|Crème Brulee with Berries and Whipped Cream|
Crème Brulee is one of the easiest, most elegant and delicious deserts available to mankind. Seriously. Another reason it makes a great desert for a party is the fact that you can make it a day in advance of the event. After baking the crème brulee and cooling it, place ramekin in a small zip lock bag or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Before serving, top each creme brulee with brown sugar and brown under broiler or torch with a hand held torch. ( Your husband will love acting as soux chef for the torching!) I picked up a little hand held torch from Williams-Sonoma for this purpose. Don't be intimidated by the French! You can do this!
This is my husband’s ultimate dessert. He asks for crème brulee for his birthday every year. Topping the crème brulee with sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries makes a delightful presentation. This was our dessert at the Harvest party.
4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
extra brown sugar, 1 tablespoon per ramekin
2 cups whipping cream, whipped and sweetened
fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place 8-12 ramekins ( you may be able to get more or less out of the recipe depending on the size of your ramekins) in a roasting pan. I like to use a small ramekin, because the dessert is so rich. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, vanilla and salt. Warm for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, mix egg yolks and granulated sugar. Pour hot cream into egg mixture and whisk together. Strain mixture into a pitcher. Skim bubbles off cream mixture. Pour into ramekins and fill to 1/2 inch bellow the rim. Place roasting pan in oven and fill roasting pan with water reaching halfway up around the ramekins. Loosely cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until set. Remove ramekins and cool. At this point, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight if making a day ahead. Before serving, place 1 tablespoon of brown sugar on top of each crème brulee and spread to cover the top. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Turn oven on Broil and broil crème brulee for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until nicely browned. Or use a hand held torch to brown the sugar, until browned and bubbly. Top each creme brulee with a large dollop of sweetened whipped cream and top with an assortment of fresh berries. Serve cold or bring to room temperature before garnishing.