This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was crème brûlée, selected by Mevrouw Cupcake. I've only had this dessert once before, but I wasn't really impressed by it. Looking back on it, the reason is probably that they had the crème brûlée on display (burnt top and all), and then before serving they added more sugar and re-burnt the top. I'm sure that somehow affected things, having old burnt soggy sugar covered with a new crisp layer. This recipe definitely changed my opinion, and I loved the simplicity of the flavors.
Plus, this gave me an excuse to buy an awesome butane torch. While I was buying the ramekins at a cooking store, I saw a culinary torch...for $50. It didn't even come filled, I'd have had to take it to another store to get the butane. I knew I could get a better deal, and Moowie had bought a torch a few days before, so I gave her a call and ended up going to Home Depot. Quadruple the awesomeness, ten times the fuel, and still cheaper.
I was a little worried about how these would turn out the first time around. Burning the sugar on top, I didn't know if I was getting it done evenly or if the sugar on the bottom was melting. After cracking into the crème brûlée, all those worries disappeared. The top was perfectly hard, and cracked nicely.
The taste of the lightly burnt sugar mixed with a very simple vanilla custard came together perfectly. When I bought the blowtorch, I figured I'd end up using it for other reasons eventually, but now that I've made this, I know I'll be repeating this dessert anytime I need a simple but impressive ending to a meal.
Recipe - Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan, p. 393