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Creme Brulee

reets Apr 27, 2010 06:49 PM

I need to make Creme Brulee for a dinner Sat night - how far in advance can I make it? BTW, if anyone has a good recipe for a stirred creme I'l love it (mine is marginal) I am filling chocolate boxes so it cannot be baked. Thanks!

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  1. bushwickgirl RE: reets Apr 27, 2010 11:08 PM

    Day before should be fine, except obviously you're going to brulé the sugar right before serving.
    I'm not sure what a stirred creme is, is it a stirred (cooked stove top) creme brulée, as in not baked? If so, here's a recipe:

    Crema Catalana

    2 cups whole milk
    1 cinnamon stick, optional
    1 lemon rind, optional or use orange rind or not
    1 tsp pure vanilla extract, or more to taste
    4 egg yolks
    1 tbsp cornstarch
    3/4 cup sugar

    In a pot, bring milk, cinnamon stick, and lemon rind to a boil. Simmer for several minutes then strain and discard cinnamon stick and lemon rind.
    In bowl, whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and sugar together.
    Add small amount of hot milk mixture in with egg mixture and whisk to combine. Add tempered egg mixture to milk mixture on stove and cook--stirring continuously--until thickened.
    Stir in vanilla. Pour into ramekins and chill for a minimum of four hours.
    Just before serving brulé as per creme brulée.

    You can make this with heavy cream (35% butterfat) instead of milk and, if so, add an extra egg yolk and skip the cornstarch.


    1 Reply
    1. re: bushwickgirl
      reets RE: bushwickgirl Apr 28, 2010 07:39 AM

      Thanks for the recipe it's perfect. Story is this method (stove top) you can cool enough to scoop into the boxes and not melt them before chilling.

    2. n
      Nyleve RE: reets Apr 28, 2010 07:09 AM

      How are you going to brulee the top when the custard is inside a chocolate box? Isn't it going to melt?

      7 Replies
      1. re: Nyleve
        reets RE: Nyleve Apr 28, 2010 07:38 AM

        I'll use a small hand held torch and just be careful not to get too close to the edges.

        1. re: reets
          Nyleve RE: reets Apr 28, 2010 08:27 AM

          Have you actually done this before? I can't imagine how the chocolate won't melt. The melted sugar gets so hot that it will almost certainly radiate out toward the edges. When you consider that chocolate melts at body temperature, I just don't see this working. I don't want to be a party pooper here - and maybe I'm wrong - but if you're planning this for a special dinner party, I suggest you do a trial run first.

          The other possibility would be to sprinkle the top of the custard with finely chopped caramelized sugar instead. You'll get a similar flavour pairing, but without the potentially ruined container. I know it's not exactly the same, but if you're set on this idea, it's a compromise.

          1. re: Nyleve
            bushwickgirl RE: Nyleve Apr 28, 2010 04:29 PM

            "sprinkle the top of the custard with finely chopped caramelized sugar instead."
            Excellent idea.

            1. re: bushwickgirl
              Ideefixed RE: bushwickgirl Apr 28, 2010 05:28 PM

              But then it's just custard with sugar on top. I don't see the point of the chocolate boxes if you really want creme brulee. If you want a nice custard in the boxes, I'd make a ginger or a lemon mousse, instead.

              1. re: Ideefixed
                bushwickgirl RE: Ideefixed Apr 28, 2010 07:07 PM

                But it's caramelized sugar, nothing wrong with that. A nice crackle of caramelized sugar atop the creme and chocolate is a very nice combo, imo. The OP is not going to be able to exactly reproduce creme brulée given the style of presentation he/she wants to attain, as there will very well be a chocolate melting issue, but sometimes you have to modify the technique a bit to get the results you want.

                Anyway, I hope the OP gets the results desired and posts the outcome.

          2. re: reets
            Whats_For_Dinner RE: reets Apr 29, 2010 10:34 AM

            The only way I can imagine the chocolate not melting is verrrrry fast and careful use of a brulee iron...

            1. re: Whats_For_Dinner
              Nyleve RE: Whats_For_Dinner Apr 29, 2010 11:59 AM

              Seriously - try to imagine this working. If the chocolate container were, for example, 8-inches in diameter - maybe you could stay far enough away from it to keep it from melting while you torched the sugar. And even then, you would have to allow a wide margin of un-melted sugar to keep the heat away from the edges. I just don't see it.

