Smooth and irresistible dessert recipe for dinner parties, holiday gatherings, or date nights at home. Prepare the custard and sauce in advance, then simply torch the sugar topping and serve your creation to your guests at the perfect moment. The sweet and slightly salted flavor of the caramel sauce plays perfectly with the creamy consistency of homemade crème brûlée. Try serving in smaller portions as a part of a dessert buffet!
1 cup + ⅓ cup granulated sugar, divided ½ cup unsalted butter 2 cups + ½ cup heavy cream, divided 1 tablespoon Kikkoman® Soy Sauce 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 6 large egg yolks
For Topping 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
To make soy sauce caramel, add 1 cup of sugar to a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Heat sugar until melted, stirring regularly, 8-10 minutes. Add butter to pan and reduce heat to low. Continue to stir. Once butter melts, gradually whisk in ½ cup of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce until mixture is smooth. Turn heat off. Transfer caramel to an 8-ounce jar and cool to room temperature to thicken slightly, about 1 hour.
To make custard, heat 2 cups of heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat for about 7 minutes until bubbles form around the sides without letting cream come to a boil. Turn heat off and whisk in vanilla bean paste and 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce caramel. Cover remaining caramel sauce and refrigerate until serving to thicken.
While cream heats, whisk together egg yolks and remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl until color just starts to turn a creamy yellow.
Whisk ½ cup of cream mixture slowly into egg yolk mixture to temper eggs. Gradually whisk in remaining cream mixture until fully incorporated. Strain custard mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Place 4 ramekins in a large roasting pan and bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Ladle custard into ramekins and pour boiling water into the roasting pan about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully transfer to oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until edges of custard are set and center is slightly jiggly.
Carefully remove ramekins from oven using a spatula or tongs and place on a wire cooling rack. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature then cover ramekins with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar on top of custard and use a kitchen torch to lightly caramelize the tops until golden brown. Serve right away drizzled with extra soy sauce caramel.
*Note: leftover Soy Sauce Caramel can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months for drizzling on ice cream and desserts.