We made creme brulee today.  In the past we’ve used the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, which creates wonderful creme brulee but takes forever and a day.  The cooking and the baking (with a water bath, of course) and then cool to room temperature on a wire rack and then cover and refrigerate and sometime at three in the morning you have creme brulee.  Perfect, creamy, smooth creme brulee, of course.

Since a full batch makes eight servings it’s not a problem to make it one night and eat it on subsequent evenings, though it doesn’t last very long and that’s rather a lot of creme brulee in one week.  (It does, however, give Hero a chance to perfect the brulee part of the dish, since you top each serving with sugar and burn it with the little torch right before serving.  Rather than melting it to the classic solid crust, Hero prefers to flame it just until each grain starts to heat up, for a sweeter and crunchier sugar topping.)

But today that seemed like an awful lot of work, especially since there was no knowing how cheerful the baby would be.  So we tried this version instead, which cooks the custard on the stovetop and then spoons it into ramekins to set.  We’ll see how it is – my prediction is that it will taste great but not be as smooth as the classic.  I think I’ll be okay with that, considering how much faster it was.

This, of course, is the counterpoint to my earlier post about sex toys.  Truly great food is within my reach, but given the amount of time and energy it would take I’m willing to settle for the quicker version.  Amazing, innovative design is available, but a budget-conscious young couple may decide a cheaper toy is the best option.  (For that matter, as I type this the “a” key keeps sticking, because we opted for a reasonably-priced netbook instead of the top-of-the-line model.  On the other hand, we splurged on our internet service.)

Admittedly the toy and the netbook will last much longer than the creme brulee.  And even with the quicker method, I still get homemade creme brulee.

And in the end, the funnest part of the day will have been watching Beauty discover the mess-making properties of ricotta cheese and a spoon full of applesauce.

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