A Recipe Review: A Sweet Pea Chef’s Easy Crème Brulée

Food bloggers amaze me. Their dedication to cooking, staging and documenting recipes knocks me out. How do they do it day after day after day? My fellow blogger Lacey at A Sweet Pea Chef is one of those amazing people. Browsing her recipes and photos is like browsing through food porn. It is a glorious, guilty pleasure. But my favorite thing about Lacey’s blog is that her recipes are not just pretty. They are easy to understand, easy to prepare, and unbelievably tasty. She’s the real deal. She loves to cook and she happily shares that love with her readers. It’s just one of the many reasons I love her beautiful blog.

Every once in a while, Lacey will post a food poll, letting her readers choose recipes or topics that will be covered at a future date. One such poll featured possible dessert recipes. Choices included crème brulée, carrot cake cheesecake, lemon bars, oatmeal raisin cookies and cranberry sorbet. I was intrigued by the carrot cake cheesecake, but I voted for crème brulée. Several times {wink}. Why? Because I love simple foods with tremendous flavor, and crème brulée is one of those foods. Four ingredients. Full of flavor. Out of this world texture. I’m in.

The recipe says “easy” and by golly, she wasn’t kidding. You combine 4 ingredients, pour them into ramekins and bake them in a water bath. The cast of characters include 5 egg yolks, 2 cups of heavy cream, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. For this recipe, I broke out the good stuff – the pure vanilla bean paste. If you’ve never tried this stuff, you have to. This recipe is perfect for it. If I were making a chocolate cake, I would most definitely use the regular vanilla extract. But for this dish, the good stuff really shines.

Once your little pots of creme are baked and cooled, it’s decision time. You can stop here and just enjoy this as an incredible custard, or you can pour some sugar on it and brulée those puppies. I’m going whole hog. Conveniently, TCP just happens to have one of those baby blow torches. “Break out the blow torch, honey! I’m gonna’ burn some sugar, Sugar!” Fingers crossed that I don’t burn the house down. Oven mitt? Check. Fire extinguisher? Check. Let’s roll!

The verdict: this stuff is almost too good to be true. It’s so easy and inexpensive to make, it makes me a little angry at all those hoity-toity restaurants that charge $12.50 a serving for it. Shame on them. Deep, money-grubbing shame. Thanks to Lacey, I can now make fabulous crème brulée at home. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. Good because this recipe is really fantastic. Bad because I really shouldn’t have the power to make this all the time. I’m having a vision of “Good Nana” and “Bad Nana” sitting on each shoulder screaming at each other. (Secretly, I’m rooting for Bad Nana. Go, Bad Nana! You go with your bad self!)

To see this recipe with all of the glorious step-by-step photos, visit Lacey’s blog at: http://www.asweetpeachef.com/sweets/easy-creme-brulee/

PS – A very special thank you to Katie at Lucky Girl Sweets ‘n Stuff. She selected my name for her first giveaway last week, which happened to be those super cute red ramekins. They look just like miniature Le Crueset Dutch ovens. They are too stinkin’ cute, and perfect for crème brulée. Thanks, Katie! I love them. You should click on the link above and drop in on her. She’s a feisty Texan like me. And tell her I said “howdy!”

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16 Comments

Filed under Food & Recipes

16 responses to “A Recipe Review: A Sweet Pea Chef’s Easy Crème Brulée

  1. cindy

    All I can say it I want to be you when I grow up. Clare and I are dying Easter eggs and having a contest to see which eggs have the best color. Her Paas store bought kit or my “old school” vinegar and food coloring. I’ll let you know the results later. :)

    • I recommend beet juice if you have a jar of pickled beets in your refrigerator. It makes the most gorgeous raspberry pink eggs. And strong coffee makes a nice brown one. And I’ve heard that dried tumeric and paprika work, too. And spinach whizzed up in a blender with a little water makes a vibrant green. I seem to be all about the natural food coloring this year. Let me know who wins. I’ll be interested to see if “old school” can triumph over mass-produced tablets.

