Crème Brûlée with Honey

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As you all know crème brûlée (or burnt cream)  is a French dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. There are so many different methods to do crème brûlée. However, every crème brûlée need egg yolks. I have tried about 3 different methods and then I have found my perfect way to do this. I did my first crème brûlée when I was 15 years old and the burnt cream wasn´t like crème brûlée. In a famous cookbook, the recipe was incorrect. The ingredients amounts were just wrong. I don´t know if there was a mistake or something. So I tried different methods and finally, I got the crème brûlée which I wanted.

However, usually I used sugar for crème brûlée but I have tried to reduce my sugar eating. As you have noticed on this blog there are sugar-free desserts. Then I got a new challenge – crème brûlée without white sugar. Is this possible and if it is possible then does it tastes differently? It is possible! I tried doing it with honey and the taste isn´t different at all! The crème is just like it has to be! There are no unwanted pieces in it or something. There was only one problem- the hard caramel layer. You can´t do this without brown sugar. Stevia, honey or syrup will not give you the caramel layer. Caramel candies etc are also full of sugar. Coconut palm sugar won´t caramelize like needed and will burn too much. There is possible to process honey to do the syrup but it´s not good as well. The honey loses it goodness and besides the results aren´t good. So if you don´t like using brown sugar then, in my opinion, the crème brûlée is also good without it. On the other hand, the amount of brown sugar on the top of the crème brûlée is very small and you don´t have to eat it too much. In addition, you don´t have to make a thick caramel layer. Just a small one is also good and gives the effect.

Doing crème brûlée may look like a really hard thing to do but it is actually really easy! It´s just very important that you have the right ingredients in a right amount and you bake it in a right temperature. There are 2 ways of baking crème brûlée. Firstly, you can bake it longer at a low temperature. Second way which I prefer is baking it in a water bath for higher temperature and in a shorter time.

Crème Brûlée with Honey

Ingredients:

Serve for 4 small crème brûlée forms

  • 200 ml whipping cream (not whipped into thick and no extra ingredients like sugar)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 egg yolks (with egg whites you can do a meringue)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp brown sugar for caramelizing (optional)
  • Some strawberries for decoration

Directions:DSC_0246-2

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/ 347°F.
  2. Simmer the whipping cream with vanilla bean.
  3. Take out the vanilla bean. Open it with a sharp knife and take out the seeds and add them to whipping cream.
  4. Mix egg yolks and honey. It´s very important that you don´t mix it too hard or don´t beat up the honey and egg yolks. Just mix a little bit. If you mix it too hard, then the crème brûlée don´t get the perfect balanced crème and you may later get scrambled eggs.
  5. Place the hot whipping cream in the water bath. Make sure that no water gets inside the cream. Simmer it at a low temperature.DSC_0250-2
  6. Pour the egg yolks mixture into the whipping cream and slowly mix (do not beat up) the mixture constantly in a water bath for 15 minutes. The water in the water bath should only simmer a little bit and it shouldn´t boil. After 15 minutes the mixture should be only a little bit thicker than whipping cream before whipped but not too thick or you would get scrambled eggs again.
  7. Pour the mixture to the heat-proof crème brûlée form(If you don´t have the forms I strongly suggest you buy some or use another bowl which is heat-proof. These are really useful and you can use them in different ways).

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8. Bake the crème brûléefor 30-35 minutes in a water bath at 175°C/ 347°F. If you have bigger forms then you should bake for 35-40 minutes. The crème brûlée forms should be 2/3 or ½ inside the water. Make sure that no water gets inside the crème brûlée. I suggest you pour a warm or hot water on the pan.

9. Take the crème brûlée out of the oven. The crème should be a little bit fluid. Don´t worry they will get thicker while staying in the refrigerator.

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10. Cool the crème brûléeto room temperature and keep them in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours or overnight.

11. Just before serving, add the caramelize the layer. For the layer pour some of the brown sugar on the crème. Caramelize the layer with a blowlamp. If you don´t have this, then it is possible to caramelize it on the top of the oven in grilling regimen in 250°C/ 482°F until sugar caramelize (it´s a quite useful method to caramelize. I caramelized years like this because I didn´t have the blowlamp. You just have to be watchful not to burn the layer too much). However, then you should wait before serving. The crème should be at room temperature.

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12. Serve with fresh berries. 

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