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Creme Brulee

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
At what temp do you guys cook the custard?
Do you cover them?
Bain marie?

eeyore
post #2 of 33
I bake them @ 300, covered, in a water bath.
post #3 of 33
Like momoreg I cook mine at 300 in a water bath but do it uncovered.
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post #4 of 33
Pete, maybe it's because I do mine in a convection, but if I so much as cover it with a warped sheetpan, the brulees that get too much direct heat will bubble. So I must cover them with a flat pan. But they come out incredibly smooth that way. Do you bake yours on a deck?
post #5 of 33
I bake my brulee in a hotel pan, 2 - 3 inches deep with water bath at 350 covered half way with a sheet pan. (usually the back half of the hotel pan). If there are bubbles on to of brulee before baking, I will take the tourch and "burn" them off for a smooth surface.
I find that if not covered, they boil. (350 deck and 325 convection)
I have great results by following this system.
My formula is based on this basic recipe:

1 qt cream (40%)
10 yolks (extra large)
2 whole eggs (extra large)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/2 lemon zest
2 cinnamon stix
pinch o' kosher salt

boil cream, sugar and flavor agents (to infuse the flavors).Cool slightly and pour over eggs while whisking briskly then strain. if the mix sits in the cooler for more than a few days, I will whisk in an additional egg.

For the top, I bake to dry 1# dark brown sugar, let cool and process in cusinart with equal amount of granulated until fine, sift and store.
Or you can use bar sugar. (super fine.)
:)
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 #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Pinch of salt? Wow. I've never done that. I will try it on the next batch. I've made a little over half of the ones I will need for Saturday night. Fresh coconut, vanilla, cinnamon sticks, lemon zest.

I did them covered with foil -- not too tight --- in bain marie...but they are taking FOREVER to set up and they are getting too brown. Oh well they are good and the "brulee" will cover it.

thanx!
eeyore
post #7 of 33
They should take about 45 min. to an hour to set up. If the foil is not working to keep them from getting brown, try an inverted pan of the same size. That works for me. Also, the water does not have to come all the way up the sides. 1/2 inch is plenty. How deep are your brulees?
post #8 of 33
I make mini 2 oz. brulees for our sampler plates, so it doesn't really take too long, about 20-25 min. Bake them the same way as momoreg, 200 hotel pan with water, covered in foil in a 300 convection oven.
post #9 of 33
I bake mine in a regular oven and have had no problems with them browning or getting a crust on top. I put mine in a 2 inch hotel pan and fill with water a 1/3rd of the way up the ramikens.
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Maybe that is my prob. I don't have any shallow dishes. So they are taking a long time to set up...thus the browning...I guess. I cover them maybe an inch with water. This leaves 2/3 out of the water. I did the first ones almost half way up and I thought they would never set up.

anyway thanx for the replies.

eeyore
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
FYI, they were wonderful! thanx for all the advice.

Interesting thing happened though: I made large batches (maybe that explains why they took so long)---about 50 or 60 to a batch. In a water bath covered with foil in hotel pans. One pan (they held 12 each) curdled. Only one pan. The only thing I could figure is that I covered this one too tight and the steam built up and .....

hmmmm.
eeyore
post #12 of 33
Just wondering........has anyone ever tried to make creme brulee without baking the custard? Heating it on the stovetop and stirring like mad?, then just pouring it in to cups? I'd like to know what the difference in texture is, if any.
post #13 of 33
Eeyore,

the number of brulees in the batch should not have affected the cooking time by much. Generally, the ones that are exposed to direct heat from the oven are the ones that overcook.. It could be that your oven does not bake evenly? Or did you not put enough water into one of the pans?
post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 
Well, hmmm Definately my ovens dont cook evenly. But the whole pan curdled..and NONE of the others did. There was still plenty of water in the pan. I did it the same as all the others.

Is that what happens when you overcook them...they curdle? I thought they would just get too brown (which these weren't).

It is very odd.

I would think that most creme brulee recipes wouldn't do well stove top. I dunno, but it would definately be difficult to get the right texture and still have a flat top to brulee the sugar.

eeyore
post #15 of 33
apparently, oven cooked "brulees" are technically (or actually) called "petit pots de creme".

Been hauled over the coals for this one before,,.. - trust me.
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post #16 of 33
If you made creme brulee on top of the stove you'd be making in essence a very thick creme anglaise, or custard. And the stirring would definitely have something to do with how the egg proteins line up and set. I don't think you'd get the same texture and it would be very easy to scramble it. Rose Levey Beranbaum has an interesting technique in the Pie and Pastry Bible for making lemon curd bars. She cooks the curd in a double boiler to a certain temp, and then pours it into a pre-baked shell and bakes it for ten min at a gentle heat. She says the protein molecules realign themselves and they do. Maybe this would work for creme brulee. Cook the custard to about 160 over hot water, then pour it into the cups, and bake for ten min in hot water bath in the oven. Stove top pudding, or custard, and baked custard have different textures and this might make them more the same.
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post #17 of 33
I think you are right about the thick custard but that is how we make ours--all on the stove top and it is very easy to scramble it. But once you get the technique down it sure makes it easy to knock out 25 or 30 in one shot. I also think the final product is very good, the chef who taught me this went to school in Denmark for six years so maybe he knows something I don't.....I was suprised to see it done this way too, shocked is a better word but he is the pastry chef so.....I can post recipe if anyone is interested.
post #18 of 33
I tried this the other day and it worked. I used Jacque Pepin's recipe.

