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Resting Brulee Mix/Ice Cream Base Overnight: Why?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 cakedecorator1968

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 09:01 PM

Here's a good question for all you food scientists:

Why does Creme Brulee Mix and Ice Cream Base work better when rested overnight in the fridge?

Perhaps something to do with the fat globules??????

Please tell me if you ever DO NOT rest your Brulee Mix because mine bake crappy every time if I prepare and bake the mix the same day.

#2 chezcherie

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 09:11 PM

i thought that resting brulee batter was done to eliminate bubbles that may have resulted from mixing. i vaguely recall resting the batter in ramekins, and then using a skewer to pop any bubbles on the surface, resulting in an unmarred top.
ice cream base? ya got me? maybe just to meld the flavors? i'll be interested to see what folks say about this...
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#3 Pork Belly

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 09:40 PM

I've made creme brulle countless times from different recipes and I have never chill the mix. Make the mixture, pour into ramekins and bake in a bain marie.
As for ice cream mix, leaving it overnight in the refrigerator is convenient to chill the mixture and nothing more. As long as the ice cream base is well chilled, it is ready for churning. I've made ice cream by chilling the base in a ice bath until very cold and then churn it. Works fine.

#4 nightscotsman

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 10:06 PM

I've baked brulee both chilled overnight and not. Not a big difference.

According to Emmanuel Ryon (translated from French), chilling and ice cream mix overnight allows the it to "mature", and "maturation allows the flavorings to develop which will be accentuated by the lactic ferments". Aging will also allow stabilizers and other dry ingredients to fully hydrate and improve the texture of the finished ice cream.

#5 aidensnd

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 02:30 AM

I always try to chill my brulee mix overnight. Whenever I don't I get a kind of semi-set foamy layer on top from all the tiny bubbles rising to the surface during baking. Also if the mix isn't cold my edges overcook before the center sets. I'm baking full size hotel pans at a time though. For smaller single serving brulees it doesn't seem to make AS much of a difference but I still think the well rested ones come out better.
As for the ice cream I've always thought that it was both to ensure the mix is properly chilled and to give the flavors time to develop.

#6 WhiteTruffleGirl

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 04:42 AM

i thought that resting brulee batter was done to eliminate bubbles that may have resulted from mixing. i vaguely recall resting the batter in ramekins, and then using a skewer to pop any bubbles on the surface, resulting in an unmarred top.

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There is a very simple way to get rid of your air bubbles. Once you've poured your mixture into your ramekins take your blow torch and very lightly go over the top of each one. Voila...no more air bubbles.

#7 miladyinsanity

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 05:43 AM

Another reason for chilling ice cream base is to enable it to freeze faster when you're churning it, such that the ice crystals will be smaller. This gives you a creamier product.
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#8 aidensnd

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 09:16 PM

There is a very simple way to get rid of your air bubbles.  Once you've poured your mixture into your ramekins take your blow torch and very lightly go over the top of each one.  Voila...no more air bubbles.

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This does work wonders for the bubbles that are visible on the surface, I torch any liquid 'batter' before baking, but doesn't help with the little micro bubbles that seem to hide under the surface, hence the overnight resting which will result in a 'foam' on top of your mix which is then discarded before using.

#9 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 10:49 PM

We're talking custard here, folks.

raw eggs, sugar, cream. BE VERY careful the bacteria just love it. Normally you're going to be Ok, but why take any chances.

In my experience overnight doesn't make enough of a difference to be worth it. Try
here for a different take on brulee. Then let your imagination go.

#10 aidensnd

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 12:00 AM

We're talking custard here, folks.

raw eggs, sugar, cream. BE VERY careful the bacteria just love it. Normally you're going to be Ok, but why take any chances.


What chances are you talking about? I'm confused by this post....

#11 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 12:19 AM

We're talking custard here, folks.

raw eggs, sugar, cream. BE VERY careful the bacteria just love it. Normally you're going to be Ok, but why take any chances.


What chances are you talking about? I'm confused by this post....

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Keeping a raw custord mix carries the risk of bacterial growth. The ingredients are an ideal culture. The risk is small, but present even if you are careful about refridgeration.

#12 Lee Ratliff

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 12:59 PM

Here's a good question for all you food scientists:

Why does Creme Brulee Mix and Ice Cream Base work better when rested overnight in the fridge?

Perhaps something to do with the fat globules??????

View Post


You're on the right track. I don't know anything about Creme Brulee, but ice cream is definitely improved by aging. It's partly due to cold mix freezing faster and making smaller ice crystals and a creamier texture. The other reason is related to the fat globules as you suspected. When your mix is initially heated, the tiny gobules of butterfat are melted and are essentially tiny droplets of melted butter. You need the fat globules to partially solidify (crystalize) so that they will stick together and form the correct structure with incorporated air bubbles. Cooling to refrigerator temperature does not immediately solidify the fat globules. It takes hours at low temperature for the fat to partially solidify.

Also, if you're using an emulsifier such as egg yolks, it takes a long time for the lecithin in the yolk to displace casein and whey proteins on the fat globules and help them to stick to each other.

Anyway, this is the long way of saying that the texture if ice cream will be greatly impoved by sitting in the fridge overnight.

#13 aidensnd

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 10:05 AM

We're talking custard here, folks.

raw eggs, sugar, cream. BE VERY careful the bacteria just love it. Normally you're going to be Ok, but why take any chances.


