I love food, I love clothes

I love food, I love clothes

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dont f*@k up the creme brulee!

I know, I know, nice still, I am waiting for youtube to change this white hot mess...

Creme brulee, we all love you. Yet not everyone understands you, this is where I come in to help. 
While working at Le Cirque (bow down and recognize) I had to make very large quantities of creme brulee. I learned a few tricks along the way that I am all to happy to share with you, my legion of 36 strong followers, I love you all. 
In my webisode I gave instruction to bake the creme brulee at 300 degrees, this is in my oven, not yours. My oven is a convection oven (this means it blows the air around for even cooking) If you don't have a convection oven, bake at 250 degrees in a hot water bath. See recipe below;
You can get a kitchen torch at Bed Bath & Beyond (in the Beyond section) Willams-Sonoma or any kitchen supply store. 

Creme Brulee
1 cup dark brown sugar or Sugar in the Raw (is it just me or does that sound naughty to everyone else?)
For the Creme
4 cups Heavy Cream 
1 Vanilla bean
1 Egg
6 Egg Yolks
1 cup Sugar
If you are using regular dark brown sugar, dry it out over night then pass it through a sieve. 

Place the heavy cream into a nonreactive sauce pan. 
(use clay, enamel, glass, plastic, or stainless steel. Stainless steel is the most common non-reactive cookware available. Since it does not conduct or retain heat well, it frequently has aluminum or copper bonded to the bottom or a core of aluminum between layers of stainless steel. Although expensive, this kind of cookware offers the benefits of a durable, non-reactive surface and rapid, uniform heat conductivity)
In other words, its well worth your money, go for it, live large like Jay-Z. 
Like I was saying, place heavy cream into defined pan and add sugar. Split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out the luscious insides and add to pan as well ALONG with the vanilla bean itself. You want every penny you paid for a vanilla bean*
Heat the cream on medium-low heat just until the sugar has dissolved, in other words, don't let it boil. 
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and the egg yolks really, really well. 
Once the sugar has dissolved in the cream, temper it into the eggs. (Temper means that you are bringing the temperature of the eggs up to the same temperature of the cream) Do this by pouring a small amount of the cream into the eggs while whisking at the same time, pour the rest of the cream into the eggs while whisking. Pour the mixture into a large liquid measuring cup through a sieve. 
Place the molds you are using into a shallow baking dish and pour the cream mixture into the molds. Place the pan into the oven and very carefully pour hot tap water into the pan. Not the molds but the pan. This is called a water bath and this controls the heat to cook the egg mixture evenly so that the eggs will not curdle and separate. Curdled Creme Brulee is beyond bad. It looks like someone ralphed, would you want to eat that? I dare say no. 
Baking time will be anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, it really depends upon your oven. What you are looking for is the custard to shake like jello and you will know that it is done. If you shake it and it looks like liquid under the skin, let it cook longer. You will see a difference, I promise. 
It will firm up in the fridge. You don't want the custards to brown or have any bubbles on top, that is a sign that you have let them cook to long. Once you take the pan out of the oven, let the water cool before taking the molds out of the pan, its just bad for everyone involved if you try to take them out of the very hot water. Creme Brulee should invoke memories and feelings of yumminess. Not scalding burning memories. 
The creme brulee should be chilled at least overnight and can stay in your fridge for up to 2 days before  brulee-ing and or eating. 
Once they are chilled properly, give a light dusting of the brown sugar, tip it upside down and let any excess sugar fall out (preferably into another mold) You don't want too much sugar, it wont Brulee evenly. Using your kitchen torch, go over your creme brulees making sure to burn all of the sugar granules, you don't want any un-bruleed sugar on your creme. 
A sign of a quality creme brulee is a cold custard and a crispy caramel topping. 
Feel free to dig in right away or you can pop it back into the fridge for about 10 minutes

*Once you have poured the creme through a sieve, take your used vanilla bean, rinse it and let it dry out.
Once it is dried out, crumble it up and put it in a food processor with some granulated sugar about 1 to 2 cups, process it very well, till the vanilla bean is tiny, tiny, tiny along with the sugar. Store in an airtight container and make sure to LABEL it.
You can use this sugar in a lot of stuff! For instance, Creme Brulee, Pastry cream, cookies and cakes. Anything that calls for vanilla and sugar. 
It's a damn good thing. 


  1. YUM! You are funny AND you can cook?? No way. I want to be your friend, especially if there's some creme brulee in it for me.

  2. Chris, consider yourself a friend of mine, creme brûlée & all!

  3. you know your way around a torch lady! Yum.

  4. Well deserved! I really enjoy your blog and am impressed by your finds. Keep it up!
    Scarves Scarves

  5. Thanks VickyFF, I will keep it up! True story :)