Happy New Year, everyone! Wishing you all the best in all of your cooking and travel adventures to come in 2020. To start off the year in French style, here is a twist on a classic favorite – lavender crème brûlée.
Crème brûlée is one of those desserts that is deceptively simple to make. You have to be a little careful when tempering the custard so that the egg yolks don’t scramble, and you to have a lighter hand with flavoring than you may think. To infuse the cream with lavender flavor, I added just one teaspoon of lavender bitters and a pinch of vanilla bean powder.
How satisfying is that first crackle of the sugar crust on top? I usually do not make my crème brûlée overly sweet itself, knowing that it will have that extra hit of sugar on top.
- 2 cups half and half (or cream)
- 1 teaspoon lavender bitters
- a pinch of vanilla bean powder
- a pinch of salt
- 5 egg yolks
- 0.5 cup sugar, divided
- Preheat oven to 325F. Gently heat vanilla, half and half, and salt on the stove until just hot, stirring occasionally. Take off of heat, add in lavender bitters.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks and half of the sugar until light yellow.
- Slowly whisk in about a fourth of the cream mixture into the custard, then stir the custard mixture into the rest of the cream.
- Pour into four ramekins or other oven safe baking dishes. Put them carefully into a larger baking dish and fill that up halfway with a water bath of boiling water.
- Bake for about 30 minutes - start checking at 25 minutes to see that the crème brûlée is just set in the middle.
- Refrigerate the crème brûlée until completely cooled. When ready to serve, top each serving with plenty of sugar and either place under the broiler briefly or use a blowtorch to caramelize that crackly top.
Enjoy it with your loved ones or wow dinner party guests since one of the many joys of crème brûlée is that you can make it ahead of time!