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If you are looking for a classic, phenomenon, and easy to bake dessert, crème brulee is the best one out there. You will surely fall in love with the crisp and caramelized top under the vanilla-scented custard. For ages, it has been an emblem of valentine. So, why not bake it at home? Making a custard in a cup is pretty simple, but that caramel of sugar-coated on top of custard is where the art lies. The easiest way is to use a torch. However, in case you do not have one, how can you torch crème brulee without a torch?
Ways to Torch Crème Brulee without a Torch
If you fell utterly addictive to crème brulee, maybe eating it in a restaurant, you should try making it at home. Every recipe will recommend you to use a torch to make it. But, no need to worry in case you have no butane torch to caramelize the sugar.
To torch a crème brulee you do not need any blowtorch or strong baking skills. Torching crème brulee without a torch is every bit possible and requires only a few preparations beforehand.
There are several ways you can make a crème brulee at home, and you will not need a torch. The most practical method is to broil the dessert. Additionally, you can also use a spoon to caramelize the sugar. Finally, the most surprising way is to use a candle or grill lighter to torch crème brulee.
Using the Broiler to Torch Crème Brulee
Broiling the crème brulee is a convenient approach in torching the sugar on top. All you need for this is an oven with broiler mode, and you are good to go.
To make the custard first, you will need egg yolks, granulated sugar, whipped cream, vanilla extract, and a bit salt. Before initiating the baking process, preheat the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the oven is preheating, you will need to whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a bowl. You will know the batter is ready when it has a creamy texture with lemon color. Next, add the whipped cream, vanilla, and salt until it is smooth and combined.
After that, pout the whole batter in a ramekin filling a quarter of it. Now, place a baking pan inside the preheated oven filling it with water, but not completely. Next, place the ramekin on the baking pan and start the baking. It will take about an hour to complete, while you check it every 5 minutes after the 40-minute mark.
Once the custard has been baked, set it in a refrigerator or cool environment for about an hour. After the custard has been completely set, you are now ready to torch it in the oven. First, set the oven in broiling mode. Again place the ramekin on a baking pan, this time without any water. Just before you put the baking pan inside the oven, sprinkle some sugar on top. Now let the baked custard broil in oven for about 3 to 5 minutes. After hearing the ting sound of the oven, you will see the sugar has turned into brown, crispy, and caramelly crust.
Using Spoon to Torch Crème Brulee
You can also use a spoon to create the crisp on top of the crème brulee. This may look surprising, but it is quite popular and gets the job done.
You will need the same ingredients to make the custard. These are egg yolks, sugar, whipped cream, vanilla beans or extracts, and a bit salt. Additionally, you can use mascarpone as well.
At first, split the vanilla beans with a knife vertically and place them with whipped cream on a saucepan. Boil the mixture in medium heat for a few minutes and then set aside.
Now, take a bowl and whisk the egg yolks and sugar until the batter is smooth, creamy and lemony in color. You can add some cream here as well. After that, pour all the mixture on the saucepan and keep on whisking slowly.
Now you can add the mascarpone and remove the vanilla beans. Let them settle for an hour on their own while the oven is being preheated at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, pour the mixture in a ramekin and place the ramekin inside the oven on a baking pan half-filled with water. Bake it for an hour, by repeating the previous procedure. Thus, the custard is ready.
After removing the custard, cool it down by keeping it in the refrigerator for an hour. Following this, you are now ready to make the caramelized topping. Sprinkle some sugar on top of the custard. Take a spoon that is not so favored by you and hold it on stove flame until it looks red. Remove the spoon from the stove and immediately place it on top of the crème brulee to burn the sugar on top of it. After a few moments, the top layer is crisp and caramelized, just like you desired it to be.
Using Candle or Grill Lighter
While this may be quite surprising and unexpected, using a candle or lighter to torch crème brulee is quite effective.
You may not have an oven to prepare your custard, but you can definitely make it on the stove. You can make custard with the same ingredient and almost the same process as mentioned above, only instead of using an oven, you can use a pressure cooker. If you do not have a blowtorch or do not want to use a spoon, you can easily use other fire resources.
What you need to do is, light the sugar on fire with the lighter immediately after sprinkling sugar on top of the custard. However, there are some setbacks. The process takes a lot of time, and you will have to wait forever for a small amount of sugar to melt. So, this may be a good option when the sprinkled sugar has a thin layer, and the surface area is small. You would also need a pretty powerful lighter.
