Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bake Along #22- Creme Brulee

Another challenging bake for me, I actually feel a little intimidated making a creme brulee. Firstly, i am afraid that my custard wont set. Secondly, although i had once tasted a creme brulee but at that time, i was still unsure what was actually creme brulee and all i knew was that it tasted good when i had that and i cannot remember anything about that sugar crust. How is that sugar crust supposed to be? Crunchy hard or not that hard?

So here i just want to make a plain creme brulee, flavoured with vanilla. In my mind, i was thinking even if it fails, i dont have so much ingredients to waste. I was just reading some of the recipes of creme brulee in the internet and came upon this interesting post here by Hunger Hunger. She made and tested out some creme brulee recipes by some famous chefs and what interests me is that she made a comparison and sort of analysis of the number of egg yolks and the amount of cream used thus giving her the ratio of cream per yolk. Even though i did not try out any of those recipes, it gives me a better understanding and the possible outcome of the texture if it was of a certain ratio. Do jump over to Hunger Hunger  if you want to read more on this.

For example if number of egg yolks used is 8, cream amount is 625ml, the cream per yolk 625/8 = 78ml ( ratio 1:80 )

I learned from her tested recipes that this above ratio gave her the best creme brulee and the one ratio that is above 100ml cream per yolk could result in a runnier texture. Some of you might think why take the trouble to calculate all these. Well, it's just a matter of learning and i want to be safe. I want something that can set well and at the same time, not too thick. Apart from that, I also just wanted to make a small recipe so it helps me here to work out a smaller recipe. 400ml of cream and 5 egg yolks, ratio is 1:80ml, so this shall be it. But if some recipes use additional milk or whole eggs, then it's a different story.

i did not get a nice caramelised surface, as you can see, the left side of the surface above didnt get melted thru but they are still crunchy in piece. Same goes for the rest of the ramekins.I also think that i probably sprinkled too much sugar over the surface.

Recipe ( makes 4 ramekins)
5 egg yolks ( 115gms)
400ml dairy cream
2.5 tbsp caster sugar
1 vanilla bean
some extra sugar for sprinkling
boiling water ( for water bath)

1.Pour the dairy cream into a saucepan, scrape the seeds out from the vanilla bean, put that into the cream and cook on medium-high heat till it almost reaches boiling point. Turn to low heat and let it simmer.
2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together till smooth. When this is ready, turn on the heat again and cook the cream till it reaches boling point, quickly remove from heat and stir quickly into the egg mixture. Keep stirring quickly till all the cream has been poured in. Using a siever, pour the cream into the ramekins.
3.Place the ramekins into a tray and fill the tray with boiling water, halfway up the sides of the ramekin.
4.Cook the custard in waterbath in the preheated oven at 150C for about 40-45 minutes.
5.Remove and allow to cool down, then leave it in fridge overnight.
6.To broil, sprinkle about 1 tbsp of sugar into each ramekin and broil on the upper rack for 5 minutes or so to caramelise the sugar.

Let's hop over to see my baking partners,Joyce and Zoe who did theirs and also the rest who have joined us.

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  1. I read about the crème brûlée to be placed in ice bath if they are to be brûlée by boiler so the edges will not be burnt first. For this reason, most people prefer to use the blow torch rather than the boiler... Either way, this is a great excuse for me to buy a blow torch...*giggle*

    Very interesting to read about your research in making a good brûlée :D

  2. When I saw the next challenge is to bake creme brulee, I also have some problem juggling in my mind. I made creme brulee before but not the caramelizing. As i know my family do not like the taste of the milky flavor...unless follow Zoe's fake tips over the creme brulee using vanilla custard instead. Somehow, it happens and I try my best to bake the best creme brulee...so far my egg set very well..

  3. Yes, this would be a challenge to me too and I have been wanting to try on hands on this but havent got the chance to it yet. Very smooth - looks good.

  4. My sugars didn't caramelize properly too. I actually put too thick a layer of sugars in my first batch and after all the photographing, the caramel has hardened and I can't break it at all! Thanks for sharing the ratio, it's a really good guide! And your creme brulee looks very smooth and silky!

  5. I also sprinkle too much sugar on the surface when making this, in the end I have to scope out some of the burnt surface and only eat the custard. Nevertheless, your creme brulee still look good and the custard is really soft and silky !

  6. I agree with the rest - the ratio tip is a really good one! And I'm afraid I'm the opposite - I love the burnt sugar bit and don't like that much custard heh

  7. Hi Lena,
    Interesting details about the ratio of eggs to cream, thanks for sharing the info! Yours look smooth and yum. The top looks OK to me, as long as it has a slight crunch and not hard. This creme brulee challenge is fun, looks like this is the first time that everyone is making it! :)

  8. It's good that we learn while we try something new, not just doing things blindly not knowing why or how to go around it.
    Love this attitude of yours!

  9. Looks great Lena. I love creme brulee. Well done on calculating the ratios, looks like you were rewarded with a great custard. I think it's pretty difficult to get a good sugar crust without a blow torch. For a broiled brulee, it looks excellent!

