Maple Creme Brulee

Crème brulee is my ace in the hole. It’s the kind of thing I like to keep in my back pocket and pull out when I need it. Frequently, I have 2 ramekins in the fridge awaiting a sprinkling of sugar and a pass of the torch. It’s not a bad thing to serve when your boyfriend or husband is a little mad at you. One bite of rich creaminess paired with crunchy sugar and you’re out of the dog house. You can trust me on this one.

See, I wasn’t going to talk about this because I like to pretend my life is a perfect square box all wrapped up with pretty ribbon. But it ain’t. My life is not all clean counters, empty dishwashers, and non-mildew smelling sponges. Nor is it all petite ramekins, small whisks and eggs that perfectly separate themselves.

Mr. Dessert For Two and I spent all of last month apart. I decided on my birthday that I wanted to be alone on the road of life. Do birthdays make anyone else do crazy things? It wasn’t so much him as it was that the idea of marriage paralyzes me with fear. I wanted to push him away from me just in case we got married and things didn’t work out exactly like I thought they should. Just in case I woke up next to him and hated my life one day. In case my logic is failing you: I feel like if I wake up alone and hate my life, it’s my own fault. I like to be in complete control of my life:  my time, my space, my feelings, my heart. I want to be the only one in charge. Yes, it’s a lonely life, but it’s a safe life. If I love no one, then no one can let me down. If I didn’t have everything I wanted in life, it was up to me to get it—I don’t want to depend on anyone.

I feel a little like a freak:  I don’t know why marriage terrifies me, while every other woman is elated at the thought of a big white dress. I don’t know how other women can put on a shiny diamond ring everyday and announce to the world that they have found the only person with whom they want to spend their life. What if you meet someone great at 50 and you’re stuck with the person you married at 27? What do you do?! These thoughts used to race through my head almost daily.

The thing about me and Mr. Dessert For Two is that marriage has always been on the table:  he told me on our third date that I’m the woman he wants to marry and he asked me to “just let him know in my own little way that I was ready.” When he said that almost a year ago, I instantly picked a fight and pushed him away. That’s what any sensible woman does when the perfect man walks in your life, right? Tell me I’m not the only one.

Well, last month was a long one. I did a lot of thinking, and I’ve decided that the 27th year of my life is going to be a good one. The path Mr. Dessert For Two and I want to travel on sounds much better than the one I was planning alone. We have plans to buy land and create a farm that’s more than just a source of income: we want our farm to be the center of our lives, and maybe even the center of our little town. We decided we’d rather have 50 acres close to the city than 500 acres far outside the city because life is richer with people in it—including husbands.


On a small but very special side note:  I’d like to thank all Veterans for their service today, especially Mr. Dessert For Two.  And I’d also like to wish the Marine Corps a very happy 236th birthday.  Ooo-rah!

4.8 from 4 reviews
Maple Creme Brulee
 
Makes 2 ramekins
Ingredients
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon maple extract
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 and put on a kettle of water to boil for your water bath. Make sure your 2 ramekins fit inside the dish you will be baking them in.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the sugar. Divide the mixture between 2 ramekins and place in the baking dish. Pour boiling water into the baking dish half way up the sides of the ramekins, being careful not to splash it inside the ramekins.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes for wide shallow ramekins and 50-55 minutes for regular ramekins.
  4. Let cool in water bath, then move to fridge to chill thoroughly, at least 8 hours.
  5. Right before serving (and only then), sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar over each and brulee with a kitchen torch until browned and crispy.

 

Comments

  1. says

    I can completely understand your logic and I think it’s something that a lot of women (and men) struggle with. Congratulations though on reaching some big decisions but it sounds like you’ve really thought about it and that your 27th year is going to be pretty darn awesome!

  2. says

    I’ve never made creme brulee but this sounds amazing!

    Making a commitment like marriage really is scary but sometimes the best things in life are the scariest. Mr. Dessert for Two sounds like a great guy and I wish I had the chance to meet him in CA.

  3. says

    it’s awesome that you made that decision for your 27th year. and i have to say that marriage can be hard, and i was lucky enough to have parents who made it look like a breeze and still adore one another today. it’s the most unique and special relationship ever. it will build you up and it will wear you down. and at the end of the day, honestly, i just kick myself that i didn’t do it sooner!

  4. says

    Marriage is hard, and it never stops being a little scary. But nothing good comes without a risk, that’s just the way it is. I truly wish you both the best.

    And also, could you throw a third ramekin in the fridge? You know…for when I come over?

    Yeah, I sorta just invited myself. I do that.

  5. says

    You are definitely not the only one. I had plans to get married later in life, and thought it would just come naturally to be excited about marriage. When my husband proposed, though, I had a mild panic attack. It took me until the day before our wedding to be completely at peace with the whole thing, but he really proved that day that he is in this for the long haul and is willing to work through anything for our relationship. When you truly know that, it makes everything a lot better.

