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Creme Brulee - Not Suitable for Take-Out, and the Custard Must Remain Cold

f
FlavoursGal Nov 4, 2006 09:31 PM

This discussion began on the Toronto/Ontario Board. In short, a few of us would like to inform the world that creme brulee should never be eaten unless it's been freshly brulee'd. Once brulee'd, it does not hold well; the crackly top becomes wet and soft. Prepared foods stores, please take note!

When you get it in a restaurant, the custard should be cold, not warm. If you make it at home (which you can, without a blowtorch), you can broil the sugar in the oven - just make sure to place the custard dishes into a pan containing ice and water (an ice bath) before placing in the oven. This ensures that the custard remains cold while the top is browning.

  1. rworange Nov 4, 2006 09:33 PM

    I don't know. Whole Foods in SF makes a nice take-out creme brulee.

    1. l
      laur76 Nov 4, 2006 09:36 PM

      YOU GO FLAVOURS GAL!!! Someone had to say it!

      1 Reply
      1. re: laur76
        bryan Nov 5, 2006 07:32 PM

        I'm totally with you on this one. Warm custard...bleh.

      2. LindaWhit Nov 4, 2006 09:56 PM

        Well, I don't like the custard to be "cold" - I prefer it cool with the warm crackly top. I definitely don't like warm custard, but cold (i.e. cold out of the refrigerator) is not to my taste.

        3 Replies
        1. re: LindaWhit
          b
          Blueicus Nov 4, 2006 10:29 PM

          I've said this before (but it wasn't in the right board), but a perfectly velvety brulee will turn into a puddle-like mess if warmed too far. If it still keeps its shape well in extreme warmth, there's something wrong with it.

          1. re: Blueicus
            LindaWhit Nov 4, 2006 11:29 PM

            Exactly. There is a restaurant in the Boston area that I frequent a lot, and I got the creme brulee once, and it was soup. That was one of my few "send backs", and I haven't gotten it since.

          2. re: LindaWhit
            a
            Atahualpa Nov 6, 2006 03:32 AM

            Thank you! I'm even further down the line as I'd rather risk too warm than get stone cold!

            When I make it at home I prefer not to use a blow-torch because I like it fresh from the fridge into a hot oven WITHOUT any icebath and then served straight-away. The custard should be fully cold on the bottom and warmed up to just below becoming liquid on top. I use 8oz ramekins. If you use the traditional shallow oval dishes then you'd have to use an icebath or blow-torch.

            Also, the world needs to be informed that too firm is just as bad as too liquidy. The custard needs a fair bit of give and softness in the centre.

          3. sivyaleah Nov 5, 2006 04:28 PM

            This is a pet peeve with my husband and I. We're always critiquing brulees and I totally agree with Flavoursgal on this. Custard must be cold, and there best be a hard "crack" on top. I'm rather grossed out if it is served warm.

            1. chef chicklet Nov 5, 2006 06:11 PM

              I recentl ordered a creme brulee at Prima's in Walnut Creek CA. What a disappointment, I guess given the time of year, it was a pumpkin brulee, I should of known better but I LOVE brulee. My complaint, is that it was dry, and that the dish they used too shallow. I feel it that it is so important to use the correct dish. At least they could of filled the dish with the brulee a little closer to the top, maybe that would of been better. It was not creamy or rich at all. Blah.
              Sometimes the coldness will detract from the taste for me. Just me...

              2 Replies
              1. re: chef chicklet
                babette feasts Nov 5, 2006 10:51 PM

                Too shallow? Traditional creme brulee dishes are an inch or less deep. How deep was the dish they used, and what do you consider correct?

                1. re: babette feasts
                  chef chicklet Nov 5, 2006 11:08 PM

                  I apoliogize, the dish was probably correct, they did not fill it properly. I've ordered a lot of creme brulee to know that it was not the usual, plus the pumpkin in it was a turnoff for me.
                  I would say for creme brulee that I do not prefer the oval dish which is what they used. Might of been just a measurement thing.

              2. a
                aac610 Nov 5, 2006 10:57 PM

                I think that creme brulee is a safe item to have on a dessert menu, but I have to know, when will we done with creme brulee??

                2 Replies
                1. re: aac610
                  babette feasts Nov 6, 2006 03:06 AM

                  Oh, 5 or 10 years after we're done with molten center chocolate cake!

                  1. re: babette feasts
                    Covert Ops Nov 6, 2006 05:12 PM

                    Oh, I hope we're NEVER done wtih molten center chocolate cake!!! :-D

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