun, it's time to indulge in its creamy goodness with a hint of caramelized sweetness. Enjoy this delightful dessert with a cup of coffee or a glass of dessert wine for a perfect ending to any meal.

Fun fact: Creme Brun is said to have been a favorite dessert of Francois Massialot, a famous French chef who served as the private chef for Louis XIV, the Sun King.

If you enjoyed the creamy texture and rich flavors of Creme Brun, you might also appreciate other custard-based desserts such as Crème Caramel, Flan, or even English-style custard tarts. Each of these desserts offers its own unique twist on the creamy custard concept, making them delightful choices for any sweet tooth.

So, the next time you're craving a dessert that combines the smoothness of custard with the satisfying crackle of caramelized sugar, give Creme Brun a try. Indulge in its luxurious flavors and enjoy the timeless beauty of this classic French dessert.

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