Thursday, May 3, 2012

Créme Brûlée ... in the Thermomix

I'm still without Internet at home but this is a post I wrote a while back and never posted. Plus, I've got someone asking me for the recipe, so I thought I'd better post it.

For those of you who have been following me on Facebook or on Twitter, you will know that I've been churning out creme brulees like there is no tomorrow. The reason for this? The Mother decided that she wanted creme brulee for Christmas Day lunch. Argh! Having never made creme brulee before, I hunted down recipes and practiced. Between starting to learn how to make creme brulees and Christmas Day, I have made 38 servings of creme brulee. If I never see another creme brulee again, it will be too soon. Seriously, I have made so many of them, I'm a little over them - even though they are one of my favorite desserts.

Speaking of desserts, those who know me will know, I'm no good with desserts ... or baking. The sweet department is not one of my strong points. When I have a dinner party, if I can, I'll ask someone to bring dessert, though admittedly, there is a sense of satisfaction of knowing how to make desserts and cooking an entire 3 course meal on my own. I am getting better at making desserts too. I make a mean chocolate mousse and I've also learned how to make a berry delight that is amazing. I will post recipes for those later. Someone remind me!

Anyhow, creme brulee is one dessert that I found quite daunting, what with the whole baking in a baking tray of hot water. For some reason, that part intimidated me - I do not know why. For that reason, I decided to turn to my trusty Thermomix. I wouldn't use it for everything and not often for cooking, but I decided that it works well for baking and desserts (and crushing rock salt, but that's another story!).

This RECIPE that I used for the creme brulee is for the Thermomix. If you don't have a Thermomix, try this recipe instead (I've tested it and it does work, plus it's not that different from my Thermomix recipe). I've just stuck with the Thermomix recipe for myself cos it was just easy and I had to churn out 38 of those things, and easy works in that instance.

  • 400 g whipping cream
  • 70 g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp real Vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 or 2 Vanilla pod)
  • 275 g eggs (approx. 5 large eggs)
  • Brown sugar for the topping

  • Place all ingredients except brown sugar into mixing bowl and mix for 1 minute/speed 3.
  • Cook for 15 minutes/90d C/speed 3. Note: If using cold eggs or cream, you may need to cook a little longer to thicken the mixture, taking into consideration that the mixture will continue to thicken whilst left standing to cool.
  • Check that the créme looks perfectly smooth and is not grainy at all. If it has gone grainy or become scrambled, it can be easily rescued. Just add 30g cold milk or cream and blend for 30 seconds/speed 8.
  • Repeat if necessary until desired smooth texture is achieved.
  • Pour out mixture immediately into individual ramekins or a large dish.
  • Leave to cool to room temperature and then chill in fridge.
  • Once chilled, and set, sprinkle a thick layer of brown sugar on top, then caramelise by heating under a hot grill or with a kitchen blowtorch.

Tip: When measuring the eggs it's important to get 250 - 300g of egg (approx. 5 large eggs). This will affect the thickening of the brulee and the overall end product.

I did do some things differently, even though with the Thermomix and desserts, exactness is a good trait. I just can't help myself.
  • I used 2 vanilla bean pods, and at one time, I even used 3. The Boy really, really likes vanilla bean.
  • I used raw sugar because I was not sure what they meant by granulated sugar. There are many types of granulated sugar.
  • I did not use the brown sugar to caramelize. I found (with Batch #1) that the brown sugar does not caramelize well. I used raw sugar which worked quite well, but I was also recommended demerara sugar, and that worked well too. 
  • The blow torch needs to be quite strong so don't bother with those dinky ones in the restaurant store. Rather, go to eBay and search for "blow torch" and look at the ones that come up. You want something that will throw a nice big flame.
  • I also ended up usually with 300g of eggs, which is about 6 large eggs. With the size of the eggs I was buying, it was just closer to 6 eggs than 5 eggs. As long as you don't exceed the 300g, you'll be okay, so I would suggest cracking your eggs into a bowl and weighing them.
  • And ... last but not least, at least for me - in the Thermomix, the optional step of going an extra 30 seconds on speed 8 with another 30g of cream make the creme brulee much smoother. I found that when I did the step, I got a much better result. Of course, this does not apply if you do not have a Thermomix. However, if you do have a Thermomix, I strongly recommend that you do not skip this step. 

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