Hits & Misses: Crème Brûlée

I’ve had my fair share of misses when it comes to trying new things in the kitchen. {Those are “lessons learned”, right? 😉 } I don’t usually post when I’ve made a mistake on a recipe because I like to ignore the fact that I’m human {and not perfect 😉 }, but this may come in handy for people who are looking to attempt a crème brûlée at home as I did a month ago…
The only tip I have to offer is this:
DON’T make one unless you have a home-kitchen torch. This torch will allow you to properly and evenly caramelize the sugar that you sprinkle on top. The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book suggests that you can, however, use the broiler in your oven. {As do some other recipes.} Maybe it’s just because we don’t have a convection oven yet, but it just didn’t work for me at all. I kept an eye on them the whole time, and even tried switching the positions of the dishes part way through, but had no luck.

Visual: Parts of the top were actually burnt, while other parts hadn’t even started to caramelize. The ending result is something I am ashamed of, but feel it can still be useful.
Taste: not bad actually… Not bad at all. I still would never serve this to anyone… One thing though, I really like the flavour combination that I put together for the custard part. 🙂 I won’t post the recipe in this entry, however down the road I may share it. 😉 I’m thinking of a crème caramel with the same custard flavours that I used for this! 
I was debating posting a picture of this for fear of disturbing any of you that actually read this blog, but it’s necessary. I apologize in advance for any nightmares this may cause. {This picture is taken after I “tested” it…} 

Crème Brûlée

Yeah, not so pretty, is it… Regardless of the way it looked, both Joe and myself ate AND enjoyed them! 🙂 

I do plan on trying this again at some point in the future, but I will most definitely be using a kitchen torch… 

I’ve read on a few websites that you can pour a thin layer of brandy (or other hard liquor) over the sugared top of the pre-torched crème brûlée and light it on fire… Would it give a caramelized texture? Hmm… That would be a Crème Brulée Flambé… That would probably taste VERY good… Maybe I’ll try THAT instead! 🙂

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4 comments on “Hits & Misses: Crème Brûlée

  1. It can be frustrating (even for amazing chefs like yourself, seriously) to have a less-than-perfect creation. Especially when YOU are on such a roll of posting such delicious recipes and colorful pictures as well, it can be a real big “pain” to have an imperfect dish. Thank you for posting this though I have been wanting a kitchen torch…

    • It really can be, but I’ve learned to look at it as just another experience. The annoying part is wasting the food… 😦 I think that’s why we both ate it anyways hahahaaah…
      Aw, thanks 🙂 I’d hardly call myself an “amazing chef” just yet, maybe a few years from now. 😉 I think that no matter what, even if I had years of training, I’d still make mistakes.. The date loaf I made a while back had several failed attempts before I got it to even be edible haahhahaahah
      I want to get a kitchen torch too… It’s hard to justify it though, seeing as I haven’t found one for less than $40. I believe that I’d only really use it to make this one dish, because even for French onion soup – the broiler in the oven works wonders.

  2. I’ve heard that if you put the dish in an ice bath you can protect it while you broil it, but it still could be hard to get an even heat on the top. The first time I tried a similar dessert I ended up with something that looked similar and had to eat the whole dish alone. After a few attempts I perfected a flambe version and posted about it (http://richardstravels.com/2010/07/11/creme-brulee-flambe-no-blow-torch-recipe-with-video/) – that’s what led me to this. It’s a bit of work and the top isn’t hard but it’s still easier than carrying around a blow-torch unless you really like your creme brulees 🙂

    • It’s such a simple-yet-complicated dish to make… I think it would just be easier to spring for the torch LOL, which is probably what I will end up doing eventually… I checked out that video with the flambe, I believe I will try that next time around before the torch!!! I’ve done a pear flambe, and loved it… Not just the taste- it’s fun lighting the food on fire!

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