    And I have to say, married life is AMAZING. I have no regrets.

  6. Analivia says

    I love the story, I love the recipe. I, too, am 27 and have the man of my dreams, only I’m terrified of the aisle. We’re kids of a divorce generation, and we’ve seen how marriages too often turn out. Congratulations on the farm-plans. My fella is talking about a cabin!

  7. says

    Love this creme brulee!

    Life isn’t all roses and a relationship is work. It’s alright to be scared and I think it’s better to admit it rather than not. All the best to you and the Mr.

  8. says

    big decisions like marriage are always scary but that’s what makes it so wonderful! i was definitely scared before i got married! i’m glad that you worked things out on your own. i know that i like to have time to myself to really come to a decision because it always makes me feel like i thought everything through. your future plans sound awesome… a farm is so cool! my dad grew up on a farm in south carolina & i was always jealous that i never had an experience like that.

    aaaanyways, the creme brulee looks delicious. i have a kitchen torch that i should bust out to make this :) happy friday christina!

  9. says

    You don’t sound like a freak ;) Marriage is hard but for me, at the end of the day it always comes down to the fact that it’s easier to go through life together with someone you love despite all the hardships than alone (much like your realization.) And, if you meet that other person at 50,70,85 you can always up and leave like my great aunt just did after 61 yrs of marriage…I kid you not! haha

  10. Ann from Montana says

    A man who makes a committment AND allows you time to be ready to make one is not to be taken lightly :)!

    There is nothing sure beyond the current moment but saying “I Do” to another AND meaning it…there is nothing finer!

    Congratulations on a decision right for you and the Mr.

    Thank you for sharing the story and the recipe!!!

  11. says

    I love you both…And thank you for sharing your journey which is so relatable for everyone. Applying it all to this recipe, I’d like to think that sometimes we need to break through that hardened, sugary surface we develop so we can get to the creamy richness of life.

  12. says

    Yummy, I can only imagine what the maple syrup does to this. You have an amazing amount of insight and it will serve you well. I’m happy that you and Mr. Dessert for Two are willing to make big changes and sacrifices to create your lives together. Mr. Sweets and I have been married for 35 yrs. Sometimes it seems like a lifetime and at others only a few years. Let me tell you it’s not all Maple Creme Brulee and Chocolate cake. No one can make you more angry then your husband, and no one can make you happier; except for your kids and that’s another story!! Congratulations~

  13. says

    I totally understand that is TOTALLY something I would do…pick a fight when someone says basically the most perfect thing that anyone could say or take time off from a relationship just because it’s a little too amazing. It makes no sense either but I still totally get it. I’m so happy that you made the decision you did, though. I think you and Mr. Dessert For Two are going to be SO happy!

    Creme brulee is kind of the most awesome dessert out there. And you maple-ified it. Even more rock star.

  14. says

    I am sure it is delicious. I have a long time I do not prepare creme brulee. This maple brulee is perfect for autumn. I should try it. Thanks.

    Have a great weekend :)

  15. Lynda Agen says

    Hey Dearie! Birthday are, according to something I read many years ago, the finishing-off time of the years ‘work’. If you don’t complete what you are ‘suppose’ to work on in a year it all come due and present itself to you the last six weeks for your birth date. I’ve seen this happen in my life and if you look at others when they’re going through really rough times, it’s usually within six weeks before that big day. Don’t worry about being married or not married, remember that little song “Row, Row, Row your Boat, Gently down the Stream”? words to live by.

    And, Thank You for your wonderful blog with recipes!!! ;-}
    I wish blessings upon You.

  16. says

    Happy Birthday! The recipe is fantastic and the farm sounds wonderful! As for marriage – it’s a leap of faith! I was VERY lucky and married at the ripe old age of 19. I’ve been married for almost 30 years now and honey bunny still makes my heart beat faster. You never know….

  17. says

    What a beautiful post. I think that I could have written almost all of it except, at the age of 27 after several people (from boyfriends to just friends to acquaintances had asked me to either marry them or move in with them) I saw JP and I just knew. And apparently he did, too. The rest, as they say, is history that has, so far, lasted almost 25 years and it is better today than it was all those years ago. You just know. And I love the idea of a farm (that, too, is one of the things on our list!). And crème brulée? We also love it. That and Panna Cotta are our two go-two desserts.

  18. says

    Great post and what a year for you! I can relate to your marriage woes, it took us over 10 years to finally do it. This recipe looks fabulous and I’m sure my hubby would go nuts over it! And it was awesome seeing you last weekend, too bad we didn’t get more time to hang out.

  19. Tiffany says

    I am somewhat commitment phobic, even with fun things! A vacation 8 months from now? What if something happens and we can’t go?!! :)

    Am I the only one who only likes maple on my pancakes and french toast? What can I add instead of the maple to make sure the consistency is right?

