Legend holds that this subtly flavored, delicate custard, whose name translates literally as burned cream, originated at the University of Cambridge, in England. Indeed, nearly every individual college, whether it is Christ's College, Trinity College (where the hardened sugar cover is broken with the aid of a perfectly weighted sterling silver hammer), or King's College, lays clam to having invented it. The silken vanilla-scented custard is covered with a layer of sugar, which becomes a brittle sheet of caramel. Burning the sugar evenly can be a challenge the first time out, and though you can accomplish it with a broiler, we find that a small blowtorch specifically designed for kitchen use works best. We prefer turbinado sugar, a slightly refined sugar, for the topping, because it melts easily and forms a crisp, easily shattered cover. See recipe.