Introduction: Popcorn Creme Brulee

Picture of Popcorn Creme Brulee

Sweet, salty, creamy, buttery, smooth, crunchy.. need I go on?

Infusing cream with the taste of freshly popped, salty, buttered popcorn makes a particularly delicious creme brulee. Your spoon cracks through the layer of crunchy caramel into a silky custard below. The combination of caramel and butter popcorn makes this taste like candy corn. Only way sexier.

This is a straight forward, basic creme brulee recipe but with the addition of steeping popcorn in the hot cream before hand. I have been very specific in the instructions, so for those of you who have never made a creme brulee before, they should come out perfect.

Popcorn Creme Brulee
Yield: 2 large or 4 small ramekins
Time: 6 hours
Cost: <$10

Hardware:

- 2 medium, heavy bottomed pots
- 4 cup measuring cup, with spout
- tinfoil
- fine mesh strainer
- whisk
- 2 large ramekins, or 4 small ramekins
- dish large and deep enough for ramekins
- kettle
- tinfoil
- butane torch

Software:

1/4 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup canola or peanut oil
2 tbsp butter

OR 2 1/2 cups of freshly popped microwave popcorn

1 cup heavy cream (+ an extra 1 cup  handy in case of absorbent kernels!)
1 cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp salt (may need more or less)

1/2 cup sugar for the brulee bit

Instructions:

Heat milk + cream in a pot, just until its hot to the touch, not boiling.

Meanwhile..

Make sure to have another pot with a lid that has a steam vent. If you don't have that, you can just tightly wrap tinfoil on top and poke a couple of small holes in it with a knife-- make sure they are not large enough for a burning hot kernel to bust through and rocket into your eye!

Pour 4 tsp of oil into the pot, dump in popcorn kernels and swirl to coat with oil. Cover with lid or tinfoil. Place over medium-high heat and watch carefully. When your kernels start popping, shake your pot so that popcorn rises to the top and the unpopped kernels shake back into the hot oil at the bottom. Continue popping until most of your kernels have popped.

Be VERY careful not to burn any kernels. Any hit of burnt popcorn and that's all you will taste in your creme brulee! Its better to leave some kernels unpopped then try to pop it all and burn some.

When your popcorn is done, take it off the heat. Remove the lid, make a little space in your popcorn and throw your butter into the bare bottom of the pot, so that it melts quickly in the residual heat. Put the lid back on once its melted, and shake.

Pour buttery popcorn into cream & milk. Stir, and let sit at least 1 hour to steep all the flavour out. For maximum popcorn flavour, leave in the fridge over night.

When your mixture has finished steeping, pour through a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup with a spout. Make sure to press the popcorn in the strainer to squeeze out all the cream. Some may have been absorbed by the popcorn, just add as much more fresh cream as you need to measure 2 cups.

Have your egg yolks in a large round bowl and whisk at the ready.

Pour into a medium pot with the sugar + salt, and bring to a simmer. Do not boil, you just want the cream to be hot! Taste the mixture, and and more salt if needed. I find the more salt I add, the more it brings out that movie theatre flavour.

Rinse out your measuring cup.

Preheat your oven to 300F.

Switch on your kettle, with 4 cups of water inside.

Carefully pour the hot cream into the yolks, in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. You want to keep your yolks moving so the hot cream doesn't cook them. Once all the cream is added, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the measuring cup. Pouring it through the strainer will sift out any bits of egg that may have cooked despite your best efforts, and give you a nice smooth custard.

Place ramekins into the dish. Make sure it has sides that are tall enough to leave a bit of space between the top of the ramekin and the tinfoil you'll be covering it with. Divide the mix evenly into each ramekin. If there's a lot of bubbles on the surface you can get rid of them by quickly passing your torch over the top to break them. That will make the top smooth as glass when they come out of the oven.

Pour in enough hot water to reach the middle of each ramekin. This will help them bake evenly. Cover the baking dish with tinfoil, and very carefully move it to the middle of your preheated oven.

Bake at 300F for 30-45 minutes. If your ramekins are larger, they will take longer. Your creme brulee's are done when you shake the ramekin and there is a slight jiggle, a shimmy, if you will. See video on step #4.

Refridgerate for atleast 2 hours before you brulee the tops.

To Brulee:

Sprinkle a tbsp of sugar over the top of the creme brulee, turning it to distribute the sugar in a nice even layer. With your kitchen torch lit in one hand, and your brulee on a slight angle in the other, begin to melt and burn the sugar, while turning your ramekin. You want the sugar to get quite dark, but BLACK is never good. Let cool 5-10 minutes before cracking the top and eating all the soft goodness underneath!