What chances are you talking about? I'm confused by this post....

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Keeping a raw custord mix carries the risk of bacterial growth. The ingredients are an ideal culture. The risk is small, but present even if you are careful about refridgeration.

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As long as the mix was cooled properly(rapdily), stored in the refrigerator, and baked the next day then I'd say the risk is small enough not to be a concern.

#14 alanamoana

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 10:36 AM

We're talking custard here, folks.

raw eggs, sugar, cream. BE VERY careful the bacteria just love it. Normally you're going to be Ok, but why take any chances.


What chances are you talking about? I'm confused by this post....

View Post


Keeping a raw custord mix carries the risk of bacterial growth. The ingredients are an ideal culture. The risk is small, but present even if you are careful about refridgeration.

View Post


most ice cream bases are cooked to a point that bacteria should be killed. also, proper cooling and storing should make it okay to store for about three days (usually a little longer)

brulee is raw, but then cooked...again, to the point that bacteria are killed. shouldn't be a problem unless you're using old or already rotten ingredients.

#15 Mikeb19

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 02:12 AM

We're talking custard here, folks.

raw eggs, sugar, cream. BE VERY careful the bacteria just love it. Normally you're going to be Ok, but why take any chances.


What chances are you talking about? I'm confused by this post....

View Post


Keeping a raw custord mix carries the risk of bacterial growth. The ingredients are an ideal culture. The risk is small, but present even if you are careful about refridgeration.

View Post


I don't know about you guys, but when I make a custard such as that for iced cream or crème brûlée, I cook it to a temperature of ~85 degrees C (crème anglaise). That's enough to kill any bacteria, plus it gives it a nice rich, creamy texture. Not cooking the custard is IMO bad technique...

As for resting the mixture, it's done for the same reason as letting a soup sit overnight. Gives the flavours a chance to combine, develop, plus you want the custard as cold as possible before it goes into the iced cream machine.

#16 lisa_antonia

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 01:16 PM

So i've been playing around with my new ice cream maker. I had a few disasters long ago at home (not straining off the skin that grew on the base...makes for yucky bits that stick to your spoon...)

Do you really need to chill ice cream bases 4 hours to overnight, or can you cool it rapidly in an ice bath? How will not chilling it negatively affect your finished product?

I have an ice cream maker with a built in freezer- while there's no bowl to freeze, i'm still unclear on how important it is to chill your base.

#17 Pallee

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 01:38 PM

I've chilled the base in an ice bath when I was in a hurry and I really haven't noticed a difference. I've read that the flavors in the custard improve by an overnight chill in the refrigerator. You do want the custard as cold as possible as the quicker it freezes, the smaller the crystals are and the smoother the ice cream.

#18 lisa_antonia

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 02:23 PM

...the quicker it freezes, the smaller the crystals are and the smoother the ice cream.

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aha. just the explanation I was looking for.

#19 alanamoana

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 02:59 PM

the aging process is also important when making ice cream based on a custard. to let the custard sit overnight allows the proteins, which have been coagulated at a low temperature, time to absorb extra liquid. from what i understand, this can help bind excess water as well, thus keeping your ice cream from being too icy.

you can understand better what i mean if you have ever over cooked your anglaise...the protein from the egg coagulates too much and the proteins tighten up to the point that they squeeze out all the moisture they contain. you have a loose mixture of water and egg protein. same thing with overcooked scrambled eggs...all that water gets squeezed out.

if you cook your anglaise to the perfect degree of doneness, it will be a nice thick mixture which will thicken even more overnight in the fridge.

i'm sure harold mcgee has more to say on this topic :wink:

#20 Pallee

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 04:21 PM

I also always make sure I heat the custard to 180' as this helps de-nature the proteins and you get a smoother ice cream. I also add a bit of alcohol and that helps prevent iciness as well.

#21 waterdogs

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 09:19 PM

With a built in freezer, you can make the ice cream right away (unlike the other types which simply cannot get cold enough to counter a less than cold mixture). I think most suggest you use an ice bath for the mixture to cool it down faster regardless of the ultimate freezer method. You can shorten the freezing time in your maker with colder mixture, but not by much in my experience. And it may have just been a coincidence of the ice cream flavor, but it seemed the mixes that I did NOT chill first made ice cream that was smoother and stayed that way longer...or maybe it was just getting to eat it sooner!

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#22 djyee100

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 09:32 PM

I've always had good results cooling the base in an ice bath and then freezing it. But then the ice cream seems to need another 4-6 hours in the freezer to develop the best flavor. (Six of one, half dozen of another--either way you're gonna wait! :-) )

#23 ray goud

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 05:59 PM

NO.
Because of physics:
It requires one calorie of heat to be removed from each gram of liquid to lower its temperature by one degree. But, it requires EIGHTY calories of heat to be removed to cause the same one gram of liquid to freeze, when the liquid (water) is at the almost-freezing point. So, by pre-chilling you are doing relatively very little to hasten the freezing. Just let it get to room temp, then freeze. Especially since your machine has a built-in freezer.
Ray

#24 Shalmanese

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 12:35 AM

That might be true for water but it seems like, for ice-cream, most of it isn't frozen, only the seed crystals are frozen and the ice-cream is meant to fully firm in the fridge.

If it were the same as water, then an ice-cream bowl chilled to -10C would need to be 8 times the mass of the ice-cream in order to fully freeze it.
PS: I am a guy.