Following my Christmas break from blogging I have returned with many goodies! One of which was a Cook’s Blow torch from my ol’ trusty Lakeland (http://www.lakeland.co.uk/12487/De-Luxe-Cooks-Blowtorch).
A blowtorch is something I’ve always wanted… because its cool. When people asked me what I got for Christmas the first thing I always said was “A BLOWTORCH!” and the response was, without fail, was “OMG that’s Awesome!” (or some other synonym).
I never bought one for myself because I see it as a relatively expensive toy that you can’t use for that many things, but when my mum gave me one for Christmas how could I complain 😉
The dessert that comes to most peoples minds when thinking of what to do with their brand new blowtorch is usually Creme Brûlée, so I gave it a go – to great success! I made these on Boxing Day for my family and boyfriend and they all loved them.
Creme Brûlée is simply a set custard with a sugar top that is caramelised with a blowtorch (if you don’t have a blow torch I have written a paragraph below the method for an alternative) – and it is a lot easier to make than you think! After doing it at home you’ll wonder whether you’re ever going to spend £6.95 for one in a restaurant when it’s such a doddle to make yourself!.
Creme Brûlées are best made the day before you need them or the morning before you need them as they need to cool down to fridge temperature.
MAKES: 8 Creme Brûlées
1 Cook’s blowtorch
1 Large pie dish, roasting tin or lasagne dish sort of thing
1 Weighing scales
1 Medium saucepan
1 Small saucepan/Microwaveable saucepan
1 Pastry brush
1 Large bowl
4 Large egg yolks (once I accidentally used 4 whole eggs… wasn’t a great turn out)
45g Caster sugar (plus extra for the topping, roughly 45g again)
300ml Single cream
300ml Double cream
1/2 tsp Vanilla essence
Knob of butter for greasing
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees.
For the custard:
- Melt the butter in a saucepan (or in the microwave for 20 seconds), use the pastry brush to lightly coat the ramekins in butter and place them in the roasting tin/dish
- Break the egg yolks in a large bowl (tip: save the egg yolks for a healthy omlette if you’re one of those “protein people”, or better yet – meringues!)
- Add the sugar and vanilla essence and beat together with a whisk
- Pour both creams into a medium saucepan and warm on a low heat until scolding (catch it just before it starts to boil)
- Leave the cream to cool for 2 minutes
- Pour the cream mixture into the egg-sugar-vanilla mixture and beat lightly with the whisk
- Strain the custard into a jug through a sieve
- Pour the custard into the ramekins
- Pour hot water around the ramekins to half-way up the sides of the ramekins
- Bake for 30 minutes or until jelly-like to touch
- Remove from the oven, carefully remove from the roasting tin/dish and leave to cool in the fridge
For the crunchy topping:
- Sprinkle the top of the cold creme brûlées with a thin layer of caster sugar
- Use the blowtorch a couple of inches above the sugar and move in circular motions to caramelise the sugar, move on to another area once the sugar turns brown (if the sugar starts turning black then move onto another creme brûlée and come back to it)
- Serve as soon as they’re caramelised
If you don’t have a blow torch it is possible to use a grill. I have found a forum post from Kitchen Queries on Nigella Lawson’s recipe website that tells you how it can be done. Have a look at it here: http://www.nigella.com/kitchen-queries/view/Caramelizing-Sugar-on-Creme-Brulee/4805
You won’t be able to stop feeling like a pro pastry chef after making these naughty desserts! They go really well with a slice of Shortbread (recipe soon to come… so keep your eyes peeled!) and this can be made while your Creme Brûlées are cooling.
So, how much did these 8 scrumptious puds cost me to make? Only £3.14! So if you’re looking to wow in a Come Dine With Me fashion but not looking to break the bank then these are definitely the dessert to make. I’m going to be making these whenever I get the chance!