              Ok, maybe if you could prepare this in an extreme sub-zero environment - like the dark side of the moon. Maybe - maybe it might work. But then the custard would be frozen solid too so, nah I don't think so.

        2. Indirect Heat RE: reets Apr 28, 2010 07:10 PM

          Here's my recipe: http://indirectheat.blogspot.com/2009...

          I generally make it up to two days in advance, covered with saran in the fridge. It's pretty easy to make, just be mindful of the places you can screw up - 1) Curdling the custard. 2) Burning the sugar. Both are easily solved. If you curdle the custard, you can cheat it into the blender. And when you're melting the sugar, brush the flame across the sugar rapidly so as to melt the sugar, not set it on fire.

          1. m
            michaelnrdx RE: reets Apr 28, 2010 10:08 PM

            Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 1 gives a recipe for a stove top creme brulee, which is just a variation of creme anglaise. (I'd use real vanilla beans to make it extra special.) You can do that and make the caramel crust right before serving. I'm not sure how long you can keep it, but I wouldn't go for more than three days.

            1. stilton RE: reets Apr 29, 2010 03:14 AM

              Maybe for the caramel top, you can sprinkle an even layer of sugar onto parchment paper, blowtorch that into a small caramel puddle, trim to size if needed, and carefully lift it off with a small spatula and place it onto the boxed custard?

              Or heck, just make caramel as usual on the stovetop and drizzle threads of it onto parchment into nice swirly shapes and use it to garnish the custard, or drizzle the caramel directly onto the custard if your aim is good.

              2 Replies
              1. re: stilton
                Old E. RE: stilton Apr 29, 2010 05:42 AM

                This is good advise. I have done this on a stainless table. I don't know about the parchment thing. Seems like it might create problems. Then again, I might be wrong.

                1. re: stilton
                  Indirect Heat RE: stilton Apr 29, 2010 08:05 AM

                  Drizzle might work well. I think flaming parchment paper would result in a minor kitchen fire.

                2. howefortunate RE: reets May 2, 2010 11:55 AM

                  Whatever recipe you use, slice a vanilla bean and scrap the inside into the mixture before cooking. It will have a much richer vanilla than using vanilla extract.

                  1. scuzzo RE: reets May 2, 2010 02:30 PM

                    I would try carmelizing sugar on oiled foil sheets, then transfer.

                    Or possibly you could make a foil sencil/shield to hold over the boxes while torching?

                    Sounds like a fun experiment! Hope it turns out great.

                    1. w
                      Whats_For_Dinner RE: reets May 2, 2010 03:44 PM

                      Interested to know how this turned out!

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Whats_For_Dinner
                        reets RE: Whats_For_Dinner May 2, 2010 05:24 PM

                        It was fantastic! I did carmelize the top with the small torch just not the whole way to the edges. Here's a pic. Thanks for all your help

                        1. re: reets
                          Nyleve RE: reets May 2, 2010 05:37 PM

                          Well, knock me over with a feather. I am shocked and impressed. Never in a million years did I think you could make this work. Congratulations! Very nifty indeed.

                          1. re: reets
                            Whats_For_Dinner RE: reets May 2, 2010 07:43 PM

                            Wow, gorgeous! Nice job!

                            1. re: reets
                              scuzzo RE: reets May 2, 2010 09:23 PM

                              Terrific!!! Awesome work.

                              1. re: reets
                                bushwickgirl RE: reets May 2, 2010 11:17 PM

                                Excellent, beautiful photos, well done, bravo!

                                1. re: reets
                                  housewolf RE: reets May 7, 2010 05:26 PM

                                  Oh! Those are gorgeous! and such a beautiful presentation.

                                  Congratulations to you, what a wonderful success.

                                  Thanks for sharing your picture.

                                  1. re: reets
                                    roxlet RE: reets May 8, 2010 12:27 PM

                                    So impressive, elegant and lovely. Congrats on a beautiful dessert!

                                2. r
                                  runwestierun RE: reets May 2, 2010 05:27 PM

                                  Chocolate boxes! Where did you get your molds? I cannot find them anywhere.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: runwestierun
                                    reets RE: runwestierun May 2, 2010 10:34 PM

                                    I actually made the boxes without a mold. Melted the chocolate, spread it out on a wax paper covered cookie sheet, cooled it, cut the bottom and side pieces then "glued" them together with more melted chocolate. It was not that hard just time consuming.

                                    1. re: reets
                                      Shane Greenwood RE: reets May 8, 2010 10:18 AM

                                      bowing down to your chocolate skills

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