Saturday, February 16, 2013

Classic Crème Brûlée


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Crème brûlée, also known as burnt cream, is a dessert consisting of a creamy custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard and crunchy caramel (the burnt sugar). The custard base is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but is also sometimes flavored with lemon, chocolate, coffee, liqueurs, etc. I’ve made many different variations of this dessert but I always goes back to the classic. I’m sure you all know how much I love chocolate, but then, this is one of those desserts that the original really beats the chocolate, hands down!

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It is not a surprise to most you who follow my blog that I make French Macarons all the time.  Such as these, the Valentine’s version, or my all time favorites ones, just to name a few.  As French macarons only require egg whites in the recipe, I always have some “left over” yolks in my fridge.  The best way to use up the yolks would be to make ice cream and... this Classic Crème Brûlée!  The other day, my Baby Girl asked me for a dessert after dinner.  But she doesn’t know the name of this dessert.  She described it as a little cup with a crunchy topping and a soft and creamy interior.  My little foodie is right to the point on the texture!  Open-mouthed smile Of course, her Mama knew exactly what she was talking about.

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The vanilla flavor in this Classic Crème Brûlée is wonderful and really comes through.  The rich and creamy custard is perfectly contrast with the crunchy burnt sugar on top.  I added a small amount of chocolate liqueurs in the custard base.  You can’t really taste the liqueurs as most of the alcohol evaporated during the baking process.  But it does enhance the overall flavor and I highly recommend it.  

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Since I don’t like desserts that are overly sweet, I only use 3/4 teaspoon of sugar on top of each ramekin to make the Brûlée.  If you like a thicker crust of burnt sugar on top, by all means use a little more sugar in each cup.

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To make the Brûlée, sprinkle the sugar on top, I used vanilla sugar; pick up the ramekin and tap the side to evenly distribute the sugar until the sugar has fully covered the surface of the custard.  I used a kitchen torch for the Brûlée.  You can also place the ramekins under the boiler for a couple of minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

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Wait for a couple of minutes until the sugar is cooled. 

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This is my favorite part….cracking the Brûlée on top with a spoon. Yup, you can totally hear the cracks.

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Here’s one perfect bite.  Now, you can head to the kitchen and make a batch instead of just drooling over here. 

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Classic Crème Brulee: (Printable Recipe)Makes: 7 (4oz) ramekins 

3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (plus more for torching on top)
6 extra-large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
1 tablespoon chocolate liqueur (optional)
(boiling water for water bath)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and sugar on medium low heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Stir to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved and remove from heat. In a large heat proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks, lowly add half of the hot cream mixture into the yolks while whisking constantly.

Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the cream mixture and cook on low heat until the mixture is thickened, or reach 170 degree F. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla paste and chocolate liqueur (if using).

Place a sieve over a heat proof measuring cup with a beaker; then pour the custard mixture into the measuring cup. Evenly divide the mixture into 7 4-ounce ramekins until almost full.

Place the ramekins in a roasting pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the custards are almost set and still giggly in the middle when gently shaken. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature on a wire rack, and refrigerate until firm.

To serve, sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin. Turn ramekin around and gently tab the sides to evenly distribute the sugar on the surface. Heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar caramelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.  Enjoy.

**Please follow the safely guidelines from the blowtorch manufacturer. I never use one when the children are presents and please store away from where the children can reach.






110 comments:

  1. Such a yummy dessert!!! I wish I can head to my kitchen and make it now but unfortunately, i am lack of ingredients. Will try it next time!!! Your photos are so well taken, Love them :)

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    1. Thank you, Esther. Glad you like my pictures. This is a very decadent dessert. Try it when you have the ingredients. I know you're going to love it. :)

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  2. It's tHe burnt sugar that makes it incredible!

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    1. I know. I simple adore that crunch on top. ;)

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  3. Amy, your creme brulee is perfect. I can hear the gentle sound of the crackle from here :)

    Your display of strawberries highlights this beautiful dessert magically. Looks heavenly delicious!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment. :) You sure made my day. Glad you like my little strawberry decoration on top.

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  4. Amy , those crème brulee are beautifully-made ! Just love the contrast between the velvety soft custard and the burnt sugar :D It's one on my to-make list ( my list keeps getting longer ! )

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    1. Thank you, Anne. I know, I have a pretty long to-make list too. :) I hope you'll give this a try soon. My hubby said it's even better than those at the restaurant and he usually is pretty picky on his food. :P

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  5. looks wonderful one of my favorite desserts and love the plate with two spoons to share :-)

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    1. Thank you, Rebecca. Oh yeah, this is such a decadent dessert and always nice to share. :)

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  6. ooh.. you made these look so luscious! reminds me it's been ages since i had one ^^

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    1. Thank you. Hope you'll make one soon. It's so good!

