Monday, January 31, 2011

Creme de la Creme de la Edguh! Well.. Brulee, actually, but that's no fun.

Creme Brulee. Way more impressive than it sounds, no less delicious. This recipe I made had a rhubarb compote in it.
I kind of screwed it up in a couple different ways, but it still tasted and looked good, so that's why I'm posting about it! And even though this was a fail post, I highly encourage any and all of you to try making creme brulee! It's super fun playing with a blowtorch in the kitchen and the mistakes I made are easily avoidable.
Here's what I did wrong:
  1. I didn't bake the original custard long enough. It had developed a skin on top so I thought it was done but the inside was like a custard soup. Tasted good but not what it was supposed to be.
  2. Also, I used the wrong kind of sugar. Not on purpose. I just didn't have any caster sugar on hand so I used granulated sugar for the custard and brown sugar for the crackly bit on top. The result of this error wasn't really that evident, but the toffee on top didn't form very evenly and wasn't as snappy as I would have liked.

So.. if you make this recipe, make sure you actually follow the directions; and as much as you want to get your hands on that torch, be patient with the baking process!

Here are some prep pics...




The tartness of the rhubarb offset the sweetness of the custard very nicely. I will be using this recipe again next time I make creme brulee because the taste was perfect, I just didn't bake it correctly so the consistency was a bit off. It'll be fun experimenting with other flavors as well- maybe lavender?

Rhubarb and Vanilla Crème brûlée
(adapted from Bourke St Bakery creme brulee custard recipe, makes approx 6)
200g fresh rhubarb
100g sugar
zest of one lemon
430ml whipping cream (35% fat)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
6 egg yolks
70g caster sugar + extra for burning

Stew the rhubarb first; chop rhubarb into 1cm pieces and place in a medium saucepan with lemon zest and sugar. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes until tender and just starting to fall apart. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Place cream in a small saucepan, scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the cream and add the bean. Bring to the boil over high heat. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat and set aside for about 10 minutes.

Place egg yolks in stainless steel bowl and use a whisk to combine. Add sugar and whisk for about 30 seconds, or until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the slightly cooled cream through a fine sieve, discarding the vanilla bean, then pour the cream into the egg yolk mixture, stirring well to combine. Fold in the stewed rhubarb.

Spoon the warm custard mixture into 6 1/2 cup ramekins, until full. Place ramekins in a deep baking tray and pour in enough water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes, or until just set.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack, then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Sprinkle 2 tsp of caster sugar over the top of each ramekin and caramelise with blowtorch. Happy days!


  1. how come you never mail me any treats

  2. I might if I knew who you were! :)

  3. How would you brown the top if you don't own a gas torch such as that shown in your picture?

  4. That's a great question. After spreading an even layer of sugar on top of the custard, you can stick it under the broiler (on the top rack of the oven so it's closest to the heat) for anywhere from 45 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes- it depends on how thick your sugar layer is. You just want to keep an eye on it, maybe checking it every 10 or 15 seconds so it doesn't burn :)