Who needs a ramekin? You can serve delicious creme brulee right in a cupcake! I have to give my husband credit for the idea—he’s a genius. Because I have no experience making creme brulee from scratch, I used a boxed mix (Dr. Oetker brand, specifically) and the results were so delicious. You could also use a recipe from scratch, so long as it’s the kind that you make on the stovetop that doesn’t require any extra baking in a water bath (you’ll need about 3 1/2 cups of creme brulee mixture).
Makes about 18 cupcakes.
For the cupcakes you’ll need:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
2 3/4 c. flour
1 1/3 c. whole milk
For the creme brulee you’ll need:
2 3.7 ounce boxes of Dr. Oetker’s Creme Brulee mix
2 c. cold whole milk
2 c. cold whipping cream
First, bake the cupcakes.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Cream together the butter and sugar until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and a salt. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides, to ensure everything is getting mixed up really well. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and the milk, alternating between the two ingredients about a half cup at a time. Beat just until the mixture is smooth.
Pour your cupcake batter into your paper-lined cupcake tins so they’re 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 22-25 minutes until the cake is set and starting to turn golden brown. It will spring back up when you gently press your finger into the top of it. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the cupcake tin for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Allow the cupcakes to cool for at least 30 minutes, then use a small round cookie cutter, melon baller, or spoon to scoop out the center of each cupcake, leaving about an inch border all the way around (take care not to tear all the way through the cupcake to the wrapper). Set the cupcakes aside. (Save the crumbs for cake pops or eat them or feed them to birds or throw them in the air as really sweet confetti.)
Next, make the creme brulee, according to box directions (or, if making from scratch, the recipe’s directions). When the creme brulee is finished cooking on the stovetop, carefully and quickly (the creme brulee starts to thicken up fast), pour the mixture into the cupcakes, until they’re full (but not overflowing). Allow the cupcakes to sit at room temperature for about an hour. Then refrigerate for at least one hour, until ready to serve.
Just before serving, sprinkle a generous pinch of caramelizing sugar over the cupcakes and stick the under your oven’s broiler for about 3 minutes, or until the sugar has melted. You could also use a culinary torch.
I recently made these using chocolate cupcakes. Also delicious!