In a medium bowl with mixer set at medium speed, beat the egg yolks and
sugar. Set aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat
immediately and add to the egg-sugar mixture, continuing to beat. Add the vanilla
extract and continue to beat until the mixture is completely cool.
Pour the cooled mixture into six 4-ounce custard cups. Line the sides of
a 3-inch high baking pan with parchment paper, then place the cups in the pan.
Add water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cups. (The paper stabilizes
the water and prevents the cups from shaking.) Bake for 50 minutes.
Remove the cups from the pan, allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate
Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar over the top of each cup. Place
the cups on a sheet pan and set under the broiler until the sugar melts, darkens
and forms a crust. This is the brulee process.