3 cups heavy cream or half and half
2 ounces of Chambord liqueur
½ cup of granulated sugar
3 eggs whole
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
A large glass or metal bowl
A pitcher with a pour spout
6- 6 ounce ramekins
9 x 12 baking pan with handles
Small acetylene torch
300 degree pre-heated oven
Combine the cream (or half and half), Chambord and sugar and simmer gently over a very low flame—just until the sugar is fully incorporated and steam begins to rise. The trick here is to bear in mind that you are not actually cooking the ingredients—you are simply dissolving the sugar and creating a more thorough mixture.
While your mixture is on the stove, combine the eggs and egg yolks with the vanilla in your large metal or glass bowl. Whisk until well blended.
Begin to slowly mix the two mixtures together in the mixing bowl. Add the cream mixture a little at a time and keep that whisk going! If you do this too fast, you get curdled eggs.
Once you have accomplished this task, scrape the mixture from the bowl into the pitcher with a spout. The spout is great for even disbursement of your mix into the ramekins. Getting the mix on the sides of the ramekins, unless wiped off immediately, leaves for a less pretty end result and you will be left with a bit of overcooked goo.
Pour into your ramekins. Really, the exact size of the ramekin can vary and not drastically affect the recipe. What is important is that they are all poured equally in amount and that you are willing to adjust cook time a bit.
Place your ramekins in the pan. Rinse the pitcher you used and carefully pour about 2 cups of water into the pan. This should be just enough water than it comes half way up the sides of the ramekins. The water keeps the mixture from dehydrating and curdling. Be careful not to splash the water into your treats or let it slosh about too much as you place it in the oven.
Bake at 300 degrees for about 25 minutes. You should be looking to see that the mixture is beginning to think about solidifying, but is still slightly jiggly.
When finished baking, remove from water very carefully and allow to cool for 15 minutes. If you are saving them for later you can put them in the refrigerator and either bring them to room temperature or finish them off cold depending on your taste.
When ready, sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar over the mix and caramelize with your torch. If you want extra crunchy, use the torch for longer and add sugar in between to make layers of crunch. To keep from burning, use more sugar in the beginning and think about spiriting the sugar with a little water before firing. Let the caramelized top cool before eating—melted sugar gets really, really hot!
A note with the torch: make sure that the surface you are using is non-flammable and will not melt.
Chambord Creme Brulee.