  2. Creme brulee is one of the world’s most perfect foods. I bought one of those mini torches just for creme brulee–I like it that much. Of course the kids like me to bust out the torch to toast the marshmallows on their hot chocolate, too.

    • Agreed! How something can be so simple and yet so fabulous just amazes me. I don’t even need berries on top – just that gorgeous, hard sugar shell. I’ve never used the baby blow torch for marshmallows, but that makes perfect sense. Roasted marshmallow hot cocoa sounds awesome. I’ve also seen it used to toast meringue on top of a pie. Haven’t tried it, though. So many possibilities…. so little time.

  3. Okay, you are just the sweetest person ever. It’s official. Such flattery! Thank you SO, SO much for your wonderful review of my recipe and for all your blog love and support. I’m so very happy you enjoy it. By the way, I had you in mind the entire time while I was posting about it :)

    • Is it because I practically spammed your website voting for creme brulee, or because I couldn’t contain my joy when you announced that the creme brulee recipe won your poll? Either way, I’m a winner because that recipe totally rocks. I’m proud to be a supporter of your blog, Lacey. I love your recipes and the way you present them. Can’t say it enough without starting an official fan club and printing up t-shirts. :-]

  4. I have never had Creme Brulee before but it definitely looks good (I’ve lived a deprived life, I know). I think I want to try this just so I have an excuse to go out and try to find those little ramekins… too cute!

    • Aren’t they adorable? I love the size – they’re a little bigger than a standard ramekin, and I love the color. I think they’re perfect, and I think Katie/Lucky Girl was a genius for choosing them as her first giveaway. Who wouldn’t want them?

  5. Cindy

    Well, Clare won but I’m going to write down all of your natural ideas for future use, thanks for the great tips.

    • Oh, man…. I’m disappointed the mass-produces Paas tablets won the egg dying contest. I was really hoping the “old school” vinegar method would kick butt. That’s a shame. I’m going to go boil some of my pretty brown eggs and soak them in beet juice now, just to make myself feel better {wink!}. Happy Easter!

  6. omg!! so cute!! so well written! you make me laugh!! I’ve never TRIED vanilla bean paste, I NEED to do this!! How can I rationalize the need for vanilla bean paste to the husband!! :)))

  7. Kat

    Seriously, preach it.

    I LOVE reading food bloggers’ recipes, but sometimes it just kills me because they’re either beyond complex or so time consuming that an entire day would need to be sacrificed, and homegirl just does not have that kind of time right now!

    • I’m the same way, Kat. I love to browse food blogs, but if a recipe has too many ingredients or a full page of instructions, I skip it. I like it easy. I like it delicious. And I like it quick. That’s one of the reasons I love Lacey’s food blog. Her recipes are always fantastic and they’re really easy to follow and make. She’s my kind of chef.

  8. Honestly, I’ve never had creme brulee, well, except for the coffemate kind, but I don’t think that counts! This is too easy not to try! By the way, I found you through Lucky Girls Sweets N’ Stuff.

    • Hello, Chris! Love your knickname – “Kickstart”. I’m not a motorcycle enthusiast, but I am married to one. The Complete Package rides a new, customized Honda Fury. I refer to it as “his girlfriend.” I also love that you’re an Arkansas girl. I was born in Dallas, but grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas. And I’m also thrilled that you found me through Lucky Girl Sweets N’ Stuff. She’s a hoot! Let me know if you try the creme brulee. I absolutely love it, but I’m a vanilla lover. I love all things simple and vanilla – creme brulee, vanilla bean ice cream (preferably Blue Bell), a great vanilla shake or malt, etc. It’s just so good! Please come back and visit again and again. You’re always welcome here.

      If you want to see the TCP’s sweet ride, go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nanabread/5654157801/in/photostream

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