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HELP! Creme brulee is too milky!

delleelise Aug 4, 2013 10:55 PM

Made the horrible error of using Alton Brown's creme brulee recipe from the Food Network, and going into the oven the custard looks pure white!



I normally use the recipe in the Joy of Cooking, which is amazing, but today I thought I'd be adventurous... Now I need to scrap these and go buy a whole new carton of heavy cream, eggs and vanilla bean. >_<

What do you all think of this recipe?
What proportion of egg to cream do you use?

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  1. j
    janniecooks RE: delleelise Aug 5, 2013 01:42 AM

    AB's recipe specifies six egg yolks for a quart of heavy cream. That seems about right to me, have you cooked the custard yet? Maybe the egg yolks you used were pale colored?

    6 Replies
    1. re: janniecooks
      delleelise RE: janniecooks Aug 5, 2013 09:53 AM

      I think it's just a preference. The eggs were fine and I've made creme brûlée a lot, but most recipes I've compared it to use way more egg yolk to cream. Alton's is 3.5 yolks:2 cups cream, whereas Joy of Cooking is 8 yolks: 2 cups cream. Am wondering what is more traditional?

      1. re: delleelise
        janniecooks RE: delleelise Aug 5, 2013 10:23 AM

        I think a smaller quantity of yolks to cream is more traditional. More yolks will produce a heavier/thicker or stiffer texture. I recently made a custard with six yolks to 2 cups cream and it had a much much thicker texture than I prefer and than what I was expecting. I had a creme brulee in a restaurant a week or so ago where the texture was silky and almost jiggly, a smooth, silken and light texture. Comparing that heavenly dish with my heavier dish, I conclude that next time I must use fewer yolks.

        1. re: janniecooks
          delleelise RE: janniecooks Aug 5, 2013 12:06 PM

          How interesting! It must be a preference. When I make the 8 yolk: 2 cups cream ratio, people go crazy for them. When you use more yolk it's more dense but more flavorful, decadent & rich, like slicing through butter. This recipe just didn't do it for me. Never had a creme brûlée in all my travels through France that was like this. Hmmm. To each his own.

          1. re: delleelise
            janniecooks RE: delleelise Aug 6, 2013 01:32 AM

            Dense...yes, that was the word I was searching for to describe the texture of custard made with more yolks.

            As you say, it is a preference to some degree. As to lacking flavor, perhaps the vanilla bean you used was lacking freshness.

          2. re: janniecooks
            janniecooks RE: janniecooks Aug 11, 2013 08:25 AM

            Correction: the custard I made recently had only 3 yolks to 2 cups of cream, not 6 as I mis-remembered. Still, with 3 yolks:2 cups cream, the texture was too thick and dense.

            1. re: janniecooks
              ozmotion RE: janniecooks Nov 18, 2013 10:42 AM

              You may have also mismeasured something.

              3 yolks to 2 cups cream is about 157ml/yolk. This is on the extreme high end of the cream to yolk ratio - the same used in the Alton Brown recipe, and you end up with a very very soft consistency. Most other recipes hover around 90-100 ml/yolk.

              I prefer it on the denser side, around 80ml/yolk, and that ratio has gotten rave receptions from tasters. But then, I used yolks from the largest eggs I could find, so my ratio is probably closer to 90-100ml/yolk for a regular large egg.

              Next time I make brulee, I'll weigh the yolks to get an even better comparison.

      2. boogiebaby RE: delleelise Aug 5, 2013 01:59 AM

        I've used this recipe before with no issues. Are you sure you followed it correctly? Why do you think it won't set?

        1. j
          jpc8015 RE: delleelise Aug 5, 2013 04:03 AM

          That recipe looks about right to me.

          1. y
            youareabunny RE: delleelise Aug 5, 2013 11:17 AM

            How did it turn out? I guess it is a preferential thing, a crème brûlée is served in the dish, so often times it is more silky and soft.where as a flan or crème caramel that is overturned onto a Plate would have more egg yolks so that it is more solid, like Jell-O

            1 Reply
            1. re: youareabunny
              delleelise RE: youareabunny Aug 5, 2013 12:08 PM

              They turned out fine- just not rich or decadent enough for my taste. It's very jiggly, very pale and lacks flavor. Oh well! I think Julia Childs recipe is better, it's in the middle in terms of the ratio of yolk to cream.

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