Crème brûlée is definitely one of my favorite desserts. I know I say that about everything but crème brûlée is just so simple, yet so ingenious. First I thought maybe I was going to butcher a classic by mixing cupcakes and crème brûlée, but after tasting, I can safely say that isn’t the case. Definitely not. However, I do wish that the light had stayed a little longer. I was able to shoot for 10 minutes before I had to crank my ISO all the way up to 4000. Yikes. So frustrating! hence the lack of photos. Spring and summer can’t come fast enough, even if I do enjoy the coziness of this season.. On another note, I used the orange rum vanilla sugar from my previous post for sprinkling and it gives just the right amount of extra flavor to that crispy, caramellized topping. So good!
So this might be my last post of the year. We’ll see. If it is, I’d like to wish you a all Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! These cupcakes are kind of perfect for both Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I know I’ll be making them!
Makes 12 cupcakes
The fluffy inside of these vanilla cupcakes goes perfectly with the creamy and crunchy topping. Also, you need a kitchen torch for this recipe!
- 100 g (1 scant stick) butter
- 2 eggs
- 140 g (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 120 g (3/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp.) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp milk or half & half
CRÈME BRÛLÉE TOPPING
- 300 mL (1 1/4 cups) heavy cream
- 135 mL (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 3 egg yolks
- 55 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- Demerara sugar, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
- Prepare a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.
- Melt butter and let it cool.
- Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until very light in color and texture, about 2-3 minutes.
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Gently stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Add melted butter and milk and stir very gently until batter is smooth.
- Divide the batter among the liners, filling no more than 2/3 full (you might have enough batter to make another cupcake).
- Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely.
CRÈME BRÛLÉE TOPPING
- Prepare a cold water-/ice bath in a large baking dish or the kitchen sink. Combine cream and milk in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and add seeds and bean to the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture is hot but not boiling. Remove from heat.
- Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream mixture over the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Remove the vanilla bean.
- Return mixture to the saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. It should become quite thick, almost like softened whipped butter (if you think it feels too loose, keep going for a few more minutes). Do not let it boil or it will curdle. Put the saucepan in the water bath, stirring often until it custard is completely cool. Transfer the custard to a bowl. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap to avoid a skin from forming and store in the fridge until thickened. The custard should hold its shape fairly well on the cupcakes but will still be on the soft side.
- Spread or pipe custard onto the cupcake bases. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and burn with a kitchen torch (make sure not to burn the paper liner!). Sprinkle another layer of demerara sugar on top and burn again. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve!