You don't have to be a fancy French chef to whip up an awesome creme brulee.
When it comes to decadently rich desserts, creme brulee takes the, well, cake. A satisfyingly smooth, creamy custard topped with a crunchy, caramelized sugar shell can hardly be beat – and it's super easy to make!
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Then, place four 6-ounce ceramic ramekins in a baking dish that's about 13 by 9 inches.
You can start making your custard by combining 2 cups of whipping cream with one-third of a cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Next, beat six egg yolks with a whisk and add them to the cream mixture, whisking the bowl of custardy goodness until it's evenly blended.
Carefully pour the concoction into your ramekins until they're nearly full. (Unlike cupcakes, these won't rise, and later you're going to want easy access to the top for the "brulee" part.)
Slide the pan filled with ramekins into the oven, pull out a rack and fill the pan with hot water until it's about two-thirds of the way to the top, then bake these little beauties for about 30 or 40 minutes, or until the sides are set and the centers jiggle.
Let these cool before blotting excess moisture off the tops and covering them with plain old sugar. If you happen to have a kitchen torch on hand, use it to gently caramelize the tops of your desserts. If you're without a handy torch, you can also just put them under the broiler with the tops about five inches from the heat until the sugar looks like a golden glaze.
Once you have the basic technique down, there is a lot of fun to be had with creme brulee. For example, Cappuccino Creme Brulee
and Creme Brulee with Raspberries
are a fresh twist on the original.