Having the best caramel topping on the crème brulee is imperative as it carries the most impressive experience of the dessert. Although using a blowtorch would be the best option, these 3 methods are very effective and save a lot of trouble. The primary purpose is to let the sugar caramel set on top of the custard. So, you can choose any method to torch the crème brulee without a torch to create the crisp, brown, and caramelly topping.
Crème brûlée seems to be a dessert locked in step with Valentine’s Day: It’s classic, easy, and impressive. But what is crème brûlée without its crisp top of just-burnt sugar? Just custard, that’s what. Here are the three most common ways to melt sugar on crème brûlée, including one that’s newer to us.
Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top of the custard, and shake the dish to distribute it evenly.
Crème brûlée is a baked custard (although it can be no-bake as well — I used a no-bake recipe for these photos. It’s a recipe that will be in my new book on puddings and no-bake desserts — out next year).
• THE SURPRISING METHOD: The Candle/Grill Lighter – Here’s a new-to-me method that I spotted online recently. (Apologies! I lost track of where I first saw this! Anyone have a lead?) Not everyone has a brulee torch, but nearly everyone has a candle or grill lighter. This may or may not be practical, though; mine took forever to melt even a small amount of sugar. I think that this is a good option only when you have a small surface area, a thin layer of sugar, and a pretty powerful lighter. But expect to spend a long time melting the sugar.
• THE CLASSIC METHOD: The Brulee Torch – Used in restaurant kitchens and home kitchens, this is the most classic and in many ways practical tool. I do recommend, though, buying a more hefty blowtorch, one that you can use around the house. These little brulee torches take a long time to do the job, and are essentially single-use tools. If using a torch, move it back and forth steadily across the surface of the sugar to melt and caramelize the sugar evenly and to keep from melting the custard by focusing too long on one spot.
• THE PRACTICAL METHOD: The Broiler – You can also broil your crème brûlée, which is very practical. Heat your broiler up super hot, and put the rack just underneath. Make sure the custard is very cold and fully set — overnight, ideally. You have to be careful not to crack the dish, and you will get less even coloring and caramelization than with a torch, but this is still a very practical method.
And whichever method you use, remember the sugar has to set. After you’ve melted and caramelized the crème brûlée top, let it rest and harden for up to half an hour. You can do this before dinner, put them in the fridge, and then eat after you’re done with your meal.
Do you have any good tips or tricks for making a fantastic crème brûlée?
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In the world of often-fussy upscale desserts, creme brulee has the elegant simplicity of a classical sculpture or gifted designer’s little black dress. It’s the king of custards, a rich but uncomplicated combination of cream and egg yolks perfumed with good-quality vanilla. The dessert’s deceptively light texture depends on slow, low-temperature cooking, and the finished custard must be chilled before it’s served. Preparing it up to a few days in advance is a convenient time saver.
Some Creme Brulee Basics
Although it’s best known by its French name, creme brulee — literally, burnt cream — is an English dessert. It’s thickened primarily with egg yolks, making it soft and rich. It’s far too delicate to be unmolded, so creme brulee is served in the same ramekins it’s baked in. The signature element that gives the dessert its name is a thin layer of sugar sprinkled on the surface and then caramelized at a high temperature. The dessert can be made ahead of time, but the sugar must be caramelized just before it’s served.
The Basic Method
Most creme brulee recipes follow a standard pattern. The vanilla bean is split and scraped, and then the seeds and pod are simmered in hot cream to infuse it with flavor. The egg yolks must be separated and then whisked into the sugar. The hot vanilla-scented cream is stirred into the eggs slowly, raising their temperature gently without causing curdled lumps of cooked egg. Finally, the mixture is strained and measured into individual ramekins. The ramekins of custard are baked in a water bath until just set, removed from the water and then cooled.
Warm, sweetened cream and eggs represent a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, so making creme brulee ahead of time requires scrupulous attention to food safety. Cool the ramekins on a rack for 30 to 45 minutes until they’re barely warm to the touch, and then cover and refrigerate them. The custards can be stored for up to 5 days without loss of quality, though to maximize food safety the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends refrigerating them for no longer than 3 or perhaps 4 days. To stack the deck further in favor of food safety, use pasteurized eggs or egg yolks to make the creme brulee.
