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Recipe File: Creme Brulee (Crème Brûlée)
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 7:02 am    Post subject: liquor instead of a torch Reply with quote

i have no torch around and i have read that you can add a little liquor to the sugar and ignite it, this would caramelize the sugar...is this a clever option especially when you have no torch at home? i wonder if the burning process would affect the custards consistency...help anyone!!!i really want to make creme brulee...never tried making it my whole life..
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glow
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:17 pm    Post subject: creme brulee Reply with quote

After being refrigerated to cool, my creme brulee developed a top layer that tastes like hardened butter; not a desirable addition. When removed, the rest of the custard was perfect. How can I avoid this from forming?
Also, if the ramekins are glass, and the custard has been chilled, won't they break when put under a broiler or when they are torched to get the sugar crackle on top?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1622
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:42 am    Post subject: Re: creme brulee Reply with quote

glow wrote:
After being refrigerated to cool, my creme brulee developed a top layer that tastes like hardened butter; not a desirable addition. When removed, the rest of the custard was perfect. How can I avoid this from forming?

Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and make sure the plastic goes down onto the surface. That will help.

glow wrote:
Also, if the ramekins are glass, and the custard has been chilled, won't they break when put under a broiler or when they are torched to get the sugar crackle on top?

I wouldn't put them under the broiler. Use a torch and keep moving - if you do it with constant motion, the glass should hold.
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tournesol600
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:34 pm    Post subject: propane torch Reply with quote

I have also discovered that the standard Bernzomatic torch will not work
for long in the inverted position. Today I solved the problem by adding a
Mr. Heater 5' propane hose assembly (part #F273710)which I purchased from Tractor Supply for $13.00. This connects to the little tank and then to the torch
body. Tested and the result was superb. Advantage over broiler is 10
seconds to do the sugar with no extreme softening of the custard. For me,
the broiler almost destroys the custard. Torch $16.00, Hose $13.00 and
you have a rig a chef would love at the same cost as the Mickey Mouse
refillable creme brulee torches.
Bon appetite, Tom
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djb6
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:40 am    Post subject: Delicious Reply with quote

This was great! First time making creme brulee and it was awesome and easy. I really liked the simplicity of the directions. Thanks!
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Guest
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:28 pm    Post subject: Kitchen Rookie Reply with quote

I don't have much experience in the kitchen, but was amazed at how well the Creme Brulee came out. So were my guests. I did have some problem carmelizing the turbinado sugar. It burned much more quickly than it melted. I switched to approximatey 3:1 mix of white sugar/turbinado and it melted and browned nicely. Thanks for the recipe!
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Zandyman
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:59 am    Post subject: In defense of vanilla extract (and addition of flavors) Reply with quote

I've made this both ways, with vanilla bean and with vanilla extract...

if you use GOOD vanilla extract, the difference is hardly noticeable, if you use cheap vanilla extract, you can absolutely tell the difference.

Good vanilla extract is expensive, but it's worth it. Check your gourmet stores or cooking stores.

A restaurant near me has several flavors of creme brulee, most made with the addition of liqueurs, which seem to work better than non-liqueur flavorings, anything non-alcoholic I've added has ended up changing the end consistency. I'm assuming most of the alcohol bakes out in the course of an hour in the oven, but still might consider who is going to be eating it before you add booze.

So far I've tried (1/4 of booze is MORE than enough, many of these are strong flavors)

Chambord -- this is excellent!
Godiva Chocolate Liqueur -- this is pretty good, but I gotta give credit to Paula Deen for this one, wasn't me.
Amaretto -- this almond competed strangely with the vanilla, I think if I try this one again, I'll leave out the vanilla.
Frangelico - Hazelnut not my favorite flavor and the same issue with the amaretto, vanilla nut is a strange combination to me.
Homemade Raspberry cordial -- this was awesome too, but I don't want to start posting recipes in someone else's forum.

