Mmmmmm, creme brulee. This used to be my favorite dessert to order at a restaurant. Then, for the first birthday Zach celebrated after we started dating I got him a creme brulee kit from Williams Sonoma, and I haven't ordered it at a restaurant since. As a good girlfriend, hoping to get the 'perfect presents' for the first birthday we would have in our relationship (about 7 months long at that point), I had heard him mention wanting to make creme brulee several times in passing. Well, I know you need a torch for that, and it seemed like he just wanted to play with fire, not unlike most boys. And, the idea of having to go buy a torch just for the kitchen was a bit strange to me, since my dad is a welder. If we needed a torch, he just went and got one out of his truck. Torches were used in our house for tasks that other households would simply use matches for. Pilot light out? Dad can get his torch. Need a candle lit? Dad can get his torch. Electric go out and the lanterns need to be lit, Dad got his, well, you get the picture. But, as I thought more about it I realized, buying a creme brulee kit for my boyfriend meant my boyfriend would make creme brulee, and who would help him eat it? Oh yes, me! So, it's now what Zach refers to as the original 'self-serving gift' of our relationship. :-)
We've always mainly stuck to the recipe that came with the kit from Williams Sonoma. But, this Ina recipe gave us a chance to try a new one. It was very yummy. I added Amaretto instead of the Grand Marnier that the recipe called for. I just prefer the flavor. Our usual recipe uses real vanilla beans and steeps the beans in the cream, so this one was a bit simpler, and just as good. We found a keeper!
Ina's Creme Brulee