Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée for Two
Rich, creamy vanilla bean custard topped with a crispy, crackly layer of caramelized sugar. A classic dessert recipe for date night from Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate.
I’ve never been one for going out on Valentine’s Day. A fun, perhaps fancy, dinner at home is what I much prefer to celebrate with my honey. Actually, the past few years we’ve been getting together with some friends for what we call PALentine’s Day.
We gather at one of our homes, kids and all, and cook a yummy dinner for all of us to celebrate the love we have for each other. It’s always a super fun night.
Whenever I think of a Valentine’s Day dessert, anything deeply chocolate and crème brûlée comes to mind. I’ll also make an exception for my Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse Cups on Valentine’s Day because those are 100% yummy and pretty pink!
The problem with a lot of dessert recipes is that they make a pretty big quantity. While an entire flourless chocolate torte will be perfect for our PALentine’s Day dinner this year, it’s probably not ideal for a date night in. Neither is six servings of crème brûlée.
Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée for Two will fix that! This recipe is a pared down version of the one I made for Christmas this year and it turned out perfectly. While crème brûlée might seem like a difficult recipe to make, I promise you it is not.
Making vanilla bean crème brûlée involves three simple steps. First, you heat up the cream and sugar; then, you add the egg yolk and vanilla bean paste. Next, you bake it and chill it in the refrigerator for four hours. Lastly, sprinkle some sugar on top and caramelize it. Easy peasy!
If you are making this for Valentine’s Day, I would definitely prep it a day in advance. While the minimum chilling time is 4 hours, I think chilling them overnight is the way to go. Do everything except for caramelizing the sugar on top, and then chill in the refrigerator to ensure the ramekins are completely set up.
Another key for success? Using vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract. Vanilla bean paste has the vanilla bean pods, which gives the crème brûlée the little specks throughout the custard. It’s basically a much easier method than using actual vanilla beans – I love using it for all my vanilla-flavored baked goods.
One thing is for sure: you don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant anymore to get delicious crème brûlée!
Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée for Two
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons granulated sugar (divided)
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
⅛ teaspoon salt
Additional granulated sugar, for caramelizing
- Heat oven to 300 F.
- In a small saucepan, add heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of sugar over medium-low heat.
- Bring the cream mixture to a light simmer (it will begin to steam) and then remove it from heat. Set aside and let cool.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the cream mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisking to combine. Add another 2 tablespoons, whisking to combine. This will keep the eggs from scrambling from the warm cream.
- Add this tempered egg yolk mixture to the saucepan of cream, whisking continuously as you add it, and whisk until combined.
- Place two (6-8 ounce) ramekins in a baking dish. Divide crème brûlée mixture between the two ramekins. Fill the baking dish with water, about halfway up the crème brûlée dishes.
- Place baking dish in oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until just set. They will still be jiggly in the middle. Cool at room temperature for an hour and then place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or (preferably) overnight.
- Once ready to serve, top each ramekin with about 1 teaspoon of sugar. Melt the sugar with a crème brûlée torch, until golden brown. You can also do this under a broiler. Serve and enjoy!