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  7. Cracking the top with the spoon, totally agree that's the best part :)

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    1. Yay..glad to know you love that too. ;) Have a wonderful rest of the week.

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  8. Tried to leave a comment earlier, but it did not go through. Sorry if this is a duplicate. But I wanted to tell you how beautiful your creme brulee turned out, Amy. It's one of my favorite desserts. I love tapping into that crunchy, sugary shell to get to the sweet creamy custard. Your styling and your photos are just lovely!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Anne. Really appreciate it. Oh yes, can't beat that little crunchy sugary shell on top of a brulee. ;) Hope you're enjoying your week so far.

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  9. Hi Amy,
    What a beautiful Creme Brulee, it looks delicious. Hope you are having a great Valentine Weekend and thanks for sharing.
    Miz Helen

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Miz Helen. I had a beautiful week and hope you did too. Take care and I'll see you around soon.

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  10. Oh your creme brulees look so delicious, I can just about taste them now!!! I make meringue and macarons quite a bit too but I have a cookie recipe that is really quick and I usually use my egg yolks in this.

    After seeing your brulees I am may have to switch ;)

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    1. :) Thank you. Glad you like my brulee. I'm always looking for new ways to use up my egg yolks. Please share your cookies recipe if you don't mind. Thanks!

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  11. Such gorgeous creme brulee! Creme brulee is my #1 fave dessert and now these photo's are totally making me want one! Yours look as good as the one's I order at restaurants, nice job :)

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    1. Thank you, Natalie. Glad you love Creme Brulee too. My hubby went on a business trip and ordered one and he said mine do taste better than the restaurant's (smart guy, huh?) And he's pretty picky with his desserts, so, I'm glad he likes mine better. :P

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  12. I love these but they are so sinful!
    My son made them once and they were so delicious I finished 2! Felt real guilty after that:P

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    1. I know...these are so decadent and so hard to resist. That's why I try to make them in smaller portion so we don't indulge too much. :P And, it's always nice to share.

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  13. These look so good!! I love cracking the tops of creme brulees!

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    1. Thank you. Me too, the cracking of the sugar top is the best part. ;)

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    1. Haha...almost. But nothing is too lovely or too pretty to eat in my house. :P We simply love to eat. hehehe...

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  15. Hi Amy, wishing you & your family a very Happy Chinese New Year. May the year of snake brings good health & good wealth to you. Enjoy & have a fabulous time. Btw, your brulee looks just perfect for a treat.
    Best wishes, Kristy

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    1. Thank you so much for your well wishes. May you and your family getting these wish 10 folds in return. :) Hope you're enjoying the holiday. I can tell you're because of all the festive and yummy food on your blog. :)

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  16. This is really beautiful, Amy. I am not sure one serving would be eneough for me.

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    1. Thank you, Angie. :) I try really hard to refrain myself for having more than one serving each sitting. hehe...they are really good and decadent.

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  17. Who doesn't love creme brulee! And it gives you a great excuse to go buy one of those cute little torches! Good post.

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    1. I know...don't think I've ever met anyone not liking it yet. :P Yup, the little torch is my "toy" in the kitchen. Happy Friday and have a good weekend.

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  18. Hello Amy, Thank you for dropping by. My sister-in-law loves to eat Crème brûlée but I don't think I dare to try to make it for her because I am not good at cooking. :(

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    1. It's okay. This is such an easy dessert and it's hard to mess it up as long as you follow the steps. :) Give it a try. I know you and your Sister-In-Law will love this.

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  19. A classic dessert one can never tire of. One of my fave memories is making these for a Christmas dinner and having my nieces take turns blow-torching them. They had the best time. ;)

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    1. Oh yeah, the party just gets more fun when the guests participate and put together their own food....especially one that involves a blow torch! ;)

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  20. I love custard based desserts! I made creme caramel a couple of times and loved it so much. I guess it's quite similar to this, except I'd need a blowtorch. I'm afraid of using the broiler on cold ramekins. Won't they explode that way cos of temperature difference?

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    1. Creme Brulee and Creme Caramel are very similar, except creme brulee doesn't have the caramel sauce with it. I tried using the broiler before. The cold and hot contrast didn't crack my ramekins. The ramekins are thick enough to stand up the the heat changes, I guess. However, I dislike the broiler method because it warmed up my custard too much before the sugar on top caramelized. So, I only use a torch these days.

