When it comes to dessert, you probably don't think about using your slow cooker. But what if you and your sweetie want a delicious crème brûlée and don't want to heat up the kitchen? Surprise! You can have both if you use your slow cooker to bake the custard in a water bath.
Beyond being simple, this yummy custard dish only requires four ingredients ... and you probably already have most, if not all, of them. One key to making this recipe truly special is to use a fresh vanilla bean. While they do tend to be more expensive than vanilla extract, the flavor payoff is well worth the investment.
There are two separate ways to make this recipe. Food.com demonstrates how to make a large version of the dessert, whereas the food blog Dessert for Two cleverly demonstrates how to make individual serving-sized portions using tin foil.
This recipe is super simple and should be made early in the day, so the crème brûlée has time to chill for several hours.
The measurements depend on which version of this recipe you try, but the main ingredients remain the same: You'll need egg yolks, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla.
Both methods of making the crème brûlée begin the same: in a small bowl, combine the yolks, cream, and sugar together. Tip: If using vanilla extract, add that in this step as well.
If you're making one large crème brûlée, simply place the mixture in a heat-safe dish and fill the slow cooker so that half of the dish is covered in water. Cook on high for 2 hours.
To make smaller versions, Dessert for Two recommends placing small ramekins on rings of aluminum foil, to prevent them from making contact directly with the slow cooker's heating element. Tip: Simply roll a long strip of aluminum foil into a rope and create a circle the same size as the ramekin.
You'll still want to use water and make sure the water level reaches about halfway up the custard container. Tip: Using a measuring cup to pour the water, this will ensure that it doesn't splash onto the custard. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Regardless of which method you used, remove when the center of each custard is set. Cover and refrigerate for 6-7 hours. Avoid placing the custards near any strongly scented food. Custard, like cheesecake, can quickly take on the flavor of anything that is stored near it.
Just before serving, dust the top with the remaining sugar and caramelize the sugar with a kitchen torch. Tip: Sugar can blacken quickly, so keep the flame moving back and forth to avoid burning the sugar.