Sunday, 28 November 2010

Crème Brûlée with Baileys Custard

So, a couple of months ago I bought a blowtorch. I'm pretty wimpy when it comes to fire and frying and burning things, so I've always found them a little intimidating. I don't know whatever possessed me to buy one, actually. I don't remember. It must have been something I read on the internet...

(Funny story, when I went to pay the salesperson said "Oh, you must be watching Masterchef". I actually hadn't been watching Masterchef at the time - I phased in and out last season - but I thought it was great that a TV show was getting people to start getting into this kind of thing.)

I only bought a little blowtorch, even though all my research did indicate that these homestyle torches didn't really do a great deal. I don't think I could have overcome my fear enough to handle one of these.

When I got home, I enlisted D to fill the tank while I set to making custard.

Recently my blogging organisation has been somewhat lacking, not only in the posting department but in the background as well. It's not as if I haven't been cooking either, because I have. I think it's because normally I will upload my pictures straight after I've cooked something, it's fresh in my mind, I know where the recipe came from and what I think. Lately, it's been weeks before I've uploaded my photos and it's a lot harder to get the information together. This is what happened with this post, except the picture has been uploaded for ages, I just didn't write any notes!!

So I can't tell you the exact measurements for the custard. I can tell you it was a very classic custard, with egg yolks, sugar, cream and vanilla. I finished it off with a glug or two of coffee-flavoured Baileys. It was an incredible custard though, I had to stop my taste testing because there wasn't going to be enough for the brulee.

I haven't made a brulee before and while I'd read pretty widely about them, I wasn't following a recipe (bad idea for me!). Clearly I hadn't been taking my readings in though, as after I had cooked my custard on the stove I put it into two ramekins, sprinkled on some sugar and ended up with:

so much of a failure it's sideways

It was a tasty failure though. The custard was so good I didn't care it didn't have a crispy caramel topping.

The next day I resolved to try again. I had the same problem resisting the urge to just eat all the custard. This time, I decided to put my research to use. Upon a revisit, it turns out that most places tell you that a creme brulee really needs to be baked in a water bath as the stovetop custards can be more difficult to set or thicken.

So, I baked my custards this time. I didn't let them cool, although apparently it is best to let the custards sit overnight in the fridge. I wanted warm creme brulee.

The difference between the stirred custard and the baked custard was remarkable. The brilliant people on Chowhound are confident that a stirred custard can set as well as a baked one, but I am clearly missing something. One day I may even put effort into trying to work out what that something is, but both methods are so easy I don't really mind which one I use.

After I had removed my beautiful custards from the oven, I sprinkled over the sugar and fired up the blowtorch. You can see the picture at the top of this post. I did try and minimise my blackened spots the first time but I soon got over that. The best part was hearing the 'crack' after you tapped the caramelised sugar...

1 comment:

  1. I love the look of creme brulee but sadly am not a custard fan. However I've been looking for an excuse to buy a blowtorch so I suspect I'll have to give it a whirl! Luckily hubby loves it so he will be a happy guinea-pig.

    Also, I had to laugh at your blogging organisation comment - I've been the same lately. Have found a heap of photos but I can't recall what the dishes were. Ho hum...