Creme Brulee Cupcakes
These Creme Brûlée Cupcakes are prepared with a soft filling of vanilla cupcake and pastry cream, then covered with a caramel icing + a caramelized sugar top!
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Whipped cream (optional)
- 12 fresh raspberries (optional)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
For the pastry cream:
First, in a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream, milk, 6 Tbsp. Sugar, salt, and the seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean with the vanilla bean over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a light bubble, stirring occasionally (remove from heat if necessary to avoid a vigorous boil while preparing the rest).
Then, meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tbsp. Tablespoons of sugar until blended. Add the cornstarch to the egg yolk mixture and mix until well combined and slightly pale and fluffy.
Take about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture from the pan and, while whisking vigorously, slowly pour the hot cream mixture (about 1 tbsp at a time) into the egg yolk mixture.
Reduce the burner temperature to medium-low. Then, while whisking the hot cream mixture in a saucepan, slowly pour the egg yolk mixture into the hot cream mixture in the saucepan. Cook mixture, whisking constantly until thickened (boil for about 30 seconds to cook the starchy flavor).
Immediately strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly against the surface of the cream. Cool completely, about 2 hours.
For the cupcakes:
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt for a few seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy.
Then, stir in the egg then stir in the egg whites and vanilla. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until combined, then add milk and mix until combined and finish adding half of the remaining flour mixture and mix just enough to combine.
Divide batter among 12 foil-lined muffin cups, each cup about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven 21 to 24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake, comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To assemble cupcakes:
Spread or spread chilled custard over cooled cupcakes in an even layer. Working with one small cake at a time, sprinkle all of the pastry creams with sugar then heat with a cooking torch until the sugar begins to melt and caramelize.
Let the filling cool then garnish with whipped cream and raspberry if desired. Serve immediately (note: the pastry cream can be made the day before and the cupcakes can be made hours in advance but top with sugar and caramelize the sugar just before serving). Happy Cooking Time.