1 cup milk
1 cup cream
4 yolks
1 egg
3 tb sugar
vanilla to taste.

cooked it in a double boiler, then put it in cups and baked it for 20 min. It worked perfectly. I think next time I would use two eggs and 3 yolks.
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post #19 of 33
fontzmark, I cook my brulees on the stove top too. In spite of the frantic stirring, I think it's tons easier. I prefer the texture too, a lot silkier than the oven baked. I've found that for my recipe the higher-fat creams will mess it up though. :(

I added an espresso brulee to the menu this month and it's been selling really well. I just add a tablespoon of the ground bean to the cream and cut out some of the vanilla. I'm pouring the mix in a coffee cup and they're serving it on a saucer just like a cup of coffee. A chocolate dipped spoon on the side for garnish and that's it but everyone loves it. :)
post #20 of 33
fontzmark, please post recipe. I would like to try it out, since all the creme brulees I have done have been in the oven. I will compare both techniques. Thanks.
post #21 of 33
Angrychef,

Here are lots of creme brulee recipes for you to browse not utilizing the oven.
post #22 of 33
No Bake creme brulee

40 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup maple syrup
4 qts. heavy cream
4 van. beans split/scraped
1 cup orange liquor (Curaco or something)
4 oz. corn starch

mix yolks, sugar and syrup.
add beans to cream and bring to almost boiling on stove top ( use a heavy pot)
Make a slurry with the booze and starch.
When cream is hot, temper the egg mixture(I temper a lot of it, I wisk about half of the cream into the eggs.)
Pour the rest of the egg mixture into the cream. I do this whole process on high heat and move the pot on and off the flame. If your pot is very heavy and holds heat well this process can go very fast. Wisk like ****, so the eggs don't scramble and add the slurry, continue to cook until mix thickens slightly. Poor mixture into a clean bowl to stop the cooking action, I always have cooked stuff on the bottom of the pan. This is the hard part...knowing when you have cooked it enough...without scrambling it...after you have it in a bowl, strain the mixture into big plastic pitchers and working fast pour into your service cups.

I think this is a really good recipie, but what do I know??? It is thick and creamy, velvety smooth with a lot of vanilla flavor and just a hint of maple at the end, easy to make a chocolate version with this base too.
post #23 of 33
While endlessly whisking the key lime curd over the boiling h2o I gave thought to the no bake method. I approve as it is the same technique! Just don't stop whisking!!
:eek:
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 #24 of 33
My no-bake recipe is easier but fontzmarks sure sounds intriguing!

Whip over a double boiler until very thick...
30 yolks
9 oz sugar

Bring to a boil...
9c 36% cream
3 vanilla beans

Strain cream into thickened yolks and mix.
Let set over hot water (but no longer boiling) for 5-10 minutes to allow to thicken further. Pour into cups and chill.

:)
post #25 of 33
Eeyore,

That pinch of salt will actually bring out the sweetness of the brulee. Many savory dishes add a bit honey or sugar or another sweetener which enhances the savory flavors.

The same is true for desserts. Often times a bit of salt will actually accentuate the dessert's sweetness.
post #26 of 33
I need help in mastering the cream brulee for my practical. I have to use their recipe . Every time I have made it , it has turned out different. I have no idea what I am doing wrong.
35% cream    650 ml
1/2 vanilla bean
125 g egg yolks
100 g granulated sugar
3 ml vanilla bean
200 g granulated sugar
Heat cream just to a boil. Mix sugar and yolks . Temper with some cream. Add  tempered egg mixture back to cream. Heat until like a thick pudding. Put into raemkins in a water bath . Bake at 350 45-60 mins. Cool on counter. Then cover and refrigerate overnight. Sugar tops and torch.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by shiretownchef View Post

I need help in mastering the cream brulee for my practical. I have to use their recipe . Every time I have made it , it has turned out different. I have no idea what I am doing wrong.
35% cream    650 ml
1/2 vanilla bean
125 g egg yolks
100 g granulated sugar
3 ml vanilla bean
200 g granulated sugar
Heat cream just to a boil. Mix sugar and yolks . Temper with some cream. Add  tempered egg mixture back to cream. Heat until like a thick pudding. Put into raemkins in a PAN.  ADD BOILING WATER water bath . Bake at 350 45-60 mins or until custards jiggle like jello. Cool on counter. Then cover and refrigerate overnight. Sugar tops and torch.

There  you go.  FTFY
post #28 of 33
You should never cover a bain marie tightly since you will cause the water within to boil by preventing its cooling by evaporation, which will subsequently overcook the custards.  Home ovens shouldn't have problems with overcooking tops without covering them but certain finicky gas ovens do have hot spots and so it's important to loosely cover them, especially at the place that I work.
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post #29 of 33
Shiretownchef,
If you are using fresh yolks (as opposed to the pasturized yolk in the carton), I'd suggest passing the mixture thorough a chinoise.

As Kuan said, don't put the mixture back on the heat to thicken.

If it is a fan oven, 350F seems a bit high I'd suggest 305 (150).
 
If you are cooking the mixture straight away- the cooking time will probably be closer to 30 minutes because  the mix is already hot, so you do have check on them to see when they are done, rather than rely on the clock (see Kuans description above)

If you don't want to use a bain maire, you  can cook on racks (with a bit of steam) at 90c or 194 F for 50 minutes approx
post #30 of 33

I just want to tell you that I read this thread last week but as I´m used to research a lot before cooking, I chose another recipe where the cream is heated in stove and then goes to oven in bain-maire (not covered).

Well, now reading it again as my cream brulee did not work (I called it a suffle rather than cream brulee in order not to deceive my guests ) I realized that I have done wrong is exactly what Kuan has corrected before - Heat until like a thick pudding.

I know...I deserved it!!

 

Sirlene

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