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Best Sugar for Creme Brulee

post #1 of 12
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I am not a pastry chef, but I know one and recently got into a debate with a few other cooks as to the best sugar to use for creme brulee. I've seen it done with sugar in the raw, granulated and superfine. I think superfine is the best, as does the pastry chef I know- but is there really a difference once you torch it? :smiles:
post #2 of 12
Most likely there is no real difference, however the superfine may carmelize easier/quicker by a small amount of time.
post #3 of 12
we used to dry brown sugar out over nite in the oven and then grind it in a food mill and keep it dry. drop it on the creme brulee and tip off the excess.
Best i have ever seen or used.
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post #4 of 12
FWIW, brown sugar is ordinary granulated sugar with a little molasses mixed in.

Best results I've had is with grinding piloncillo or gur very fine and drying in the oven (as kaffeenjunkie described). These sugars start with a nice "caramelized" taste and color. So all you need to do is get the sugar melting and your good to go -- on the sugar anyway.

BDL

PS. "I am not now, nor have I ever been a ... " pastry chef -- so any success should be taken as the product of a great deal of good luck.
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post #5 of 12
With a proper torching technique even ordinary white granulated sugar will make a great crust, which is what is used where I work. However, I haven't used any other sugars in doing it so I can't really compare... though it's basically comparable to any other creme brulee I've had.
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post #6 of 12
I'd say try piloncillo but you probably can't get it easily anywhere in Canada. You might be able to get jaggury or gur though from an Indian or Pakistani market.

BDL
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post #7 of 12
Always used turbinado. It made the perfect crispy crust and it wasn't too thin.
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post #8 of 12

Best sugar for creme brulee

I like to grind up crystal sugar for creme brulee. It is free of contaminants and melts clean and easily.
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post #9 of 12
sugar in the raw (...which I think is turbinado?)
I have tried many different things, and I just love this, it is all I would ever use again. Melts perfectly, thin, crisp...I don't work in a restaurant anymore, but if I make CB at home and I don't have sugar in the raw, I would have to make a special trip to buy it, it is not worth ruining it by using anything else.
post #10 of 12
I agree hippie! Right on.
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post #11 of 12
Demerara sugar is the way forward :)
post #12 of 12
Superfine sugar will work just fine from a cost standpoint to its ease of use.

Once you properly caramelize sugary its nuances will be lost anyway. IMO using already brown or unrefined sugars will cause increased bitterness as its impurities burn off and they tend to brown too easily.

We settled this debate at work where we burned 8 brulees with every sugar we had in the house from sugar in the raw to dried brown sugar and combinations thereof, most preferred the regular superfine. BTW powdered sugar WILL NOT work LOL!

I would suggest you do this experiment yourself and find your own taste.


Jaggary?? BDL you crack me up. I just ate a bag of dried bananas sweetened with it!
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