Finishing the Desserts
When it’s time to serve the desserts, take them out of the refrigerator and uncover them. A small amount of condensation on the surface of the custard is normal, especially in humid climates. Just blot it up carefully with a clean paper towel until the custard’s surface is dry. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar over each custard, and turn the ramekin to ensure it spreads evenly. Pass the flame of a propane or butane torch lightly over the sugar, melting and then caramelizing the sugar. The sugar shell should be light and thin enough to crack easily with a spoon. If you use too much sugar, the caramelized layer will be hard and impenetrable.
by Amber Taylor | Last Updated: July 13, 2021
The skill needed from a cook is different in every dish. When chopping veggies, for instance, using and positioning delicate knives are crucial as it calls for precision. A dish like a soufflé calls for the exact control and quantity of ingredients. And to create such a masterpiece, using a culinary torch is a relevant extraordinary skill.
Table of Contents
How should you torch a crème Brulee?
The skill needed from a cook is different in every dish. When chopping veggies, for instance, using and positioning delicate knives are crucial as it calls for precision.
A dish like a soufflé calls for the exact control and quantity of ingredients. And to create such a masterpiece, using a culinary torch is a relevant extraordinary skill.
This is done after the crème mixture is chilled and settled in a smooth blend consistency. Setting the crème Brulee on fire is the final touch of the delicious Crème Brûlée and it is never complete without it!
The birthplace of this custard-like dish was claimed by many communities. We cannot tell the exact source of this dish as it has been a dispute too many races. Nevertheless, we surely can tell how you can best achieve that sugar coating. Shall we start?
Is torching the only way to achieve the crust?
There is absolutely another way! If you have a broiler available, you can put and heat the custard-like dessert until the coating caramelize. However, you might end up heating the sugar too much which can be unsavory when it is burnt. Although crème brûlée is directly translated as burnt cream, it doesn’t literally mean to overcook the whole dish. So, be careful when you opt for a grill or a broiler.
The broiler method can actually work fine as long as you’re mindful of time. You must check frequently to avoid a burnt dessert. If you’re comfortable to fire up in the kitchen, another way is to flambé! However, we do not encourage this method because it separates from the classic age-old ingredients.
Still, torching is the easiest way to get that lovely sugar crust!
It gives you that consistent sugar topping and you can take more control of it, rather than any other methods.
The torch we suggest
First of all, make sure to get the torch you can get along with. The torch must be appropriate for the purpose. Trusty culinary torches have multiple safety features like a child-proof lock, full-bodied ignition switch, or finger guard.
These features do not guarantee the safety of a hundred percent as torches are hazards once used erroneously. Make sure to keep your torching zone free from flammable things to avoid unwanted ignition.
Many torches have a built-in tank and use butane gas as fuel—which can be bought from hardware stores. The usual torches can be fired by directly fitting to the fuel container.
The right way to use a torch for Crème Brulee
Let’s jump into the exciting part!
At this point, the custard must be chilled enough in the fridge and free from moisture. Here’s a detailed procedure to guide you:
- Dust the top evenly with sugar.
- Try and familiarize yourself with the torch for a while before using it to the crème Brulee.
- Adjust the knob or switch to your control. There is actually no specific strength and distance required for this. However, we suggest starting in low heat and short distance as it will prevent burnt sugar. Remember that the goal is to make the sugar become fizzy and transition its color gradually. You are looking for a golden caramel coating.
- Let it cool The crust will be fully ready in no time.
- You can now serve and enjoy the crème brûlée as soon as the coating solidifies.
The overall duration cannot be exactly calculated due to our personal preferences for caramelizing. Although it should not take a while to top every bowl of crème, it should no be rushed as well.
Make extra caution!
The fuel capacities of culinary torches are inconsistent. Most reputable torches can operate continuously for about an hour if there is enough fuel. Check the manufacturer’s guide to know how long can you expect the torch to function. The fuel gauge is almost mandatory as it is your security as it will indicate the capacity of the fuel inside to make sure you have enough to finish the caramelization process.
Many kinds of torch ignition are widely available in the market. One most common is a button type which is very simple and will serve the majority of the torches. Some of them call for a trigger to proceed with the period process. In an ideal world, however, we suggest the torch with a switch that can be fixed to easily activate a continuous blaze and disable once done.
Torching as a final touch of a delicious dish is really an exciting task although it can be dangerous. It is much easier to torch crème brûlée than caramelizing with other methods. The strategies we have suggested ensure a safe culinary torching; it will be a nature to you if you take control of your torch and stick to the guide accordingly.
