For step by step photos, see my blog
1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 cup + 6 tbsp vanilla sugar
6 large egg yolks
1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Place cream, vanilla bean pod, and vanilla bean pulp into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Don't worry, that smell isn't the second coming of Christ, it's just the amazing creme brulee you'll be eating in about 3 hours.
3. When the cream starts to boil and foam up, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 15 minutes.
4. While the milk is cooling, separate eggs. Save the egg whites from something else like pavlova (hint, hint!).
5. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1/2 cup vanilla sugar. Wait at least 10 minutes after the cream boils to combine the yolks and sugar. If they sit too long after mixed, you will end up with really lumpy creme brulees.
6. Add a little of the warm cream to the eggs to temper the mixture. Whisk, and then keep adding the rest of the milk slowly.
7. Place ramekins in a large roasting pan. Ladle mixture into ramekins, leaving a 1/2 inch lip at the top. Place roasting pan in the oven. Using a large cup, very slowly pour enough hot water in roasting pan to come halfway up the ramekins.
8. Bake 40-45 minutes. Brulees should be set, but still jiggly in the center and not yet brown on top. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
9. Right before serving, evenly spoon 1 tbsp of remaining sugar on each brulee. Use a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar. At first the sugar will bead up, but keep hitting it with the flame and it will spread into a lovely layer.