  10. hi Lena, even though the surface isnt so smooth but look at your 2nd pic, yum! :)
    thks for the info about the ration between cream and yolk, i never know that (cos never bother to do some read up LOL)
    i'm planning to bake this dessert on this coming thurs or fri :)

  11. Hi Lena, yr creme brûlée looks GREAT!!
    I hv always loved creme brûlée bt I do not hv e fire torch thus kiv tis for a long time... Thou I knw can use oven top heat... :-p
    Maybe I shld it it soon...

    Mimi Bakery House

  12. Never had this before, but yours looks great with silky custard.

    Er, is creme brulee supposed to have burnt sugar topping?

  13. Yours look delightful! mine was a abit thick but nevertheless good!

  14. Thanx so much for sharing the ratio. I was also a bit worried that my custard won't set but I had Nigella to guide me through :).
    Your custard looks silky smooth. Great job!

  15. Guess what, this is "my" 3rd creme brulee for today, hahaha! It has been in my list for such a long time now but i still haven't taken action!

    I watched a clip when I copied a creme brulee recipe few months ago. It was a French chef demonstrated making the creme brulee. According to him, you should be generous with the sugar. Put a full table spoon or 2, make sure all the topping is evenly coated with sugar, then pour the excess out gently & wipe the edge clean. He did his version by making few burnt spots & for all the creme brulee that I've tasted b4, they should be crunchy hard & you can enjoy using a metal spoon to knock on the top & hear the cracking sound!

    Lucky me to be able to enjoy so many good dishes of creme brulee today!

  16. With creme brulee, I always look for that few signature taps on the caramelized sugar :)

  17. Looks good babe... I really gotta do it dy .. ;)

  18. Another yummy creme brulee ! I don't mind some dark spots as long as it tastes delicious ! Love the velvety smooth custard :D

  19. eileen@hundred eighty degreesApril 10, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    when I came to know that creme brulee would the next project, I was so excited and i even bought remekins getting ready to join. But the baking store who sells cheaper blow torch has ran out of stock. I m not sure if my oven has broil setting..can't wait to check. Thanks for sharing info. Your custard looks soft and I am sure this is a good one.

  20. oh damn! I missed this bake along :(

    Lovely work, ladies!!!

  21. Earlier i have tried two recipes, but not satisfied with the result. Thanks for sharing for the calculation, wil check out later.

  22. Hi Lena, delicious cream brulee and beautiful click.
    Have not eat this for long time....looking at yours now I'm craving for it.

    Have a nice day.

  23. Your cream brûlée looks delicious and you managed to get a smooth custard even if the caramel is too thick, still they look lovely! Chicken me decided to skip on this lol!

  24. Wow, your creme brulee looks good for a first timer :) that is a great job done! next time send some over to my office :p

  25. This looks like it would be perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner

  26. Lena, you did a good job. Your creme brulee looks so smooth. Hope I got time to join this event too.

  27. One of my fave desserts! But its beyond my skills to make them. They always come out too hard or overly soft. And of course an overly caramelised top. LOL.

  28. zoe: oh really? thanks for the tips. Hey, did you purposely get that goggle as well?

    angeline:yeah, zoe very smart, use quick version. you did yours very well, i can see that your custard is very velvety smooth!

    chris: eh, just try. see mine? not too good looking too!

    jasline: i think you and i did the same thing by putting a little more sugar . Didnt break? haha!
    i can imagine yours taste delicious with baileys!

    joyce@ccooky: i actually like the sugar crust very much and make sure my every bite comes with that!

    janine: me too, i enjoy eating that sugar crust a lot, i find it more delicious eating with that.

    joyce: yes, seems like all first time doing it, have fun making that but a little stress when i was doing the caramelising..that's why i texted you!

    pineapple man: how abt the 1st and 2nd picture? LOL!! just kidding..

    wendy: so happened i came across that post by hunger hunger so the more i read, the more eager i want to try working that out.

    shaz: hi, so nice to hv you here, it's been quite a while since we last communicated thru blogs here. Yeah, i think with the blowtorch, it will be much nicer. you take care!

    alice: Now i'm feeling excited to see your creme brulee! Good luck!

    cjaney: yes, we can do it with the grill function on our oven, just put it close to the upper elements in your oven.

    yvonne: thanks! yes, creme brulee comes with that sugar crust topping :))

    emily: i've seen yours, it doesnt look thick to me if you never mentioned it, always nice to hv you baking along!

    anuja: i've seen yours, it looks good and you did it very well!

  29. jessie: yeah, i think i might hv watched the same video too.I never poured the excess out, that could be the reason why i have a thick sugar topping. yeah, that sound, "klak klak" got that!! haha!

    tigerfish: exactly, that's also something i just found out when reading abt the recipes.

    abby: waiting for yours..babe.

    anne: thank you! the sugar crust is delicious though i find that the custard is a little rich for me :)

    eileen: yes, you can use the grill function in your oven, the one just showing the top heat elements image, use that, put it right on the highest rack and grill that.

    hi alan, you can still join if you want. The link will be opened for 7 days starting today.

    sonia: i'm sure you can come up with a much better version of a creme brulee due to your bkaing expertise and knowledge!

    amelia: can we exchange the mocha buns for the creme brulee? hey, you take good care of your ankle!!

    jeannie: thank you! no worries, free and easy!!

    elin: ok, next time make better ones and send it over to you :D

    loveforfood: thanks, it's quite rich though.

    anncoo: do it when you can, it's free and easy, no worries !!

    missyblurkit: haha! so many factors to consider..susah!! LOL!!

