27 Jan2013


A simple twist to a favorite dessert. Crème Brûlée was on a couple of planned pre-Christmas menus in our home, but our 10+ year old mini-torch decided to expire just as the holidays began… and not with a whimper… but a massive blow-out that scared the @!?$? out of the cook who was standing nearby! So axe brulee until Santa arrived on Christmas day and apparently s/he knows everything and managed to get a late order for a spanking new kitchen torch filled, wrapped and dropped off at the Marketman household. :)


For years, I have been meaning to get these shallow crème brûlée ramekins, convinced that the higher crisp sugar topping to custard ratio would be a truly good thing. The custard is just an excuse to enjoy the caramelized sugar, no? :) Anyways, on our last trip to the U.S. Northeast, I purchased 8 flat ramekins and I also decided to try bake something new, in this case, Mr. Lebovitz’s flavor enhanced crème brûlée… and it was a hit!


Here is the recipe of Mr. Lebovitz. Blanche 3 oz of sliced fresh ginger in simmering water for minutes and drain. Add the ginger back to the pan with 3 cups of heavy cream, 1.2 cups of granulated white sugar, and finely grated zest of two lemons. Heat until cream is very warm, but definitely not boiling, then then the heat off. Cover and let this steep for about an hour, so the flavors of lemon and ginger infuse the cream.

Preheat oven to 350F. Place your ramekins (roughly 4-6, depending on size) in a pan or baking dish. Remove the ginger pieces from the cream, then add a pinch of salt and reheat until it is quite warm, but not very hot. Turn off the heat. In a mixing bowl whisk 6 large egg yolks (use whites for another purpose) and slowly add the warmed cream, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a a large measuring cup or small pitcher. Pour the mixture into the ramekins. Add warm water to the roasting pan, so that it comes up to half the level of the ramekins. Cover pan tightly with alumnium foil and bake until the custard is just set and still a little wobbly in the center, roughly 30 minutes.


Transfer custards to a wire rack and let these cool after which place them in a refrigerator to chill for at least 6-8 hours, or better overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle the custards with superfine sugar and use your torch to caramelize the sugar, then serve immediately. The custard was clearly infursed with the ginger and lemon flavor, and was truly delicious. We have made many a crème brûlée in this household, and these were some of the best we have had. Thank you Mr. Lebovitz.

P.S. I write these posts directly on wordpress, and let me tell you, finding the right accents for crème brûlée was a royal pain in the @!&^%$. So if you are wondering why my posts often don’t include the right accents, it’s not only because I am lazy, but I often can’t actually find the right symbols to use! :)



  1. isla says:

    “The custard is just an excuse to enjoy the caramelized sugar, no?” True!

    Jan 27, 2013 | 11:08 pm


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  3. Rebecca says:

    I want to try a key lime creme brûlée!

    Jan 27, 2013 | 11:24 pm

  4. lookie says:

    Try using turbinado sugar instead of regular sugar….

    Jan 28, 2013 | 12:52 am

  5. Mari of NY says:

    Love this…was thinking of doing a creme brulee sometime soon. Thanks for the heads up with David Lebovitz’ recipe

    Jan 28, 2013 | 4:54 am

  6. Josephine says:

    MM, I don’t have a blog so not familiar with wordpress, but all my devices allow me to have multiple language keyboards – virtual if necessary – I’m typing on one now. Makes all those accents easy to add in! On this, an Ipad, I just slide my finger, et voilà! Go to your settings and see if you can do the same. Blogs are often multilingual these days, don’t see why not…?

    Jan 28, 2013 | 7:17 am

  7. Khew says:

    Coconut cream + honey is also a fantastic combo but if you’re using fresh coconut, then you will end up with a greenish result. Hazelnut is another great flavour.
    I don’t bother with the bain marie – takes up too much space and fuel not to mention noticing many ovens konk out afterwards( I think the steam affects the circuitry especially if the oven isn’t left on to dry off ). Instead, I cover each ramekin with foil and steam them gently. Cuts down on the cooking time too( halve the cooking time, check for the wobbly stage, turn heat off and leave them in the residual steam for a little longer. ).

    Jan 28, 2013 | 8:37 am

  8. ami says:

    I use the Character Map from Windows when I need to use letters with accents or for surnames that requre ñ. Just copy the letter from the Character Map and paste to where you need it. I’m using Windows 7 and it’s under Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Character Map. Hope that helps.

    Jan 28, 2013 | 8:56 am

  9. Footloose says:

    I think it is safe to say that fans of this blog would understand what you mean even if brule is not accented as longs as it follows creme which also does not really have to be accented. It is certain words that change their meaning when accents are dropped that we have to be wary of. The Parisian market Marché des enfants rouges becomes just a parade of blushing kids without the accent. But there again, smart readers could fill in what you meant since the post was about market. It would be the tiny minority who knows un petit peu that are likely to miss the deficiency.

    Jan 28, 2013 | 9:41 am

  10. Footloose says:

    Has anyone noticed yet DL’s weakness for the piquancy and punch of ginger?

    Oh and this kitchen torch is a lot easier to wield and safer to use too than Julia Child’s original welding torch (which inspired it) or indeed less burdened with bad association than what is normally used for crema Catalana, a branding iron which is one of the most diabolical tools that humanity has ever devised to use on man and beast.

    Jan 28, 2013 | 8:38 pm

  11. Fards says:

    @ ami, thank you. now I can use a ? or any other letter. yey! that did not come out right. it was suppose to be a peso sign and it became a question mark. what did I do wrong?

    Jan 29, 2013 | 3:57 pm

  12. Betchay says:

    The 2nd photo made me salivate!

    Jan 29, 2013 | 5:43 pm

  13. kayenne says:

    I don’t very much bother with “official” kitchen torches… I use one that I bought in a regular hardware store. 75% cheaper than those sold in kitchen boutiques and works just as well, so far.

    Marketman, I’d like to invite you to visit our event, Bakery Fair 2013 at the World Trade Center on February 21-23, 2013. I can send you complimentary passes, if you’d be interested. We’ve also a couple of fun baking competitions that you can join, if that’s something you think you have time for. =) Hope to see you then!

    Feb 1, 2013 | 12:27 am


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