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Creme Brulee - HELP

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
In preperation for NYE, I did a quick test of a half recipe of M.Brown's recipe, (http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/recip....html#post8539) with no success. The custard came out kind of lumpy and a little watery after cooling down out of the oven.

Here's the exact recipe i made:

6 L egg yolks
.5 C sugar
2 C heavy cream
half of a vanilla bean

1. Wisked sugar and yolks
2. boiled cream and vanila bean
3. tempered yolk mixture with hot cream
4. added rest of hot cream (yokes did not cook)
5. scraped vanilla bean seeds and added to mixture
6. strained 2 times
7. laddled custard into ramikins, placed them in a baking dish, poured hot water into baking dish until half way up the side of the ramikins.
8. placed in onen at 350 for 50 minutes, with sheet of foil loosely over baking dish.

let cool out of oven for 30 minutes.

As i said the texture is lumpy (not a nice smooth puddingy custard one would expect) and a little watery. I can actually see the water in the custard. YUK!!!

Any ideas as to what went wrong?

Can the custard be wisked too much or not enough?
How loose/tight should the foil be over the bain marie?
pierre
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pierre
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post #2 of 15
you over baked them. try baking them at 275*. im not sure how long you will bake them for, but give them about 20 min before touching them. jiggle one slightly. it should jiggle as one, and look like a little pot of jell-o. make sure your foil is completely coving the pan, and sealed tightly. thats about all i can say without coming over there and baking them myself.
post #3 of 15
350 is too hot with a piece of foil over the top. Jessi's got it nailed. Your eggs are curdled. Do 325F and don't cover it. You may form a little brown skin over the top, if you do, do it at 300F. It should jiggle like firm jello when done. Important: Place your cups in the pan, put them in the oven, and then pour hot water into the pan to make the bain marie.
post #4 of 15
I see that u said you strainted the mixture twice. What kind of strainer did you use? The fine Mesh style im guessing? I dont see anything wrong with that, but when i make them, i just skim off the foam on the top with a ladle, the smaller the better, instead of straining, you may loose a little of the mixture, but its a sure-fire way to make sure you got all the foam off the top, as a strainer MAY not get all of it.

Also, its possible, possible, that before you put them into the oven the eggs began to scramble a little bit, that is a very important part of the process, as im sure you know. Just make sure to take your time with that part. But from your post you seem to have a good grip on that part, just adding my two cents.


On a similiar note, one night I was watching good eats, and Alton showed how you can add a coolie under the creme', kind of like what you would do under a flan. I tried it with a rasperberry coolie, very tasty, although i think the moisture from the raspberrys loosened up my creme'. Still very tasy tho. Basically you need a deeper Ramacan and a thick coolie, and only a very thing layer, less then 1/4 inch. very tasty indeed.

Creme' Brulee is one of my favorite dishes, i have a cook book with 400 different recipes just of creme brulee, i believe it is a Giada De Laurentis book. amazing. My father insists that it is not neccesary to put the tin foil over the hotel pan before baking, which is why his does not come out like mine. His are still tasty, but they never set properly, and are almost the consistency of barely whipped heavy cream. I can eat it, but I wish he would take my advice, but hey what do i know right? lol

Good luck, and enjoy the most delicous dessert that exsists.
post #5 of 15
I find that it is not really necessary to heat the cream when making creme brulee. I mix the egg yolks and sugar very briefly, then add the cream and vanilla bean. It may take a little longer to bake, but a low oven temp. is very important.
post #6 of 15
I've never covered mine with foil and haven't had any trouble with them setting up. Nor with them overcooking either. I too have taken to not preheating the cream, at least not beyond room temp. Simpler, less mess and just a bit more time in the oven.
post #7 of 15

check your temp

I am in agreement with the other observations.
Lower your temp, remove foil - it has worked for me in the past but your oven may be different etc. and perhaps cut the bake time.


If this happens again and the brulee is over cooked, you can puree the product, strain it and use it as a sauce!:roll:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #8 of 15

Ps

I would also remove ONE egg yolk and add ONE whole egg, the albumin (white) will help tighten up the custard, dry it a little and help it set.

:smiles:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
Reply
post #9 of 15

creme brulee help

One more thing, I cover the sheet pan with plastic wrap. I have to bake my brulees in a convection oven (that is all I have at work). I place the ramekins in the sheet pan, add hot water and then cover tightly with plastic wrap and then place in the over at around 300. using plastic wrap allows you to see them as they bake, it prevents the browning on top and also helps them to bake a little bit faster. I am not sure about using plastic wrap from the grocery store, but the stuff we get from our food suppliers works well. For home use I buy a roll of commercial wrap from Sam's club. Makes it very easy to do the "jiggle" test!:lol:
post #10 of 15
Yep, overcooked it. Firstly, make sure that your oven is REALLY at 350, check with an oven thermometer or something, I think 325 is a better temperature. Secondly, the covering is optional (although it certainly doesn't hurt). Thirdly, 50 minutes at 350 is too long (especially for smallish ramekins).. for a novice I'd check at 30 minutes, then in 8 minute intervals (yes, opening the oven door slows down the cooking but IMO it doesn't hurt a custard the same way it hurts a cake since you're cooking it slowly anyways).

Remember that the final product you're looking for when it comes out of the oven should be a relatively wobbly (but it shouldn't slosh) custard. It will continue to firm as it's removed from the oven and when it's cooling. If you cook it until it's nearly or entirely set you will get a lumpy custard inside even if it looks fine on the surface.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #11 of 15
I never cover them at all, if you are getting browning just lower the temperature, I agree with most of the above but not heating the cream? I am not sure that you will infuse the vanilla properly and get the maximum flavor from it. I scrape the seeds and put them in the cream with the pod, then heat it and leave to infuse for at least 30 mins before straining into the yolks. I do not boil the vanilla cream as I find this can tarnish the vanilla flavor. They are in shallow gratin dishes so I can maximise on the caramelised sugar thing, this also means that they cook in 25-30 mins. I dont know the equivalent in farenheit as I am in the UK but I cook them on 190C.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Creme Brulee - success at last

Thanks for all the ideas and assistance.

Per the replies, I reduced the temp down to 250*F (started at 300*F but that was still to hot), covered the bain marie tightly with aluminum foil, and put them in the oven for about 30 minutes. Only cooking them until they were just barely set-up, and letting the residual heat complete cooking once they came out of the oven. To the custard mix I used room temperature cream and used 5 egg yolks + one whole egg.

I just took the last batch out of the oven and they all came out great. The custard is soft and silky smooth, from the edges to the center.

Tomorrow I bring out the blow torch :)

Thanks again all, and Happy New Year!!!
pierre
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pierre
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post #13 of 15
awesome! .. however, i strongly disagree about the whole egg. the yolks give a creamier texture, rather than a flan-like texture.
post #14 of 15

Condensation

If you are putting the dishes in a water bath, covering it with foil will cause the condensation from the steam to drip back into your custards making them watery. Also, I agree about using only the yolks of the eggs. Whole eggs in creme brulee? Now you're making flan. It makes a big difference in the texture.
Keep those fires burnin'
 
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Keep those fires burnin'
 
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post #15 of 15

Did you turn on fan when you where doing creme brulee? it doesnt cook  without fan in convection oven

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