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  21. Two years ago I bought a torch so I can make creme brulee...I have yet to try making it. It is definitely one of my favorite desserts....yours is gorgeous!

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    1. oh...you might want to make these soon. They are simply so good, My family request them from time to time. :)

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  22. You've got me sold with your Classic Crème Brulee, Amy! I need to buy a blowtorch too. Guess what? I bought these cute ramekins in Japan 2 yrs ago for just US$1!! Isn't that a steal?

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    1. Wow, you've got some good deals there. ;) Oh, this is such a decadent dessert and I'm sure you'll love it. I think my blow torch was a great "investment". It's not that expensive and I can also make bake alaska besides creme brulee. :P

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  23. That is just the sweetest thing that you little girl knew to ask for this dessert! Melts a foodie mom's heart! :)

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    1. Thank you. I know...that's why she (almost)always gets what she asks for. :)

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  24. Oh, they look so gorgeous! Its my favorite desert to order in a restaurant.Your baby girl must be very happy to eat soft desert with crunchy topping. Have a good week ahead!

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    1. Thank you so much. Yes, my baby girl was a happy camper that her Mama got her request right. LOL. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  25. Lovely crème brûlée, Amy! This is something I haven't tried making at home...you just inspired me to!

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    1. Oh, you've gotta give this a try. You're going to love this recipe better than those in the restaurants'. ;) Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thank you. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend. :)

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  27. Every time we enjoy creme brulee out at a fancy restaurant, I always tell myself I am going to make it at home. But it never happens! Now I have no excuse. Yours is perfection :)

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    1. Thank you, Sally. Glad you like my Creme Brulee. Yes, these are so good. I'm glad that I can make them at home anytime without visiting the restaurants. Hope you'll give this a try soon. :) Have a beautiful weekend.

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  28. My all-time very favorite dessert. It looks delicious & pretty!

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    1. Thank you. Oh yeah, they are definitely my favorite too. Have a good weekend, Pam. :)

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  29. Creme brulee is so delicious! Yumm.... I like using raw sugar for the top. I found them a lot easier to caramelize and crisp.

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    1. Oh, thanks for the tips. I'm going to try it with raw sugar next time. I usually use my homemade vanilla sugar. Guess I'll need to make a jar of vanilla sugar with the raw. ;)

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  30. yummy for the tummy! I really want to make that someday!

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    1. Hope that someday will be soon. This is simply decadent and delicious. :)

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  31. What a perfect way to use up egg yolks! You just can't beat classic creamy creme brulee. Some people think creme brulee is a played out "trendy" dessert, and that's bull because it will always be delicious!

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    1. LOL...I guess I don't really follow or pay attention to the "trend", but just my taste buds. :P

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    1. Hehe...guess it's the French people that were innovative. I just adjust and experiment with the recipe to make it suit my taste. :)

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  33. I came by to get a quick peek at your blog and I was utterly hooked by the photography. Your photographs are so clear and crisp, with soothing color schemes and artistic set ups. Your photography is inspiring(and makes me what to work harder to improve mine!)

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    1. Thank you for you sweet comment, Lidi. I still have a long way to go and I'm still learning something new on photography everyday. But I'm definitely passionate on the food styling and it's always fun to take pictures of my food. :) Thank you so much for stopping by. Hope you're enjoying your weekend so far. Take care.

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  34. Amy, these are some of the best cream brulee I have seen! The brulee has the perfect crisp. I bought a torch a while ago for this dessert but only made it a few times. Now it's time for me to put your recipe and my torch to use in my kitchen. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hope you'll give this recipe a try, it's really good and those who've tried said it's better than the restaurants'. :) Let me know how it goes.

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  35. I really need to make my own creme brulee. This looks wonderful!

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. Give this a try, I'm sure you'll LOVE it. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  36. I too don't enjoy an overly sweet one and this looks PERFECT!

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    1. Thanks. Yes, I don't like overly sweet desserts. So, I won't feel so guilty when I have 2 of them. :P

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  37. That looks delicious Amy! I adore creme brulee!

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    1. Thanks, Anne. Oh yeah, this is my family's all time favorite. :) Wish you a wonderful weekend.

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  38. Looks fantastic! My husband bought creme brulee set with a torch maybe over a year ago, yet we haven't even tried making it. And it's his favorite dessert too. Now I'm inspired. I totally need to make this!

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    1. Oh, make this soon for him. And I know your whole family would love this dessert. The torch is good for Baked Alaska too...I need to make that again soon. The torch is totally fun to use. ;) Hope you're enjoying your weekend.