  20. says

    Christina, this is such a wonderful post in so many ways — honest, soul-searching writing, so many possibilities, leaps of faith, AND a fantastic recipe, I might add! (I’ve always loved Creme Brulee, but MAPLE Creme Brulee…?!) Sigh…

    Your questions about your life, your heart and your future were awesome to read — everyone asks the same things at one point or another and it’s a painful yet HOPEFUL process — to see you questioning if it’s worth the risk made me smile. :) Trust your heart! Sounds like you found a keeper. :)

    Also, your FARM sounds wonderful! Dig out those cowgirl boots — YEEHAW! I’m rooting for you all the way!

  21. says

    You have combined two of my favorite things into one happy little place. I will have to try this dessert.

    PS-I was also of the fear of marriage mindset. I watched my parents split after 25 yrs. and my Aunt and Uncle after 30 yrs. I asked my Grandfather what he thought made his marriage last while both of his son’s marriages had failed. He thought about it and told me that the first thig was communication and comprimise; whenever there was a problem they just worked it out. But then he said that what it really came down to, was at the end of each day they NEEDED each other.

    In today’s world we all seem to pride ourselves on our independence like it makes us stonger. I realized when he said that, that it actually takes more strength to be vunerable to someone. To trust them 100% not to burn you and break your heart.

    Anyway, sorry to drag on. It was a great post, not only because of the recipe but also because it reminded me of my Gandfather. Thank you.

  22. says

    What a sweet post: first, that you’ve come to realize Mr. Dessert for Two is Mr. Right, and second, that you shared a fabulous creme brulee recipe. I’ve made vanilla and coconut…and now I’m ready to venture down the road to maple. Gorgeous photo, too~

  23. says

    You must be a fly on my wall!! The hubby was just saying on Friday that he wishes we could make creme brulee more often, just for the two of us. I thought of your blog and was trying to think if you had posted a creme brulee recipe, and I start reading blogs today, and here one is! I have all the ingredients too.

    I am totally buying some of the larger, wider ramekins though, because I want more of the burnt topping!

  24. says

    You have a right to question yourself, and your guy, and marriage to be! It’s a scary commitment!! I’ve just gotten married within the last six months, and it was the best decision I ever made. Seems like absence made the heart grow fonder, for you. And if you two are meant to be together, Mr Dessert for Two will ride through your questioning!

    This dessert looks fab. I need a brulee torch.

    On another note… I took your photo advice in and feel like I had my best food photo session ever! I just really had fun with it and allowed myself to look around my house and see what I already had that would make a good set-up. And I think I got something! Thank you SO much! Check it out if you have a minute!

  25. says

    I love this post. Thanks for being so honest…you are definitely not a freak. Sometimes I question too why we are expected to want certain things (e.g. kids, marriage), mostly because I have a fear of commitment. But (somehow :) ) I am married to a wonderful guy and I will say that often I take for granted the fact that I get to go through life with someone who shares my interests. Since marriage has it’s highs and lows, I don’t always think about the fact that he gets me so well and that he actually is my best friend (cliché but true). But when I do think about it, I’m really thankful. Your plans with your man sound amazing, and it’s super cool that you both want that. Now before I continue rambling, I need to tell you that your brulee looks incredible. Maple is such a good idea!

  26. says

    Your writing is so much better (more honest) than some of the food blogs I read, thank you for that, and I totally feel you on the fear thing. Creme brulee is with a doubt one of my top 3 favorite desserts, and I just tried your recipe. I have a question, though, about the water bath. What is the difference b/n using one and putting the creme brulee in the oven without one? Is it like a double boiler, in that it prevents from overcooking the custard?

    • says

      Hi Nick,

      Thanks so much for reading :) It means a lot to me.

      The water bath helps the custard bake more evenly. If you don’t use a water bath, the custard has the potential to over-bake at the edges and bottom of the ramekin. This could mean hard custard. Not good. So yes, almost like a double boiler: more even, gentle cooking.

      Thanks for making my creme brulee. I hope it was delightful :)

      Christina

  27. says

    Hi new friend! I know this is waaayyy late, but I just read this post and while I’m the girl that always wanted to get married, I want you to know that my I have a friend that feels the same way about marriage, and now that she is engaged she is struggling with planning a wedding while still having some of those feelings. So you’re not alone! But I’m glad to know you are excited about planning a wedding with Mr. Dessert for Two!

    xo!

    Michelle

  28. Shirley says

    Love is not something that you “fall in and out of,” love is a decision. Once you commit your life to that special person, it’s a lifetime commitment. You may not always “feel” in love, but you just love your spouse because you vowed that you would. I’ve been married for 31 years and it’s not always been easy, but once you get through some hard times, it gets easier to get through other hard times. The security and peace that you gain (and give to your children) is immeasurably worth any momentary discomfort you have. People are so quick to be “green” and recycle everything except their most important relationship. Marriages get discarded so easily. If you don’t subscribe to this ideology you will be most likely never have a “lifetime love,” but will only have serial relationships. I can’t imagine anything worse. PS – Creme brulee is awesome. :)

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