  30. I've never tried creme brulee but everyone's always raving about it! I've got to give it a go one day!

  31. Your photos are wonderfully enticing, making me want creme brûlée NOW!

  32. Looks great & can't believe this is your first! These is how it should look like..DELICIOUS! Well done , Lena! :)

  33. Good first attempt! I never tasted one before although its common here. Maybe I order one when I have the chance.

  34. Lena, your cream brulee sure came out much better than my first attempt...looks really creamy.
    Great pictures as well.
    Thanks for the tips and have a wonderful week :)

  35. Your brulee looks perfect to me, Lena. Very soft and tempting.

  36. enjoy reading all your sharing, and the way you did "homework" before come out the good brulee...your brulee really looks good to me...:)

  37. this is such a lovely dessert! I wish I can bake along with you all but...

  38. lena, ini puding macam caramel pudding ker? tapi versi bakar dalam oven? looks delicious tapi akak takut pulak nak try if rasanya more to eggy?

  39. Not smooth also never mind.. it looks tempting to me!

  40. Wow, your bake alongs are getting more challenging and sophisticated by the day :) The creme brulee looks great to me. Must be yummy!

  41. For your first time, this is definitely a great job my friend! It's great that you found out the correct ratio of egg yolk and cream for us all, that really helps! Thanks & will try it next time. ;)

  42. Look absolutely perfect! Loce cream brulée

  43. Wow...that looks really tempting. Looks rich and creamy. Lena, you are awesome to take the challenge to make this. I have yet to gather more courage to try this. Any plan to open a cafe? I'm sure you will make good money. Love all your bakes :D

  44. I have a kitchen torch my husband bought me so I could make cream brulee (never mind you its his favorite dessert and this was his way of saying please make this). I need to get it out and try your recipe! The brulee looks incredible

  45. Luce absolutamente perfecta la creme brulée me encanta es mi postre preferido,abrazos hugs,hugs.

  46. I've been meaning to make creme brulee forever and just haven't gotten around to it. I have a kitchen torch and everything!! This might force me into the kitchen- it looks SO good!


  47. Ohh this look just about perfect - the custard looks SO silky and delicious!
    Mary x

  48. The egg custard looks really smooth and tender!

  49. Lena-your Creme Brule turned out superb, creamy and delicate!
    One question- what is a DIARY cream?...or is it DAIRY cream?...heavy cream, as in whipping cream?

    I have not made Creme Brule in such a long time, the caramel burnt sugar is the tricky part, but if you have one of those small torches that you can also use at home, it make it a lot easier (just have to be careful not to burn down your kitchen)
    BTW-I'm putting your blog on my side-bar blog list, so I will not forget to check your latest each time!

  50. cathleen: do try making some creme brulee, it's nice but cant take too much, i find them very rich actually.

    chris: thanks, i'm sure you can make this much much better than me!!

    kit: thanks so much..no..it shouldnt look like this, the sugar crust cld have been better!!

    mkgirl: yeah, dont hv to make them, just try them at restaurants..maybe you will love them!

    juliana: thanks so much for your nice comments, you hv a great week too!

    jen: thank you!

    sherleen: homework??haha! so happened just stumbled upon the post and find it very helpful.

    diane: it's french!!

    tze: hey, no problem, you take care and will be looking out for your posts!

    queenie: agak similar to that custard pudding tapi ini ada itu sugar topping, tak ada eggy taste.

    claire: hehe, thanks :)

    litehomebake: it's nice but very rich, some fellow bakers who baked this said that it's a little 'jelat' eating this.

    bee2: this is a simple calculation that enables me to work out a smaller and safe recipe. Then of course, there are many recipes out there that gives nicer creme brulee.

    Gloria: thank you!

  51. marymoh: hey, you must be kidding. I'm not as experienced and qualified as you..so sit here and do home baking better.

    jessica: i think it;s time for you to make use of that kitchen torch :))

    rosita: thanks !

    sue: hi, how are you? it's been quite a while since we communicated. Hope all is well, will visit you soon.

    mary: thanks mary, i'm sure you can do this very well too!

    angie: thank you, yup they are nice but a little too rich for me.

    elisabeth: YES! it's dairy cream..my spelling error!! thanks for pointing it out and yes, they are the same as whipping cream. I must admit that the grilling part was a little difficult for me cos i find that my top rack is still not so close to the upper element. The blowtorch will definately makes it more nicer and easier! thanks regarding the sidebar list, i will do the same too!

  52. hi lena, looks soft and delicious. th etop looks great.. ha ha i never tried making creme brulee before. just eat out..take care

  53. I have never tried to make it at home-I am too scared that the carmelization won't be a success!:)

    Yours look perfect!

    Life and travelling