Creme Brulee has been on my “To Do” list for quite some time. Oh man, if you could even see that list! It’s never ending and I just keep adding to it. I want to make my own mozzarella, frozen blueberry crisp, mochi ice cream and so much more and I am pumped that I finally got to check something off. So let’s talk about creme brulee for a second. The process of making this creamy romantic dessert is actually very similar to making your own homemade ice cream…and you know how much I love making ice cream! It all starts with a silky custard that gets tempered with eggs and that’s really where the similarities with ice cream end. You then bake the custard in a water bath, refrigerate for many hours and wait patiently until you can sprinkle the tops with sugar and torch to crunchy perfection. To take this up quite a few notches, I made a dairy free and naturally sweetened creme brulee and steeped the coconut milk with dried rose buds and fragrant rose water. So romantic for Valentine’s Day!
Rose Bud Creme Brulee
makes 4-6 ramekins
I preheated the oven to 325 degrees F. and greased 4 large heart-shaped ramekins with coconut oil.
I combined the coconut milk, rose buds and cinnamon stick in a medium pot.
I brought the coconut milk mixture to a simmer over low hit, stirring occasionally, which took around 10 minutes. When the milk was simmering, I covered the pot, removed it from the stove and let the rose buds steep for 15 minutes. While I waited for the coconut milk, I whisked together three tablespoons of the coconut sugar and egg yolks. I strained the rose buds and cinnamon stick from the coconut milk with a fine mesh sieve then slowly added the coconut sugar/egg mixture, whisking rapidly.
I poured the custard through the mesh sieve again to remove any possible pieces of cooked egg then whisked in the fragrant rose water. I ladled the custard in to the ramekins then placed them in a large glass casserole dish. I carefully poured 4 cups of boiling hot water in to the casserole dish, around 3/4 of the way up the ramekins. The hot water protects the custard while it steams.
I carefully transferred the casserole dish uncovered to the oven and baked for 45 minutes. I checked on the custard and it wasn’t set yet so I left it in the oven for another 10 minutes. You are looking for the outer rim of the custards to be set but the center should still be loose. Based on your oven, the custards should bake for anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. If you are using smaller ramekins, start checkin on the custards after 30 minutes. I removed the ramekins from the casserole dish and let them cool on the counter for at least 1 hour. I then covered the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerated them for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
I removed the custards from the fridge and set them on the counter for 30 minutes. Then I sprinkled the tops of each custard with 2 teaspoons of coconut sugar mixed in with a bit of white sugar. You can use only white sugar for this as well.
So here’s what I learned about setting a fire to coconut sugar…it burns!
I used a propane kitchen torch to heat the tops of my custards and set the fire 3-5 inches away from the sugar. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can also use your broiler. Set your broiler to high and place the ramekins under the broiler for 3 minutes. I placed the creme brulee cups in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before serving.
So let me tell you about coconut sugar. As you can see from each ramekin of creme brulee, some are more burnt than others. The top still had a beautiful crunch to it, as any crume brulee should, but there was definitely that unmistakable burnt marshmallow flavor (that I love).
If you are using only white sugar, you will get that perfect crunch on top of the creme brulee with the creamy custard below.