Recipe #20: Crème Brûlée

Of all the recipes we’ve done this year, this one made me feel like a ‘real’ chef, so much so that I felt that a video was the only way to share how fun and easy it was to put the finishing touches on this dessert. Notice how the sugar melts slowly into a hard shell.

As the title of this post shows, we made Crème Brûlée : a soft vanilla flavored custard with a hard caramelized sugar top. The custard recipe is pretty straightforward but what makes this dish memorable is the layer of caramelized sugar on top, done with a broiler or a hand torch.

I followed a recipe published by The Pioneer Woman, which turned out to be quite large. With, 4 cups of heavy cream, 1tsp vanilla extract, 10 egg yolks and 3/4 cup of sugar, I made more than 10 servings!

The up side to using such a large recipe was that I was able to use the torch on multiple custard servings – trying out white sugar, brown sugar and a mix of both. Overall the brown sugar quickly melted into circular clumps whereas the white sugar caramelized flat onto the surface and colored nicely but they did take a much longer time to do so. Take a look at the differences :

Caramelized White Sugar
Caramelized Brown Sugar
Brown Sugar Brown Sugar after a bit or torching Clumped Burnt Sugar on the custard

While torching these custards, a small flame would occasionally leap from the top of the custard! This surprised me as I had never seen this happen in any of the cooking videos I watched. However even these burnt sections of the shell, with its bitter taste complemented the custard quite nicely.

As often happens when you buy bananas, I had a few over-ripe onces left over and decided to use it in the custard mix. Here is the play by play, which up until the use of the blow torch reminded me a lot of weekend we made home made ice cream.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now, I am on the look out for other recipes that use a hand torch like Baked Alaska, meringues and more. Stay tuned!

P.S. For those of you like me who were a bit apprehensive about using a flame emitting device for the first time, I found this video quite helpful :

I bought a different culinary torch brand but the setup and usage steps were identical and I appreciated the step by step instructions on how to fuel and use the cooking torch safely. Apparently, you can use this torch for other things like jewelry making. Hmm…


One comment


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s