7 Excuses to Break Out the Blowtorch

It's always fun to use a blowtorch in the kitchen (as long as you follow the directions and know what you're doing). And that goes double for Valentine's Day.

From classic crème brûlée to over-the-top layer cake, here are seven fantastic recipes to finish with a blowtorch and impress any date.

1. Chamomile Toast Crunch

This dessert combines the satisfactions of childhood and adulthood: the simple joy of buttered toast, the sugary crackle of crème brûlée and the indulgent moistness of tres-leches cake.

2. Baked Alaska Birthday Cake

Three flavors of ice cream, moist chocolate cake, nutty ganache and fluffy, toasted meringue make the ultimate birthday cake.

3. Butterscotch Crème Brûlée with Caramel Corn

This decadent dessert is pastry chef James Foran's ode to the Cracker Jack.

4. Tres Leches Cake

© Chris Court

Supremely moist and rich, this cake is topped with swirls of torched meringue.

5. Lemon Meringue Pie

© David Malosh

The billowy Italian meringue topping browns beautifully thanks to a blowtorch.

6. S'mores Brownies

© SARAH BOLLA

Upgrade brownies with a crunchy graham cracker crust and perfectly golden blowtorched marshmallows.

7. Brûléed Key Lime Tarts

This Oreo-crusted riff on Key lime pie is the perfect sweet-tart dessert.

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