September 11, 2009

Crème Brulee – first attempt!

Creme Brulee Inside


This is the first time I’ve made a proper crème brulee. We made a Simple Fruit Brulee on my cooking course at Tante Marie, but this was basically just sweetened creme fraiche on top of fruit and then the burnt sugar on top, so unfortunately I didn’t actually learn very much from that recipe except how to use a blowtorch!

I got this recipe from the BBC Good Food website, but I have basically halved the quantity as I only wanted to make 2. I didn’t use a vanilla pod as they’re too expensive, so I’ve altered the method slightly as I used vanilla extract instead.

When they came out of the oven I was a bit worried I’d scrambled/curdled the eggs because the top wasn’t smooth. I think maybe the water I put into the bain marie was too hot, as it had just boiled in the kettle, so next time I will let the water cool down a bit before pouring it in or I’ll just use hot tap water. This recipe says you should cover the tin with a baking sheet, but I’m not convinced this is the best thing to do because of the risk of condensation, so next time I’ll try it without the sheet.

Creme Brulee Baked
But surprisingly they did have a lovely texture and we both enjoyed them immensely! I used my new blow torch that I bought from Amazon and it’s brilliant! I should have cleaned up the sugar on the ramekins to make them look nicer, but I’m still very pleased with my first crème brulee effort! I also got my ramekins from Amazon.

I found the video tutorial on this website incredibly helpful: rouxbe

  • Makes: 2
  • Oven temperature: Gas mark 4/350°F/180°C
  • You will need: 2 ramekins, a small saucepan, a deep roasting tin (at least 7.5cm deep), a baking sheet (optional?)

  • 300ml double cream
  • 40ml full-fat milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 25g golden caster sugar, plus extra for the topping

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4/350°F/180°C. Sit two 175ml ramekins in a deep roasting tin at least 7.5cm deep (I used a loaf cake tin), one that will enable a baking tray to sit well above the ramekins when laid across the top of the tin.
  2. Pour the cream into a small pan with the milk and the vanilla extract and bring almost to the boil. As soon as you see bubbles appear round the edge, take the pan off the heat.
  3. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk for 1 minute with an electric hand whisk until paler in colour and a bit fluffy. Pour the hot cream into the beaten egg yolks, stirring with a wire whisk as you do so.
  4. Set a fine sieve over a large wide jug or bowl and pour the hot mixture through to strain it. Using a big spoon, scoop off all the pale foam that is sitting on the top of the liquid (this will be several spoonfuls) and discard – Don’t skip this step! Give the mixture a stir.
  5. Pour in enough hot water (from the tap is fine) into the roasting tin to come about 1.5cm up the sides of the ramekins. Pour the hot cream into the ramekins so you fill them up right to the top - it's easier to spoon in the last little bit. Put them in the oven and lay a baking sheet over the top of the tin so it sits well above the ramekins and completely covers them, but not the whole tin, leaving a small gap at one side to allow air to circulate. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the mixture is softly set. To check, gently sway the roasting tin and if the crème brulees are ready, they will wobble a bit like a jelly in the middle. Don't let them get too firm.
  6. Lift the ramekins out of the roasting tin with oven gloves and set them on a wire rack to cool for a couple of minutes only, then put in the fridge to cool completely (mine were set after about 3 hours). This can be done overnight without affecting the texture.
  7. When ready to serve, wipe round the top edge of the dishes, sprinkle 1½ tsp of caster sugar over each ramekin and spread it out with the back of a spoon to completely cover. Spray with a little water using a fine spray (I didn’t do this and it was fine) to just dampen the sugar - then use a blow torch to caramelise it. Hold the flame just above the sugar and keep moving it round and round until caramelised. Serve when the brulee is firm, or within an hour or two. 



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