The argument could be made that there is no more of a romantic dessert than the Crème Brûlée. Contrasting textures in the mouth between the crisp crack of the caramelized sugar and the rich, unctuous custard swirling around your tongue, makes for a sensual roller coaster. Could get the mind going.
Anyway, it’s the dessert I chose to make this past Valentine’s Day. Here's the recipe:
Crème Brûlée á la Vanille: (recipe for 4) 360g Heavy cream 1 Vanilla bean 4 Egg yolks 70g Sugar 1 pinch of Salt
Turbinado or dermerara sugar for brulée-ing
Preheat your oven to 150C, about 300F Using a small pairing knife, slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Place the bean and seeds into a small pot with the cream. Heat until just scalded. As the cream is heating, place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk them with the sugar and salt until they become lighter in color, about a minute. Pour some of the hot cream through a strainer over the yolk mixture and immediately whisk the cream in as to not curdle the yolks. Add the rest of the cream and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into ramekins and place them into a high sided sheet pan. Carefully put the pan in the oven. Add hot water to come up half the way up the sides of the ramekins and bake until the custard sets, roughly 30 minutes, depending on the oven and shape of the ramekins. Carefully remove everything from the oven and remove the ramekins from the bain marie. Allow to cool slightly before placing them in the fridge. Once they are completely cool. Dust the top of each ramekin with unrefined turbinado or dermerara sugar, and torch the sugar to make a hard caramel surface. Eat immediately.