-Z
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:18 pm    Post subject: Confused. Reply with quote

Why is it so horrible if water gets into the ramekins? What does it ruin?
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Nick74
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:02 am    Post subject: just some thoughts... Reply with quote

I love this site. I am an engineer's son, and a chef by trade. It's all here under one roof, so to speak. Love it.
Anyway, some thoughts about creme brulee:

Flavorings are great, but my favorites are the ones that you have to chase around your palate and might not figure out. Try steeping some chai tea in the hot mix. Just enough to give it the aroma that will flirt with the vanilla. Calvados might be good, too, but I haven't tried it. Traditional CB has no vanilla, no sugar. Just cream and eggs. It derives it's sweetness from the coating.

Not all eggs are created equal. Make sure that they are fresh. A fresh egg will have a nice, tall yolk. Almost hemispherical in shape. Older eggs have flatter yolks, disc shaped and past their prime for custards.

For me, the magic of creme brulee is all the contrasts. Creamy and crunchy, hot and cold, the mouth feel of the custard and the sharp aroma of the carmelized sugar all at once. Yum.

If your sugar has much black about it it is burnt, not carmelized. Slow down your heat or keep the torch moving faster. Or both. Ace Hardware used to sell a small torch, self igniting and at a right angle to the top of the canister. You don't have to worry about flipping all that propane upside down and it's not big enough to nuke dessert on the first pass.

Custards are fickle. However, all mine tasted great no matter how bad I messed up. Have fun with them. Try again. Mistakes are very easy to find homes for.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:07 am    Post subject: Re: Confused. Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Why is it so horrible if water gets into the ramekins? What does it ruin?

If you get a lot in it can ruin the texture and flavor of the custard. Also, too much water makes the sugar not caramelize correctly. If it's only a little, it can mess up the appearance of the custard. If it's a tiny bit it might not matter at all.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:30 am    Post subject: Re: liquor instead of a torch Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
i have no torch around and i have read that you can add a little liquor to the sugar and ignite it, this would caramelize the sugar...is this a clever option especially when you have no torch at home? i wonder if the burning process would affect the custards consistency...help anyone!!!i really want to make creme brulee...never tried making it my whole life..

I would respectfully suggest borrowing a torch, or perhaps using a broiler.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:13 pm    Post subject: vanilla pods Reply with quote

One can find vanilla pods at a good price at Penzey's Spices out of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
www.penzeys.com
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Monica
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tried this recipe for the first time last night.
My husband insisted on adding finely crushed amaretti (cherry flavoured crunchy biscuits) to the mix, but other than that we followed the recipe exactly.
Result is very nice, the bigger bits of amaretti floated to the top during the baking, making brownish top and the rest smooth, taste is great too.
Dunno abt others' problem with the baking time tho, since we baked for an hour & 120°C and the brulées came out firm, slightly too firm - not jiggly, even.
Wondering why's that?
Also, they are nicely creamy and smooth to taste, but the look is not silky, neither anything like curdled cream or runny egg, just...hmm...not silky like tofu...; is this how it's supposed to be like?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1622
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monica wrote:
Dunno abt others' problem with the baking time tho, since we baked for an hour & 120°C and the brulées came out firm, slightly too firm - not jiggly, even.
Wondering why's that?

Unfortunately, oven temperatures vary quite a bit from oven to oven. It sounds like your oven might be running a little hotter than expected. The water bath should have helped regulate the temperature a little, but you may want to check on your cremes a little earlier to see if they have reached the desired doneness (just jiggling).

One thing to keep in mind with all baking recipes - the time is just a guide. On your first attempt at any baking recipe, you should check the time a little earlier and at regular intervals to see when yours is done. Once you have an idea of how long it takes to bake in your particular environment, make a note and the next time you can check closer to the finished temperature. Remember, the timing you got when you checked often is going to be a little different (longer) than the timing when you do not check as often the next time around (because every time the oven door is opened, some heat is lost).
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charles
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:55 pm    Post subject: vanilla Reply with quote

Soaking the vanilla beans (scraped, of course) in the cream for a couple of days enhances the vanilla flavor.

Adding the hot to the cold eggs is called tempering - probably someone already said that.
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