Contributed by Bryce Lambert
There are few sounds in the culinary world more satisfying than the crack of caramelized sugar as you dig into a creme brulee. And there are few kitchen gadgets more exciting to use than the kitchen torch. So, we set out to make this dish that has a reputation for being something you order off prix fixe menus or while on vacation in Paris.
But, like most French bistro food, it’s actually incredibly easy to make at home (once you get the hang of the torch) from basic ingredients you probably always have on hand. What keeps most people from making this delicious restaurant-style dessert is their lack of the necessary equipment. Because while the ingredients are common, creme brulee’s signature wide shallow ramekins and the essential sugar-caramelizing torch are not.
It’s for this reason that one often sees low-priced “creme brulee kits” for sale. These include a couple ramekins, a torch, and sometimes even a baking pan with a kind of canning-rack-like contraption to lift hot ramekins out of it. Don’t buy this, unless you’re only interested in a single use. The ramekins are cheap and the torches are worse, often leaky and underpowered (even compared to the same model that’s sold individually). Continue Reading