Different dishes require a diverse array of skills from a cook. Any recipe featuring chopped vegetables calls for deftness in deploying sharp knives, making a soufflé is a test of precise timing and measurement but one of the more unusual culinary techniques is needed in the production of a crème brûlée: how to use a culinary torch .
This particular talent is needed towards the end of the cooking process when the mix of cream, vanilla, and egg has been transformed into that delicious smooth blend and chilled in their ramekins until set. The final part of the recipe is creating the topping of caramelized sugar.
The Topping Is…
The origin of the now-familiar caramelized topping to a crème brûlée is a source of dispute with French, Catalan, and English claim to be the source of inspiration for a thin crust lying on top of the custard-like dessert. We will take the diplomatic approach, avoid definitive accreditation, accept that the sugary crust is an integral part of the dish, and concentrate on how to best achieve it.
Is There an Alternative to Using a Torch?
Yes, there is. The individual crème brûlées can be placed under a hot grill (or broiler) and heated until the sugar melts and bubbles. The risk involved in utilizing this method is to avoid over-heating the sugar to the stage where it is actually burnt and unappetizing. “Burnt cream” may be the precise translation of crème brûlée but the term is figurative rather than literal.
The frequent checking required to avoid over-heating the sugar during this stage could decelerate the process leading to an unsatisfactory culinary conclusion. Another method is to flambé the dish by adding rum or brandy and setting fire to it but we do not endorse this method as it strays from the classic time-honored ingredients.
But the preferred method is to use a culinary (or kitchen) torch as it is easier to control, providing a more consistent topping and faster.
What Type of Torch Is Recommended?
Firstly, ensure that the torch in use is one with which you are comfortable and is fit for purpose (See our 10 Best Torches for Crème Brûlée for guidance). There are some standard safety features in all reputable culinary torches – a child-proof lock, a finger guard to avoid ending up with singed digits, and a robust ignition button or switch. It must be borne in mind that kitchen torches are potentially dangerous if not used correctly and a quick check should be carried out to ensure that the cooking area is free from any flammable materials which could be ignited by a naked flame.
Most kitchen torches are fueled by butane gas and have an inbuilt tank that is filled from a butane canister (available from hardware stores) whereas some torches are fired by fitting the torch itself directly to the butane canister. Propane gas or methylacetylene-propidine (MAPP) gas represent the alternatives to butane and butane is preferred here because it reaches a lower temperature (up to about 2,500°F or 1,400°C); perfectly adequate for the crème brûlée caramelizing process.
How to Use a Crème Brûlée Torch
Let’s proceed to the fun bit!
Assumptions: The custard has to be set in a refrigerator and to be free of condensation or moisture. Sprinkle the sugar evenly across the surface of the dessert and ignite the torch. It’s advisable to experiment a little before applying the torch to the dessert so that you are comfortable with the strength and length of the flame. All reputable torches will have a dial or knob or switch which allows the user to control and adjust the flame. There is no precise distance at which the torch should be positioned as the strength and consistency of the flame will vary. It is best to start at a low heat and direct the flame so that it rotates around the entire surface thereby preventing the sugar from burning.
What you are aiming for is to see the sugar begin to bubble and slowly change color to a caramel golden hue as it liquidizes slightly. Once this consistency has been reached around the entire surface, the crème brûlée can then be allowed to cool at which stage the sugar will have formed a brittle crust.
The time taken for this procedure is not possible to accurately predict and personal preference also enters the equation but if the sugar goes beyond that caramel golden color, then it is time to call a halt. Being left with a crust that is slightly underdone is preferable than overdone as the custard itself should not be impacted by the caramelization. Cooks should not rush the process, but it should not take long for each ramekin to receive the requisite topping.
Once this is complete, the dish can be served soon after but at least allow the layer of caramelized sugar to form into a crunchy shell which requires being cracked with a spoon before reaching the custard.
Things to Be Aware Of
Kitchen torches are not consistent with regard to the capacity of their gas canister/tank. There should be sufficient gas to allow the torch to burn for at least 30 minutes. Most good torches will continue operating for up to an hour but the manufacturers’ instructions will provide a guide to how much time you should expect. A fuel gauge is pretty much a standard feature of all kitchen torches and this provides the comfort of knowing that the flame will not suddenly expire half-way through the caramelization.
