I’m a bit out of practice from baking I think. Over this long hiatus, one of my more brilliant ideas was to make a creme brulee flambee, where the originally torched sugar would be instead burnt and turned into a caramely mess by combusting alcohol. And even though my brain was on chemistry for 50% of the time away from this lovely place, I forgot that when one burns alcohol like wood, only the alcohol goes away. Not the water. And since vodka is 60% water, I ended up with watery, slightly alcoholic (apparently not all the alcohol leaves either) creme brulee.
The obvious answer would be to use laboratory grade 99.9% ethanol, and burn all of it off right? Well another useful yet slightly annoying thing I found out is that the 0.1% contains random impurities, most notably of which is methanol that is always present to keep people from mixing their own vodka at home.
So um you didn’t really need to know all that. I guess now you know not to drink ethanol from a lab?
In any case, my weak attempt for finding an alternative way to make creme brulee failed so I quickly whipped up another and bruleed it under the broiler.
I really wanted creme brulee.
And this was really really good. Although putting something in a 325* oven for 30-40 minutes usually isn’t my thing, this is a great way to not have leftovers. Even better, you can double, triple, quadruple, etc. to your minds content. Just make sure you pour them into different ramekins!
(My mom wanted me to include a disclaimer: vodka flambeed creme brulee tastes like vomit. I didn’t actually taste it so you probably should take her word for it 😉 )
Preheat the oven to 325 F and boil some water.
Heat the milk until almost boiling.
Whisk the sugar, vanilla, and egg yolk together. Then, slowly and gradually pour in the milk, making sure not to scramble the eggs.
Pour into a dish and place that dish inside another baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the baking pan to come up half way to the dish.
Carefully place in the oven and bake until almost fully set, about 30-40 minutes (the middle will be slightly jiggly.
After baking, let it cool for at least 1 hr.
To brulee the top, sprinkle on enough sugar to cover and turn your oven broiler to high. Place the pan under the broiler. Keep the oven door open to let out the excess heat (you don't want the creme brulee to get hot even though it probably will). After 3-5 minutes, the sugar should be melted and caramelized.
Take out the ramekin and enjoy the sound of shattering sugar!