...has a lot of random accents but is really fun to eat. Literally "burnt cream," it's actually a rich custard with a crisp caramelized-sugar top.
Best recipe: Cook's Illustrated, as always, offers a good recipe discussed here in a side by side comparison
How-to Photos: Cooking for Engineers also gives a recipe with nice pictures
Torching Video: Cuisine at Home has a good video of how to torch the sugar—the key is moving nice and slow
Lots of discussion about what kind of sugar to use, but I think the CI folks' idea of using "turbinado" or "demerara" sugar (basically raw cane sugar, available in the U.S. under the "Sugar in the Raw" label) gives a good brown sugar taste without normal brown sugar's moisture (which ruins the crispiness).
Unnecessary Kitchen Implements
Meat Mallet - just use a large skillet
Rolling pin - use a wine bottle
Funnel - use the top of a plastic bottle
Chow Tips provides a way to dry salad without a salad spinner, but I still think it's worth getting one (especially the awesome ones made by Zyliss or Oxo) because you can also use it to clean/strain/store lots of veggies.
Things that I thought were unnecessary before:
Large tweezers - unless you're plating high-end haute cuisine dishes you probably don't need these...BUT they are super-useful for mixing up certain pasta dishes (especially the Roman Canon like cacio e pepe or carbonara)