There are a number of types of ignition or starter. A simple press of a button will suffice for most torches although some do require squeezing a trigger and may need this action to be continued for the duration of the process. Ideally, the torch will have a switch that can be set to ensure a constant flame and then deactivated when the job is complete.
Most people will enjoy the frisson of danger and excitement provided by using a torch to apply the finishing touch to this tasty dish. The process will become second nature to anybody who follows the guidelines above and who equips themselves with a safe and efficient kitchen torch. Bon appetit !
Are you torn between buying a butane or propane torch for creme Brulee? The best kitchen torch can give you the best results every time you need to scorch pastries and desserts in the kitchen. A culinary torch can provide you with the consistency needed to create predictable results in the kitchen.
Can You Use Any Torch for Creme Brulee?
Technically, yes, you can use any torch for crème Brulee. However, it’s best to use a kitchen torch or culinary torch because these torches are designed to bring the best kind of burn needed for the even scorching of pastries and desserts.
You may have read somewhere that mini-torches that aren’t necessarily meant for the kitchen can also be used for torching crème Brulee.
And the answer is yes; you can probably safely use these torches as long as the fire that they produce is hot enough in the first place. If the torch doesn’t produce sufficient heat, then there may be issues later on with the torching process.
Butane vs. propane torch cooking:
According to long-time users of kitchen torches, both propane and butane torches can technically be used for cooking. If your mission is to make great crème Brulees and other desserts that require even torching, it might be a better idea to pick up a propane torch instead of a butane torch.
Some users report that butane torches, while they do burn hot, tend to focus the flame too much on one small and focused area. This might be good for DIY projects and crafts, but it’s not something you want when touching food.
When the flame becomes too focused on one spot, not even the best sweeping motion can produce even scorch. Whereas with a propane torch, the gas release is more even, and when you sweep the surface that needs to be scorched, you get a more even burn.
This is the best choice for people who are just starting because they are not dexterous yet sweep the dessert. And as for the flavor of the gas used for the torches, experts have this to say: do not light your torch on top of the food.
Light it far away and increase the gas flow to make sure that you are burning at the highest possible temperature before using it. If you see a reddish flame, don’t use the torch yet on the food. Increase the flow until a bluish flame finally emerges. This is the type of temperature that you need for evenly cooking crème Brulee and similar desserts.
Can You Use a Butane Torch On Food?
Some kitchen torches use butane as a fuel, and butane is ideal for cooking food directly (with flame). Other fuels used for cooking food with a torch include MAPP and propane. Regardless of the fuel that you use, you must know how to torch, foremost.
There are only two things that can truly go wrong when torching food. First, you might overdo it, and the surface can become too scorched to the point of burning. Second, you might not have a hot enough flame to combust all the hydrocarbons in the fuel.
The unused hydrocarbons can be transferred to the food, and you might taste some of the unburnt fuel on the food. While this won’t cause illness, it’s not a pleasant experience, and of course, we want to produce top-notch desserts, especially if we are already using a specialized kitchen tool like a culinary torch.
What Kind of Torch Do do You Use for Crème Brulee?
There are several types of culinary torches for use with desserts. The most common ones are powered by butane and propane. If you can’t order or find a culinary torch, it might be possible to get average to good results with mini-torches sold in hardware stores.
However, these torches might be heavier, and their nozzles may be designed for construction purposes rather than baking or making desserts. Either way, by improving the fuel flow, you might get the kind of consistent flame needed to get results.
Next on our list are kitchen torches that are powered by MAPP and sometimes propane. Propane is the most common fuel by far for both kitchen torches and torches for other purposes. On the other hand, MAPP gas and oxyacetylene are highly recommended if you are interested in torching for a shorter period because you have a much higher and hotter flame.
If you want to get better results in all of your desserts, you need to aim for the fuel’s complete combustion. Complete combustion refers to the oxidizing state of fire, where the heat is at its highest point, and you get blue to a white flame. Blue to white flame is best for scorching because flavor contamination is minimal, and you can get awesome scorches with the least time required.
A torch that is spewing a reddish flame or carburizing flame will not produce good results. If you keep getting a reddish flame, either clean out the spout of the torch or increase the flame’s intensity by turning the adjuster to let more fuel out. When the gas begins to expand, wait for the flame to turn blue and turn the flame toward the dessert in broad, sweeping motions.
