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Adapting a Stove Top Creme Brulee (From Roland Mesnier's Dessert University)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I like the stove top creme brulee in Dessert University by Roland Mesnier.  I use it for a creme brulee tart for many of my accounts, and it's worked well for me through the years - especially the flavored versions like champagne, and orange; but because I'm finding the plain version to be a little too eggy for me, and I am feeling the grit from the cornstarch, I want to adapt it.

 

It is really a creme anglais in sheep's clothing - you steep vanilla pods/beans in the heavy cream; you whisk yolks, sugar and cornstarch til light, then temper the egg with the hot cream; then put it back on the fire til it thickens, then strain and add butter.

 

What I want to do is eliminate the cornstarch entirely, and then after the butter add some bloomed gelatin.  I do not want to have to bake the tarts, I want to pour this into the tart shells and let them sit until they are bruleed to order, which is usually within a day.  I tried baking creme brulee in hotel pans and then scraping it into the tart shells but I hate the way that looks (I know, it will get covered with sugar and burned, I shouldn't worry about it, but I still don't like it).

 

Does anyone make a similar creme brulee? (stove top I mean).

 

Here is the list of ingredients:

 

10 yolks

2 vanilla beans

3/4 cup sugar

3 TBL cornstarch

1 qt heavy cream

6 TBL unsalted butter

 

What if I just removed the cornstarch completely and then added 5 sheets of bloomed gelatin after the butter???

post #2 of 5

I'm not sure why you feel that you need the gelatin, which in a creme brulee would provide an overly 'gelled' texture, imo. If it were me, I'd do a test (scale down, perhaps) with no cornstarch, but possibly an additional yolk for a little extra thickening oomph. No gelatin. Chill it and see how much it sets up, I'll bet that it would be just fine.

 

I like creme brulee to be soft and silky....not gelled and sturdy, but that's just my taste, perhaps. (Also, if and when you're torching the sugar, there would be a possibility of heating/melting the upper part of the mixture with gelatin, which could be nasty.)

"The satisfactions of making a good plate of food are surprisingly varied, and only one, and the least important of them, involves eating what you've made" - Bill Buford, Heat

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"The satisfactions of making a good plate of food are surprisingly varied, and only one, and the least important of them, involves eating what you've made" - Bill Buford, Heat

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

I don't want to have to bake the mixture in order to set the egg so that when the tart is cut, the filling doesn't flow out; I want to pour it in the tart shells and chill and not have to touch it again until we pack them for delivery (in order to keep labor costs down) so I was thinking if I remove the cornstarch, I would need something.

 

With the champagne and orange versions of this recipe, I don't notice the cornstarch or the egginess as much; but with the plain one, I do;  so I didn't go in the direction of adding another yolk or two but maybe that's what I should do - and maybe sub a little of the heavy cream with some milk just to be sure it's not overly rich....

 

I will let you know what happens! Thanks!

 

post #4 of 5

I think you would have problems replacing the starch with gelatin when you went to torch the brulees. Cooked cornstarch can stand up to the heat while gelatin would melt and you'd have bruleed soup. Also, the starch helps keep the eggs from curdling both when cooking and torching and gelatin wouldn't.

 

If you don't like the texture of corn starch, you might try using potato starch since it thickens at a lower temperature. Less likely to have that "starchy" mouthfeel. 

 

By the way, are you bringing the mixture to a full boil? If not, that's probably why you're not liking the cornstarch, since it doesn't get cooked out. I've made his recipe before and found I got the best results cooking it like a pastry cream and boiling the crap out of it. It separates like crazy and looks really ugly, but adding the cold butter and hitting it with a stick blender right off the heat smooths it out beautifully and it sets just fine.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks Neil - I do bring it to a full boil; and it gets thick and looks awful at the bottom of the pot and that always makes me think I've made a mistake but maybe I need to cook it even longer.  A stick blender is next on my list of things I should buy......

 

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