Last night, I decided to change things up this week, and post Daydreaming this coming Friday instead of today, because I read that it is National Caramel Day….and there was no doubt that I had to share this Salted Caramel Crème Brûlée with you today!
When I made this brûlée on Sunday, I had no idea that National Caramel Day existed! Honestly, how many national whatever days can you fit into one single day? I had to look that up, and after a very brief search, I found thirteen national holidays for today.
I’m not going to list them all, but of course, it is National Caramel Day. It is National Love your Children Day, because we don’t do that any other day (rolling my eyes). There’s also a National Walking Day. And a National Dandelion Day (I kind of like that one, because I do think they’re pretty). And…National Bell Bottoms Day.
National Bell Bottoms Day.
Because the world needs to celebrate vintage pants.
I mean, really… what would possess anyone to think of that, let alone feel the need to celebrate bell bottoms? So, I had to dig a little deeper, because I wondered what it took to create a national day. Well, a true national holiday takes an act of congress. A lot of the national days are created by card companies, special interest groups, sports teams, etc….all in the name of making money. And then… you have the people who just declare it so. And everyone else jumps on that band wagon! “Hey! You like bell bottoms? Me too! Let’s go celebrate the day, and donate $20 in the name of those fun loving over exaggerated wide bottom pants! (Embarrassingly enough, I am a child of the 60’s and early 70’s, and did own a pair or two, but will deny it to my dying days if you tell anyone..).
But getting back to this Salted Caramel Creme Brûlée. I never would have dreamed in a million years that bell bottoms would be the topic of discussion for this deliciously creamy, sweet yet salty dessert. I don’t know, it doesn’t seem fair. This should have been a talk about royalty, sophistication, and pure unadulterated love… because that’s what this dessert truly deserves. Describing it wouldn’t even do it justice, as your spoon broke through the caramelized sugar that’s sprinkled ever so lightly with sea salt, scooping up the decadent creamy caramel flavor custard, to bring a symphony of sweet and salty caramel straight to your taste buds. Eating in complete silence as everyone is utterly mesmerized by this dessert. That’s when you know it’s good. That it’s really, really good.
And it’s so super easy to make. You don’t have to be a pastry chef or an expert in your kitchen! But seriously? Let everyone think that you spent all day in the kitchen just for them!
Life is good. It’s a “So today, not only is it National Caramel Day, but I declare it to be National Prudy Day. Please send all flowers, candy and donations in care of Prudence Blank… “ kind of good.
- Six ramekins or jars that will hold ½ cup custard, and a 9" x 13" pan to bake them in. For the caramelized sugar, you will need a kitchen torch. No kitchen torch? It's okay! You can put the sugar topped creme brûlée under the broiler as long as you are using a ramekin or jar that is safe for the broiler!
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup half and half
- 8 large egg yolks
- 3 tsp granulated sugar
- Sea salt for sprinkling
- In a medium sized sauce pan, combine the 1 cup heavy cream, butter, ½ cup dark brown sugar, and salt. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 8 minutes stirring frequently, and taking care to not let it burn. Remove from the heat, and let sit for about ½ hour to cool.
- Heat oven to 325 degrees.
- After it has cooled, whisk the remaining heavy cream, half and half, and egg yolks into the caramel mixture. Pour the mixture into a large spouted container that will make it easy to pour the mixture into the ramekins or jars, and then pour about ½ cup of the mixture into each jar.
- Place the filled jars into the 9" x 13" pan, and fill the pan with hot water to come to halfway up the sides of the jars. Place in heated oven, and bake for about 35-45 minutes.
- You'll know that they're ready to come out of the oven, when the sides of the custard has set, and the middle is just a little bit jiggly. It will continue to set after it has been removed from the oven.
- Carefully remove the jars from the pan with tongs, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator, remove plastic wrap. Sprinkle the top of each custard with ½ tsp granulated sugar, making sure that it coats the entire top of the custard evenly. Carefully torch the sugar until it begins to bubble up and lightly brown. When the sugar has hardened, sprinkle a few granules of sea salt on top, and serve immediately.