Step 1: Pop Corn and Warm Cream

Picture of Pop Corn and Warm Cream

Heat milk + cream in a pot, just until its hot to the touch, not boiling.

Meanwhile..

Make sure to have another pot with a lid that has a steam vent. If you don't have that, you can just tightly wrap tinfoil on top and poke a couple of small holes in it with a knife-- make sure they are not large enough for a burning hot kernel to bust through and rocket into your eye!

Pour 4 tsp of oil into the pot, dump in popcorn kernels and swirl to coat with oil. Cover with lid or tinfoil. Place over medium-high heat and watch carefully. When your kernels start popping, shake your pot so that popcorn rises to the top and the unpopped kernels shake back into the hot oil at the bottom. Continue popping until most of your kernels have popped.

Be VERY careful not to burn any kernels. Any hit of burnt popcorn and that's all you will taste in your creme brulee! Its better to leave some kernels unpopped then try to pop it all and burn some.

When your popcorn is done, take it off the heat. Remove the lid, make a little space in your popcorn and throw your butter into the bare bottom of the pot, so that it melts quickly in the residual heat. Put the lid back on once its melted, and shake.

Pour buttery popcorn into cream & milk. Stir, and let sit at least 1 hour to steep all the flavour out. For maximum popcorn flavour, leave in the fridge over night.

** You can use this method to flavour your cream with any number of things before hand, and then strain them out just like the popcorn. Like whole stems of lavender, or your favourite loose leaf tea, peach pits, the sky is the limit...**

Step 2: Strain Out the Popcorn

Picture of Strain Out the Popcorn

When your mixture has finished steeping, pour through a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup with a spout.

Make sure to press the popcorn in the strainer to squeeze out all the cream. Some may have been absorbed by the popcorn, just add as much more fresh cream as you need to measure 2 cups.

Have your egg yolks in a large round bowl and whisk at the ready.

Pour into a medium pot with the sugar + salt, and bring to a simmer. Do not boil, you just want the cream to be hot! Taste the mixture, and and more salt if needed. I find the more salt I add, the more it brings out that movie theatre flavour.

Step 3: Temper, Temper Now

Picture of Temper, Temper Now

Rinse out your measuring cup.

Preheat your oven to 300F.

Switch on your kettle and bring 4 cups of water to a boil.

Carefully pour the hot cream into the yolks, in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly.

You want to keep your yolks moving so the hot cream doesn't cook them.

Once all the cream is added, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the measuring cup. Pouring it through the strainer will sift out any bits of egg that may have cooked despite your best efforts, and give you a nice smooth custard.

Step 4: Ramekinize

Picture of Ramekinize
Place ramekins into the dish. Make sure it has sides that are tall enough to leave a bit of space between the top of the ramekin and the tinfoil you'll be covering it with. Divide the mix evenly into each ramekin. If there's a lot of bubbles on the surface you can get rid of them by quickly passing your torch over the top to break them. That will make the top smooth as glass when they come out of the oven.

Pour in enough hot water to reach the middle of each ramekin. This will help them bake evenly. Cover the baking dish with tinfoil, and very carefully move it to the middle of your preheated oven.

Bake at 300F for 30-45 minutes.

If your ramekins are larger, they will take longer. Your creme brulee's are done when you shake the ramekin and there is a slight jiggle, a shimmy, if you will.

Like this:



Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before you brulee the tops.

Step 5: Burn It With Fire!

Picture of Burn It With Fire!

Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of sugar over the top of the creme brulee, turning it to distribute the sugar in a nice even layer.

With your kitchen torch lit in one hand, and your brulee on a slight angle in the other, begin to melt and burn the sugar, while turning your ramekin.

You want the sugar to get quite dark, but black is never good.

Let them cool for 5-10 minutes before cracking the top and eating all the soft goodness underneath!

Comments

audreyobscura (author)2012-10-16

your video is so silly. i love it.

Babyshoes (author)2012-09-08

Nicely done instructable, but you seem to have some repeated text - unless my browser is playing tricks on me!

I have to say I don't really fancy the combination of flavours, but the photos are almost tempting me to try it... :)

scoochmaroo (author)2012-09-07

Awesome! Thank you. Also two of my favorites!

rrkrose (author)2012-09-07

My favorite dessert mixed with my favorite snack! You are a genius.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-09-07

I have never made creme brulee before, but if I were to make it, this sounds like the one to make :D

garnishrecipes (author)2012-09-07

This sounds delicious (and seriously dangerous to have in my house ;) ). Gorgeous photos, too.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Professional maker and eater of food. Donuts.. Cheese.. Chocolate.. Beer.. these are a few of my favourite things! @karakabangpow
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