Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

A Crème brûlée of Loveliness

September 22, 2013

I would find it very difficult to find anyone I know who hasn’t had Crème brûlée for dessert at a nice restaurant. It really is the perfect end to the perfect meal. Smooth creamy custard, crisp caramelised shell, the soft sweetness of the vanilla draws you in for more with every mouthful.

Creme brulee 3

I’ve only made this dessert a couple of times, but really once you’ve mastered it there’s no going back. I’m not going to post a recipe here, because there are SO many out there, but this is the one I use. What I will post here however are some tips to help your Crème brûlées be as be as perfect as the restaurants without having to go anywhere.

Creme brulee 2

1) Use normal cream. Normal, fresh, unthickened cream. Here in Australia I search high & low for Farmer’s Union Pure Cream, because its pretty much the only whipping cream supermarkets stock without thickener in it.

2) Custard is very sensitive to temperature, so you want to ensure the most even heating possible while its cooking. Fold up an old tea towel & place this underneath your ramekins before pouring the water in, it will protect the bottom of the custard from overcooking. Additionally, most recipes say to pour water til halfway up the ramekins, I tend to go a little higher, about three quarters.

3) When you pour the uncooked custard into the ramekins, there will be air bubbles from whisking it earlier. Grab your lit blowtorch and skim it very quickly over the surface of the custard, it will burst all the bubbles leaving a nice clean smooth surface.

Creme out of the oven

4) When you are ready to brûlée the top, use demerara sugar. It has large grains which melt and coat the custard beautifully. To get it on in an even layer for caramelising, spoon enough sugar into the ramekin to coat it thickly, pressing it down very gently with the back of the spoon. Then, tip the excess sugar out into a bowl leaving a perfect amount of sugar ready for the blowtorch.

Blow torch brulee

5) Don’t hold the blowtorch too close to the ramekin, or it will burn instead of melt.

6) Make in advance, host a dinner party and impress your friends with this simple dessert 🙂

Creme brulee mouthful

Fluffy meringues and two fruit coulis

September 28, 2008

After yesterday’s “basics” post, I was feeling a little more adventurous today; and since I had to use up four egg whites leftover from making the custard, I couldn’t think of anything more perfect then meringues.

For the meringues:

4 egg whites

Pinch of salt

1 cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 teaspoons cornflour

Whipped cream, to serve

Fruit coulis, see below

Preheat oven to 120 degrees Celcius. Set up baking paper on two baking trays (just one if making a large pavlova base). Get all your ingredients ready beforehand so you don’t have to put your hand mixer down while whiping.

Put a pinch of salt into your egg whites and start whipping them up. When soft peaks form, start adding the sugar a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat until the mixture is really glossy & stiff. Lastly add the vinegar, vanilla & corn flour, beat on low speed to incorporate.

Spoon or pipe out ‘blobs’ of meringue onto the baking paper, and bake for an hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and let them cool inside with the door ajar. While waiting for them to cool, whip your cream & make the fruit coulis!

You will need:

250 grams of fruit (I made two batches, one strawberry & one mango, but be adventurous!)

1/4 cup icing sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

I used a blender for this, and just put the ingredients in and blended until smooth. If I was using raspberries or blackberries I would strain the seeds out but the strawberry seeds are so small.

Top your meringues with whipped cream and plenty of fruit coulis. Enjoy while thinking of summer days in the garden!