Be wary of flame that has a reddish or yellowish tip. If you see yellow, you are not burning hot enough, and you need to adjust the fuel outflow.
Where to Buy a Blowtorch for Cooking?
Blowtorches for cooking can be bought from hardware stores, culinary stores, and online platforms like Amazon. There is no need to buy a super expensive one in the beginning if you are a home cook or hobbyist. However, if you need to ramp up production, a professional culinary torch is in order.
Are you like me?
- With a temperamental broiler in your kitchen/oven? The net effect of which is no broiling?
- Without a blow torch for reasons of border control and air travel rules & regulations?
- Yet with a deep desire to crack a sugar glass crust? Specifically creme brûlée, restaurant-style…….in your own kitchen.
Never has burnt cream been so appealing. To me! Say it with me (French accent et al). Creme Brûlée. crem broo lay.
A cracked crust is the best kind for a creme brûlée
That luscious dessert of just-set custard, with a wonderful chapeau (topping) of crackable caramel.
According to Wikipedia, Discs of caramel may be prepared separately and put on top of the creme brûlée just before serving, or the caramel may be formed directly on top of the custard, immediately before serving. To do this, sugar is sprinkled onto the custard, then caramelized under a broiler / salamander or with a blow torch.
So fair enough you can make the caramel separately but would you want to do that? And if so, do tell why. For I think it is so much trouble to do. Hence my ‘other’ option.
Use a spoon! Yes, a spoon. A heated spoon.
Technique: A large cooking spoon is heated on the stove top/flame. This is pressed down on the ‘sugar-top’ of a cold, set custard to create a crust that can be cracked with a spoon, to reveal creamy custard underneath.
Application: Creme Brûlée! The iconic dessert.
Results: A well-defined, ‘breakable’ caramel top which is exactly how you want your Creme Brûlée
Why I like it: If you don’t have a functional broiler in your oven, or a blowtorch, this dessert is still accomplishable!
A few weeks ago, on the Food52 Hotline, I asked a question, desperate to buy a blow torch to make creme brûlée. The question was ‘How to get a blowtorch across continents? I’ve decided to get a blow torch when I’m in the US in the summer. How can I get it home with me to Nigeria. Anyone travelled on an airplane with one? or cargoed it? Help!’
The responses over a few days brought me lots of laughter and finally a solution to my brûlée dilemma.
A dilemma I was in because of a delicious lemongrass creme brûlée I had in Edinburgh at my sisters spring wedding.
Served with a whiskey granite, summer berries and a mixed sesame seed snap, it brought joy and freshness to the palate and plate.
Totally cleaned ramekin!
With a towering pot of lemongrass gracing my front yard, I felt the custard was no big deal. The crackling top of burnt sugar would be the real challenge.
So on to the hotline it was. I got varied advice from using plumbing blowtorches meant for welding copper pipes to being careful to avoid trouble by going against safety regulations. We had a plumber from Frankston plumber agency come in to fix a few of our sinks because the water pressure was to high and we almost had him try to use his blowtorch.
But one tip held promise and that came from Cris aka Mensaque, from Brazil.
She wrote ‘Here’s another idea for you…….on how to brûler your crème: spread the sugar over the custard,take a big metal spoon or a spatula,heat it on your stove burner and and press it on the sugar till brown. Works like a charm!’
I was thrilled. There was the possibility of success and sooner than I hoped!
Cris writes more: “Hey, KB. How kind of you to send me a message…thank you. I’m glad I could help. I’m from Brazil, and over here (at least in my hometown) it is almost impossible to find a good blowtorch small enough to be considered practical in the kitchen, so I feel your pain, hahaha!
I learned the “hot spoon technique” from a chef (can’t remember his name) on a culinary TV show in Brazil and it works very well,vlike your photos prove. All the best,
Cris. (aka mensaque)”
I wasted no time in whipping up a custard and trying out the heated spoon method which worked to the book. And letter.
Cris and I, bound by history, culture, place….and the inability to find blowtorches have conquered the brûlée and so can you!
(This assumes already made ‘custards’, which have been chilled for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator)
Remove custards in ramekins from the refrigerator.
Dab the tops with a paper towel to remove any water or condensed liquid.
Evenly sprinkle caster sugar over the top of each custard – I used 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of sugar for a normal-sized ramekin.