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  39. Yes, creme brulee is the best, and the plain is so good...it doesn't really need more flavor since its so rich.
    I love the way you decorated yours, with the little mint leaves next to the strawberry - very elegant.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment. I totally agree, the plain one is the best because of the richness. :) Hope you're having a great weekend so far.

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  40. I love the idea of being able to use up some extra egg yolks--I always want to try egg-white based recipes but can never seem to justify it when I'm wasting a whole other half of the egg. Thanks, Amy!

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    1. Hehe...nothing goes to waste in my house. I have so many wonderful recipes only requires the egg whites so, I need to create more egg yolk based desserts to balance it out! LOL...what a nice excuse to make more deserts?! :P

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  41. Your crème brûlées look terrific! It's one of my three favourite desserts and sometimes I wonder if it's not my favourite. So light, subtle, with this incredible difference of textures and temperatures... I also usually prefer the vanilla traditional version, although from time to time I make a different one only to regret I haven't made the traditional crème ;-)

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    1. I know, I made a dark chocolate and citrus ones from time to time...but just need to go back to this basic one every now and then. :) Traditional/simplicity sometimes is the best way to go. ;) Hope you're having a fantastic weekend.

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  42. I think that I would win major brownie (brulee?) points with my fiance and future mother in law if I made this!

    -Amy

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    1. Oh yes, I can guarantee you on that. My In-Laws love it. Give it a try and I'm sure they'll be very impressed. ;)

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  43. I have never tried Creme Brulee before!! I knoowww what's wrong with me. I NEED one of those mini torches!

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    1. The torch is the best "toy" for me in the kitchen. I can totally whip up some recipe just use it. :P

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  44. Hi! I’m new follower of your blog and would like to invite you to join me at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/02/clever-chicks-blog-hop-22.html



    I hope you can make it!



    Cheers,

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

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    1. Thank you for following, Kathy. I truly enjoy reading your blog post. Thanks for sharing.

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  45. Très jolie recette,
    ravie d'avoir découvert ce joli blog,
    les photos sont superbes.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment. Glad you like my recipe and the photos. :)

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  46. Beautiful photos! That is so cute how your daughter wants creme brulee! I love watching kids become foodies at such a young age. :)

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    1. :) Thank you, Eva. I know, it's just so adorable when my kids describe food and requesting me to prepare something for them. Hope you're enjoying your weekend so far. Take care.

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  47. your lil girl is so sweet, how old is she now? I love creme brulee, but hardly make it as the torch is still intimidating! Yours turned out gorgeous, Amy.

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    1. Thank you, Jehanne. My baby girl is 3 1/2 now. :) OH, the torch is nothing intimidating. After you've tried it once, you'll think it's fun. ;) Hope you're having a great weekend so far. Take care.

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  48. Hi Amy, your creme brulee look awesome. Beautiful presentation and pictures. I wish to try some now. :)

    Have a wonderful week ahead,regards.

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    1. Thank you, Amelia. Wish I can send a few cups over your way. They are so good. :) Hope you had a great weekend.

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  49. As someone who feels relatively comfortable in the kitchen, loves to bake, and loves all kind of sweets, you'd think I would have made a crème brulee by now... but no. Adding a kitchen blow torch to my current wishlist and hoping to get my hands on one soon because this looks absolutely delightful and like something I need to make immediately. :)

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    1. Oh.....hope you'll get your wish come true soon so you can make this decadent dessert. :) It's truly amazing. Hope you're enjoying your weekend so far. Take care, Erin.

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  50. Your recipe sounds perfect...I don't like an overly sweet top on creme brûlée either.

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    1. Thank you, Karen. Then this creme brulee is perfect for you, or for us. :) Wish I can share some with you.

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  51. One of my favorite desserts - yours looks fabulous, love your photos!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you like my photos. :) Wish you a wonderful weekend.

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  52. Oh my goodness your brulee looks soooo so so good! What a great recipe and pics are so tempting!!!

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    1. Thank you, Sandra. Glad you like my recipe and pics. Wish I can share some of these with you. They are simply divine.

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  53. This is my all time favorite dessert!! You make it look so easy! I have always been scared to make it!

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    1. Don't be scare. It's really easy to make. Hope you'll give it a try soon. :) Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.

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  54. thank u for coming by and leaving ur comments... :) the creme brulee looks really amazing... i'm definitely going in for a blow torch soon... :)

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  55. I am so happy I have found out your blog!!!! Amazing Recipe: this is a must try!

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