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Creme brulee is typically a vanilla custard topped off with a burnt sugar topping. The absolute best part of this dessert is that to get the sugar topping all burnt and crackly, you get to scorch the top with a mini-butane kitchen torch. It's also a dessert that is reasonably easy to prep and make, but super impressive when you serve it.

Creme Brulee is typically a vanilla custard topped off with a burnt sugar topping.

The absolute best part of this dessert is that to get the sugar topping all burnt and crackly, you get to scorch the top with a mini-butane kitchen torch (though you may want to think twice before you consume carcinogens). It's also a dessert that is reasonably easy to prep and make, but super impressive when you serve it. 

Cracking through the candy shell into the decadent custard below is what makes this dessert so much fun to eat. Once you have mastered the basic vanilla base recipe, you can start playing around to create your own masterpieces. Add 8 ounces of melted chocolate chips and you've got chocolate Creme Brulee. Or infuse the basic Creme Brulee recipe with fresh herbs like basil or spices like star anise or cinnamon. Then add a little citrus with zest of lemon, lime, or oranges, for an array of delectable creamy desserts.

Typically this is prepared in individual ramekins and eaten with a spoon.