Creme Brulee always seems like such a light spring time dessert to me. I don’t know why. It’s the most indulgent, creamy, smooth, hug your waist with an extra pound or two custard ever. But whenever the weather starts turning warmer (or when ever I want the weather to start turning warmer, ha!) I have a craving to make and eat as much creme brulee as possible.
Maybe it’s the fact that creme brulee comes in such a pretty container. Like cupcakes, they are individual and personal. You aren’t going to share creme brulee. It’s you, yourself, and that little ramekin of goodness. Springtime always calls for tasty little bites in pretty packages. Actually, any time of year calls for tasty little bites in pretty packages. Let’s eat creme brulee all year long. No regrets, no holding back.
This past Christmas I made homemade Kahlua liqueur as homemade Christmas gifts. But after I ended up giving away all the pretty bottles with handmade gift tags and ribbons I still had an entire jar of it left for us. Up til now it’s been sitting in the back of the cereal cupboard waiting patiently for its time to shine. I thought I could use it for cheesecake or tiramisu sometime, but I surprised myself when I started brainstorming for flavors to infuse into creme brulee. It’s really wonderful because there isn’t a super crazed coffee taste in these little custards. It’s subtle and soft. You almost wouldn’t know it was coffee because it’s not bitter or strong, but it is full of flavor. Almond, vanilla, rum, and coffee all melded together with the sugar cream and eggs topped with deep crunchy caramel…it’s like eating a dream.
Plus that delightful little crack on the top that happens when you knock your spoon into it? Best part.
Who doesn’t like a treasure hunt? And eating creme brulee always feels special the way an adventure does. Even today, crunching my way through the burnt sugar as I talked with my sister on the phone, I felt like a little excitement was put on my kitchen table. It’s sophistication and fun all at the same time.
-If you happen to be a coffee lover, feel free to add as much as 2 more tablespoons of instant coffee to the custard. You’ll get a stronger flavor and a bit more caffeine in your dessert.
-The Kahlua liqueur can be replaced with amaretto (almond liqueur), frangelico (hazelnut liqueur), or another coffee liqueur of your choice like Kona,
-Not everyone has a kitchen torch at home (although they should! Then they could make creme brulee all the time!) You can still get the crunchy crust of sugar by putting the custards in a cold oven and turning on the broiler. Broil for 3-10 minutes, constantly monitoring (they can burn easily) and rotating often to get an even browned color.