I was so intimidated in making Crème Brûlée until I made my very first and long-awaited Vanilla Crème Brûlée. It was not difficult at all, it was a lot like making a Leche Flan (a Filipino custard base dessert) but even simpler and fun. I enjoyed it so much that I thought it would be nice to make a variation of it.
I love coconut flavor both in savory dishes and sweet dessert. It has that very tropical creamy flavor that reminds me a lot about my home country Philippines. Any dishes or dessert made with coconut flavor never failed to make my day.
I thought coconut flavor would make a nice version for a traditional Crème Brûlée. I’ve tried making coconut Crème Brûlée before and it was a total disaster. Maybe I did something wrong, or maybe the recipe I used is not really the right one for me. I used a real coconut milk when I first made it. It turned out so oily, and the texture is not as smooth as what I expect it would be. The taste is something that I would not expect from a Crème Brûlée. I almost gave up on it, but then if there is something I learned in baking, it’s never to give up and keep on trying until I get it. Disaster in baking is a common thing, and even professional bakers experienced it.
What to Expect from this Creme Brulee
- Super smooth
- Super creamy
- Subtle sweetness
This Creme Brûlée uses my basic Coconut Creme Brûlée recipe, only this was cooked in mason jar which I think is a nice idea to make it on the go and also for easier storage in the fridge. Creme Brûlée is a simple recipe, it uses only few ingredients but there are few key things that you have to pay attention to when making it.
Tips for a Smooth and Creamy Creme Brulee
- Use the Proper Cream – That is, full fat cream. No non-dairy milk like Almond or Soy Milk. You need as much fat as possible to make it creamy, and you will not get that from non-dairy milk.
- Pure Egg Yolk only – Using only egg yolk gives a beautiful smooth custard, so do not be tempted to use whole egg. Although possible, I find that it will not be as smooth and silky as using pure egg yolk only.
- Pass it Through a Sieve – Pass the mixture through the sieve, this guarantees a smooth texture as it removes possible lumps from the mixture.
- Water Bath Method – Water bath method assures even baking and a smoother creamy custard. The heat coming from the water plus the steam the water creates helps cook the custard evenly.
I gave myself few days to recover and did few more research and alternative process to make it. Since the use of pure coconut milk is the culprit of my disaster Crème Brûlée, I researched on what I can replace it with and still get the coconut flavor. This is what I found. Either I used a combination of cream and coconut milk or I infuse the cream with coconut flavor from shredded coconut. I opted to try the second option, and I would have to say it was a good choice.
The texture came out smooth and creamy, but most of all, it has a very nice coconut flavor that I am looking for. I just love it and so happy with this recipe. Let’s get started!
Big Batch Ingredients:
- 2 1/4 cup heavy cream milk ( I used whipping cream, do NOT use non-dairy milk)
- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp granulated white sugar – (divided: 1/3 for milk mixture and 2 tbsp for top coating)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract – optional
- Hot water for hot bath
Small Batch Ingredients:
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream milk ( I used whipping cream, do NOT use non-dairy milk)
- 1/4 + 2 tbsp cup granulated white sugar – (divided: 1/4 for milk mixture and 2 tbsp for top coating)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract – optional
- Hot water for hot bath
Place your cursor over the image to see the photo description
- Pre-heat oven into 350F.
- Cream: Pour cream into a medium saucepan, then add shredded coconut. Heat mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until you see small bubbles forming in the side of the pan. Remove from heat and leave for 30 minutes to allow the coconut flavor to be absorbed by the cream. If you are making this ahead of time, leave the coconut and milk mixture overnight in the fridge for a stronger coconut flavor. Then heat over medium heat the day you are going to make it. Pass the mixture through the strainer to remove the shredded coconut. Set aside the cream and measure again. You will only need 1 cup of cream. Return the cream mixture to the pan and heat again until bubbles starts to appear on the side. Set aside while you prepare the egg yolk mixture.
- Egg Yolk: In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup granulated white sugar and egg yolks until mixture becomes slightly pale and smooth.
- Cream + Egg Yolk: Slowly pour cream mixture into egg yolk mixture while continuously whisking. Do not pour the mixture one time or you might end up cooking the egg yolk like scrambled egg. Pass through the strainer to remove any lumps then transfer into a measuring cup. I find it easier to pour the mixture into the ramekins.
- Ramekins: Place ramekins into baking pans. Divide cream mixture among ramekins (about 4 – 3.75 x 1 inch ramekins or about 2 – 3 x 2 inch ramekins), filling each full. Pour hot water into pan (being careful not to get any in ramekins) and fill water level to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. (Based on small batch measurement. If you are making a big batch, you will need about twice the number of ramekins)
- Bake in preheated oven 45 – 50 minutes, or until set but centers still jiggle slightly (bake time will vary based on which size ramekins used, lesser for smaller, greater for larger).
- Cool at room temperature 30 minutes then transfer to refrigerator to chill 3 hours.
- Sugar Coating Remove from refrigerator and let rest 20 minutes, then sprinkle top evenly with remaining 2 tbsp sugar (distributed among ramekins). Holding a hand-held kitchen torch, about 4-inches from sugar, evenly brown the sugar. Return to refrigerator and chill for another 20 minutes.
Makes 4 servings (ramekins size: 3.75 x 1 inch); 2 servings (ramekins size: 3 x 2 inch)
Good to Know:
- If you do not have torch, you can use the broil setting in your oven. Just pay close attention, do NOT leave it as it could get burn easily. Place the ramekins in the oven on highest rack and turn on the broiler to medium. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes, watching very carefully and rotating them frequently so that they broil evenly.
- The caramelized sugar will start to melt after few days of storing it in the fridge. This is way it is best to caramelized the sugar few hour before you serve it.
- For a stronger coconut flavor, leave the cream mixture with coconut in the fridge
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Related Post: Vanilla Creme Brulee
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