Heat up a large cooking spoon, being careful to protect your hand from a handle that could get hot. I held mine with a kitchen pad, though it didn’t get extraordinarily hot. BE CAREFUL.
I used a ladle – as I have 2 ladles, I have decided to dedicate one to a life of caramel, knowing the bottom may be darkened forever.
Place the heated spoon over the sugared top of custard and listen for the sizzle, smell the caramel and watch burnt sugar being made….right before your eyes!
A work of art! And it only takes a few seconds for the magic to happen!!
You can repeat if not all parts have been heated.
Truth is, you will be rewarded with an impressive, restaurant-style brûlée! Made in your kitchen……without fire and brimstone! And yes, with blackened spoon in tow.
Get stuck in. Crack that crust. Thank me, thank Mensaque. Enjoy yourself!
Now to perfect that custard! Coming soon to a screen near you!
Have you ever come across this idea? Do you have other top tips for creating a brûlée?
Are you scared of crème brûlée because of its name? Well, you shouldn’t.
You may think it is a difficult dessert to make and that you need fancy equipment. No worries, if you don’t have a torch, I have a solution for you!
Dear friend, today we’re going to learn how to make crème brûlée easily, without cream and without refined sugar!
[Recipe is adapted from Paleo Lemon Crème Brûlée by What Great Grandma Ate]
How to make crème brûlée without…cream!
Really quick premise: a couple of weeks ago I was participating in a food photography challenge on Instagram. The theme, on day 2, was usage of the “shades of the same color”.
So I decided to make crème brûlée to play with orange and yellow.
You maybe know original crème brûlée calls for yolks, cream, sugar and vanilla.
Problem: I didn’t have cream at home, and I had to make it ASAP. Ok – I thought – I’m going to use coconut milk instead. I found this simple recipe on What Great Grandma Ate and decided to make it.
But then I remembered I had to use the last can to make chickpea curry.
You know, though, that life is all about troubleshooting, right? Well, I had exactly a cup of milk left, to which I added half a tablespoon of organi all purpose flour and… TADAAAAAN! Who needs cream when you have those 2 ingredients?? (kidding, not my intention to insult traditional crème brûlée recipe!)
Participating in a food photography challenge doesn’t mean the recipe has to be good. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised when I realized this dessert was not only beautiful to photograph, but also delicious. So, I had to share it.
To make my easy crème brûlée, the essential steps are (make sure to watch the video below!)
- Combine egg yolks (at room temperature), vanilla and lemon zest (from organic lemon), give a quick stir;
- Into a pot, add flour, milk and honey, stir and bring to a simmer;
- Add it to the egg mixture to temper them, and – this is optional – use a mesh strainer to strain the batter.
- Pour it into one or more ramekins, depends on the size, (remember the water bath! A humid environment is key), bake. Then let cool down.
- Use a torch – or your oven’s broiler – to caramelize the sugar.
The thing I love more? You can prepare it in advance, then torch it in front of your guests (but be careful. ) and serve!
The extra touch? Red currants. Perfectly balance the overall sweetness.
Fun-fact: is this dessert French or not?
I did a bit of research and what I found out is, well…nothing is sure!
I found that “England, Spain and France all claim to have created the first version of the famous crème brûlée.“
If you think about it, England has custard, Spain has crema catalana.
But they say that one of the very first recordings of crème brûlée in its French form, was in 1691, when François Massialot, the King’s cook, wrote it in a book.
And, since I like the sound of crème brûlée, I will think of it as a French dessert!
How do you make a water bath for creme brulee?
This step – the water bath – is really important. Don’t skip it.
In my case, what I’ve done (watch the video) is I’ve used a deep brownie pan, because I didn’t have any other pan for this purpose. If you use more ramekins though, you can use a larger pan. But it has to be quite deep.
Do you have to wait for crème brûlée to cool, before torching?
Yes, you definitely have to wait before torching, otherwise the sugar will melt and you don’t want that!
Prepare your crème brûlée in advance, then caramelize the sugar right before serving.
What can I use if I don’t have a crème brûlée torch?
Easy-peasy: use your oven!
Put the ramekin under the broiler for a few minutes, until your sugar has caramelized. Keep an eye on it, don’t leave it alone.
Do you have other questions?
It’s not easy to answer all the questions you may have, so PLEASE leave a comment below and I’m glad to reply! Thank you.
If you make this recipe, please be sure to give it a rating and leave a comment! It would make me so happy! ?
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