Creme brulee sounds fancy but it’s actually really easy to make. I decided to make it festive by including classic gingerbread ingredients and dusting the tops with confectioner’s sugar to add a special touch. I was listening to Christmas songs while making these and now I’m in full force holiday mode. The best part is cracking the top!
2 cups heavy cream| 1 vanilla bean or 1 tspn vanilla extract| 4 large egg yolks| 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup for torching| 1 tblspn molasses| 1 tspn cinnamon| 1/2 tspn ground cloves| 1/2 tspn ginger| 1/2 tspn nutmeg| 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat the cream, vanilla, and spices on low heat (do not boil) for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a mixer, whisk egg yolks on high. Beat in molasses and sugar. Add 1/3 of the cream mixture (this is called tempering the eggs) and beat until well blended. Add another 1/3 until the last 1/3 is completely blended. Pour custard into ramekins (makes 4 servings). Place ramekins in a baking pan. Pour hot water into the pan to go halfway up the sides of the ramekins (this is a water bath). Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let the ramekins cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for 2 hours. When you are ready to serve, coat the top of the ramekins with a thin layer of sugar. Using a torch (I bought mine at William Sonoma), touch the surface of the sugar until it caramelizes to golden brown.
I bought cookie stencils from Martha Stewart‘s line at Michael’s. I cut the snowflake stencil to fit into the ramekins. I dusted the tops with confectioner’s sugar and carefully removed the stencil. That’s it!