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Crème brûlée

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Crème Brûlée

Crème brûlée (French for "burnt cream"), also known as burnt cream, crema catalana, or Trinity cream, is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. It is normally served cold. The custard base is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but is also sometimes flavored with lemon or orange (zest), rosemary, chocolate, coffee, liqueurs, or other fruit.

  • History

The exact origins are uncertain. The earliest known reference of crème brûlée as we know it today appears in François Massialot's 1691 cookbook, and the French name was used in the English translation of this book, but the 1731 edition of Massialot's Cuisinier roial et bourgeois changed the name of the same recipe from "crème brûlée" to "crème anglaise". In the early eighteenth century, the dessert was called "burnt cream" in English.

  • Technique

Crème brûlée usually is served in individual ramekins. Discs of caramel may be prepared separately and put on top just before serving, or the caramel may be formed directly on top of the custard, immediately before serving. To do this, sugar is sprinkled onto the custard, then caramelized under a broiler/salamander, with a butane torch (or similar), or by flambéing a hard liquor on it.

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