It's data night in our house, so I'm making Crème Brûlée and a Prosecco Cocktail!
Crème Brûlée sounds like such an extravagant dessert, but it couldn't be easier. Yes, you need to 'invest' in ramekins and maybe a torch. But you can get those at almost any store that sells kitchen dishes and utensils. If you don't have a torch, you can simply use your oven broiler for the final step.
If you've never had Crème Brûlée, or you did, but just didn't give a lot of thought to what it was, let me tell you. Crème Brûlée is a simple custard, with burnt/caramelized sugar on top. That's it...absolutely nothing fancy about it!
It's also super flexible, which I love! Check out the Ingredients Note in the recipe below.
Watch Me Make It
My Basic Recipe (4 large or 8 small servings)
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup white sugar
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
additional white sugar or turbinado sugar for the topping
Ingredient Notes - this recipe is SUPER flexible.
-Only have 6 eggs? It will still turn out okay.
-Don't want to use white sugar? Feel free to substitute coconut sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey. You can also use sugar substitutes if you desire. Each option will change the custard just a bit, but that's okay!
-Use whatever form of dairy milk you want. I have used everything from 2% milk to heavy cream (including whole milk, half & half and combinations of them all). This makes is a great way to use up leftover milk product in your fridge - looking at you heavy cream that I bought for 1 recipe and had no other plan for using it!
-Find vanilla boring? I love the standard vanilla creme brulee, but feel free to get creative with other extracts. A version made with maple syrup and maple extract sounds amazing, right? You could also substitute vanilla paste instead of the extract, for a deeper vanilla flavor.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add extract and milk, whisk until blended. Pour the mixture through a metal strainer to remove the foam and bubbles. Divide into 4-8 ramekins. Place in a water bath and bake at 300F until set around the edges. It can still be a little soft in the center, but not too liquidy. This takes 45-70 minutes, depending on how full your ramekins are.
Remove from the oven and leave ramekins in the water bath until cooled to room temperature, then move to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to chill through.
Right before serving, torch sugar topping.
Decoration idea - once you caramelize your sugar, place a stencil over the brulee and shake a thin layer of powdered sugar on top. Make a heart for valentines day, a balloon for a birthday, etc.
Most of us have had a mimosa before. A standard mimosa is simply a combination of orange juice and sparkling wine, aka champagne. Mimosas make a great brunch cocktail, but you can use the basic concept to create a light cocktail perfect for any time of day or time of year.
I am making my cocktail for a Valentine's Date Night, so I wanted it to have a pink/red color and better yet to use things I already had on hand.
Tonight's cocktail uses cran-raspberry juice and Prosecco (an Italian sparkling wine). However, you can use any juice you love, use more juice to make it lighter in alcohol, and garnish it with frozen berries or herb sprigs.
What I Made
In a champagne flute -
fill 1/4 with cran-raspberry juice
fill the remainder with chilled Prosecco
Garnish with frozen cranberries or raspberries (a sprig of thyme was in my plan, but I forgot)
Orange Juice, Prosecco, garnish with a frozen orange wedge (Add a splash of peach schnapps for a Fuzzy Navel vibe)
Peach Nectar, Prosecco, garnish with a frozen slice of peach and a sprig of rosemary
Passionfruit Juice, Prosecco, garnish with frozen blackberries
White or Purple Grape Juice, Prosecco, garnish with frozen grapes
White Cranberry Juice, Prosecco, garnish with frozen cranberries and a sprig of thyme
There are so many options here...I would love to hear your ideas in the comments!!!