My mother always said she doesn’t have a sweet tooth, she has 28. I plead guilty to having the same weakness I am afraid. Naming my favorite dessert is just too much to ask. And yet, of all desserts that might be found on a menu, if Crème Brûlée is listed, it wins every time.
My sweet good friend Julie Schnell gave me this recipe for Crème Brûlée eons ago that she’d collected from the New York Times. I must say it never disappoints. I’ve made it over and over with never a fail. It makes me so happy to make such a high brow French dessert and do it so well. Because it uses all those egg yolks, you have to make meringues or divinity or white cake next, but that struggle is worth it to me.
The original was for one large Brûlée but per my usual instinct, I revised this for individual ramekins. I also use a torch instead of the traditional broiler; the broiler technique is very difficult to pull off, so please get a torch to ensure success. I like to put the brown sugar out on a sheet of wax paper on the counter while the brûlée is chilling; it dries it out enough that the liquefying and crunchifying happens easier than if you just try to sprinkle moist sugar on top. Or you can run it through a fine mesh sieve. Do not be stingy with the sugar!