More and more I find friends and family not eating gluten or at least trying to limit it (myself included). But that doesn’t meant they can’t have dessert! So I am always on the lookout for desserts, or any food for that matter, that is naturally gluten free. This crème brûlée is perfect. Using only egg yolks, cream, sugar, and natural flavorings - an ounce of gluten never touches this dessert.
Plus I love the way it smells and tastes. Cardamom and vanilla are such a great combination. The warm vanilla compliments the spicy cardamom making a unique and delicious dessert. But best part about this creme brûlée is that it can be any flavor that you want. If you want cinnamon, just replace the cardamom and vanilla bean with a couple cinnamon sticks and let that steep in in the milk and sugar. Or what about coffee - just use to some crushed coffee beans. Or how about orange zest or mint or even basil. The list could go on. I am going to stick with vanilla and cardamom but feel free to play around with new flavors.
And of course a highlight to this dessert is the crunchy burnt sugar on top. If you don’t have a blow torch, you can use the broiler in your oven.
Cardamom Vanilla Crème Brûlée
5 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups sugar, plus 6 tablespoons, separated
1/2 vanilla bean split in half and seeded
3 crushed cardamom pods
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 325°F and arrange the ramekins on a rimmed pan.
In a medium saucepan over moderately high heat, combine the heavy cream, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the vanilla bean and its seeds,cardamom pods, and the salt. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once sugar is dissolved, bring mixture to a low simmer and simmer for about 30 minutes.
While the cream is heating, combine the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and whisk to combine. When cream mixture is ready, gradually add about 1/3 of the hot cream mixture to the yolks, whisking constantly. Once fully combined and the eggs are tempered, add the remaining hot cream mixture and stir to fully combine. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container. Carefully ladle or pour the custard into the ramekins, filling them to the rim.
Place the pan in the oven and carefully pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the edges have set but the center still jiggles when the ramekin is gently shaken, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let cool on a rack for 30 minutes then wrap individually and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
When ready to serve sprinkle the top of each custard with a thin even layer of remaining sugar, using about 1 tablespoon per ramekin. Use a kitchen blowtorch or the broiler to evenly melt and caramelize the sugar. Serve immediately.
-post by amanda frederickson