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Double Vanilla Creme Brulee

Double Vanilla Crème Brulee

I’ve always had an affinity for desserts that highlight the simple elegant flavor of vanilla and this one packs an exceptionally powerful burst of flavor! It’s just four ingredients and a little custard technique, and a few torturous hours of patiently waiting later, you’ll have one of the most satisfyingly light and creamy desserts you’ve ever tasted!  Being “vanilla” is definitely not an insult when it comes to this delicious confection!

Ingredients

3 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup pure cane sugar, plus 16 teaspoons for caramelized sugar crust
2 vanilla beans
9 large egg yolks at room temperature

Instructions

1
For the custard: Use a paring knife to split both of the vanilla beans lengthwise down the middle. Use the back of the knife to scrape out the inner seeds of the bean. In a saucepan over medium-low heat whisk together the cream, ¼ cup of sugar and the vanilla beans plus the four pod halves. Continue whisking until the sugar is desolved and the vanilla beans are well distributed. Bring the mixture to a light simmer, remove from the heat and cover. Allow the vanilla an hour to steep in the cream.
2
Set your oven rack directly in the center and preheat the oven to 325
3
Prepare the ramekins by placing them in a deep roasting pan with enough room between each ramekin so they do not touch. Cut a piece of foil just small enough to fit inside the roasting pan so it will sit on top of the ramekin area. Set aside. Keep in mind that at the time of transferring the ramekins to the oven, you will need a pitcher of hot tap water.
4
In a medium mixing bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks together. To stabilize the bowl, twist a kitchen towel into a long rope and wrap it around the base of the bowl so you can temper the eggs without it slipping. Uncover the cream and vanilla mixture and bring it back to a simmer over medium heat. Once hot, add about ½ cup into the eggs whisking constantly. Add a second ½ cup, and then a third, all while whisking constantly. Add the remaining cream to the eggs and whisk well to combine. Strain the mixture into a pitcher. Pour the custard mixture evenly amongst the ramekins. Pull out the oven rack and place the pan on it. Remove one of the ramekins and pour hot tap water into the pan so it comes half way up the sides of the ramekins. Do this slowly to avoid splashing. Replace the removed ramekin and lay the cut foil on top of the ramekins so it just sits lightly on top. Carefully push the rack back into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. The custards are done when the sides are just set and there is a small, dime size area in the middle that is still liquid.
5
Remove the pan from the oven being very careful not to splash the custards. Immediately remove the ramekins from the water and place on a cooling rack. Allow them to cool for an hour, the cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours or even overnight.
6
To caramelize the custards, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of sugar over the surface of the cold custard. Gently shake and tap the sugar around the surface to ensure the custard is completely covered. Exposed custard will burn immediately with the heat of the torch. Place the custards on a cleared flameproof surface and light your torch. Caramelize the custards one at a time, touching the very tip of the flame to the sugar and heating the surface in a circular motion until all of the sugar melts together and takes on a deep golden color. Repeat for all of the custards. Allow the sugar to cool briefly then refrigerate uncovered for 10 minutes to cool the custard through again. Remember to caramelize the custards only just before you intend to serve them, the sugar will soften if caramelized too early. Serve with a few berries propped on top or with a sprig of mint on the side. Enjoy!

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