• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

LesleyC

Creme brulee flambe

17 posts in this topic

this week, at a little restaurant in Venice, Italy, I had a creme brulee (crema catalana on their menu) that arrived at the table in flames, the flames being used to brulee the sugar. after the meal i asked the waiter what liquid had been used for the flambe, and he showed me a little plastic spray bottle, the only word on which i could read was Caramel. he said that the sugar was just sprinkled over the creme, some of the liquid added, and lit.

the sugar crystals when it arrived at the table looked more the size of normal granulated sugar than castor sugar, but by the time the flame had gone out some 40 seconds later, there was a lovely thin film of caramel on top of the creme brulee.

Does anyone know what this liquid was, and where I may get my hands on some (preferably a UK source), but to be honest, just knowing what it was will help me find it. Many hours of googling my fingers raw has got me nowhere at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bet it was grappa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to try this with everclear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm going to try it with virtually any alcoholic beverage suitable for a little flambe, but the caramel flavouring in the liquid in the restaurant I think is important. the sugar certainly didn't cook long enough to give the caramel taste to the brulee.

If it helps any the little spray bottle had a capacity of around 200 ml, so not huge, and it was clearly the bottle that the stuff was bought in, not decanted. I feel sure I would have noticed the word grappa on the bottle, and there wasnt the slightest taste of any sort to the dessert other than that of regular creme brulee. the liquid in the bottle was a caramel colour too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crud, I saw this demoed about a year ago by a big corporate entity from Europe. The sugar crystals are brown and a bit crunchy before being flamed. It's a kit, including the custard, from a big European purveyor. I recall asking if I could just buy the sugar and being told that that the kit couldn't be broken up. Sorry, I don't recall more details. IIRC the company was Swiss....maybe...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes yes yes!!!

Thank you Lisa. changed my google search criteria to look for a kit and found this ...

And this bunch have a lovely video and seem to sell the sugar and liquid separately if you're still wanting some.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know exactly what is in this product? It looks like a mixture of ground caramelized sugar and regular sugar. I can't read the website; it's all in French, and Google Translate can't grok their fancy flash interface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have ordered one of the kits containing the sugar and fluid, so when it arrives, if nobody else has given ingredient information, i'll post it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have ordered one of the kits containing the sugar and fluid, so when it arrives, if nobody else has given ingredient information, i'll post it.

I'm looking forwards to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kit arrived this morning (not bad, only ordered it yesterday afternoon). Creme's now basking in the oven.

Ingredients:

Liquid: extrafine cooking alcohol (96%) of vegetable origin, natural and nature identical flavours

Sugar: glucose syrup, sugar, icing sugar

the kits is supposed to contain a spray nozzle and measuring cup which were missing from my box. the box was still factory sealed so i'm assuming this is a problem with cookal packaging process rather than my local supplier, but will phone the supplier shortly. 1 dosage of the liquid is 6 sprays, and I think spraying will give a more even coverage than pouring liquid over the top, so will find a spray bottle around the house to dose it with. Not for many hours though sadly, cos i don't have anything to speed up the chilling process..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Corn syrup, sugar, and powdered sugar? That's it? I had assumed some sort of clever polysacchride; this is stuff I keep in my kitchen.

Out of curiosity, what does the alcohol taste like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, there is nothing really special about the sugar. It is a pale colour, but not quite as white as white sugar. None of it is as fine as powdered sugar, so I'm assuming that they have caramelised the sugars, let them set and ground them up, not very finely.

The alcohol tastes quite strongly caramelly, and obviously very paint strippery.

On the top of the dessert after flaming, there is no alcohol flavour at all, and the caramel flavour of the liquid mixes quite nicely with the caramelliness of the sugar.

If I could get my hands on ever clear over here, I would probably have a go with a mixture of everclear and some caramel essence, and would do the caramelise, set and grind thing with the sugar.

Quite apart from the visual appeal of the flames, I really like the way the sugar melts and sets with this method. Its evenly coloured across the entire surface, no bits darker than others etc. From now on my blowtorch is for setting the. alcohol alight rather than for bruleeing the creme brulee.

Last night I used 4ml liquid per pot. Next time I think I'll go with 2ml,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the sake of inquiry, could you try the powdered sugar mix with straight everclear? The alcohol's flavoring is much more difficult to duplicate than powdered praline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that is an experiment someone in the US will have to do. There seems to be some doubt as to whether it is legal or not in the UK, confiscations at customs, and certainly no online suppliers of the stuff.

What is the teeny percentage of everclear that is not alcohol made up from?

Could this if it ever come back into stock be a substitute (the rectified spirits, can be used as a liqueur base implies flavourless) or would this higher percentage vodka be a better substitute?

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Either of those products should work well enough, I think. They may not extract flavor quite as well from whatever you decide to infuse with, but, they should flame very well. -And, they are both better than regular vodka.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • Olive oil and lemon Biscotti with pistachios and almonds
      By shain
      Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves. 
       
      50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
      80 g honey 
      120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet) 
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon 
      230 g flour 
      1 teaspoon salt 
      1 teaspoon baking powder 
      75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
      50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts) 
      Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
      Optional: more olive oil for brushing
       
      Heat oven to 170 deg C.
      In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform. 
      Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. 
      Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix. 
      Add nuts and fold until well dispersed. 
      On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough. 
      With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long. 
      Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking. 
      Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely. 
      Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices. 
      Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden. 
      Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor. 
      Let chill completely before removing from tray. 
      Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea. 
       
        
    • Making Pistachio Ice Cream and Gelato
      By Tennessee Cowboy
      I'd like help from anyone on making the best Pistachio Ice cream.  This forum is a continuation of a conversation I started in my "introduction" post, which you can see at 
      I recently made Pistachio ice cream using the Jeni's Ice Cream Cookbook.  I love Pistachio ice cream, so I've launched an experiment to find the best recipe.  I am going to try two basic approaches:  The Modernist Cookbook gelato, which uses no cream at all, and ice cream; I'm also experimenting with two brands of pistachio paste and starting with pistachios and no paste.  Lisa Shock and other People who commented on the earlier thread said that the key is to start with the best Pistachio Paste.    
      Any advice is appreciated.  Here is where I am now:  I purchased a brand of pistachio paste through nuts.com named "Love 'n Bake."  When it arrived, it was 1/2 pistachios and 1/2 sugar and olive oil.   I purchased a second batch through Amazon from FiddleyFarms; it is 100% pistachios.  I bought raw pistachios through nuts.com.  The only raw ones were from California.  If anyone has advice on using the MC recipe or on best approaches to ice cream with this ingredient I'd appreciate them.  I will report progress on my experiment in this forum.
    • Pistachio Pralines
      By Tennessee Cowboy
      I am planning to make Pistachio Ice Cream with broken up Pistachio Pralines as a mix in.  I tried it once, using the Jeni's Ice Cream recipe (roast and run 1 c pralines through the blender until smooth, then add to her normal mixture.  There is a discussion of the pistachio ice cream under new members forums.  On the Pralines, I have read all of the posts in this forum on Pecan Pralines--click below if you want to see all of the posts.
      My questions are:
      1.  In general, how should I adapt the pecan praline recipes for Pistachios?  I have attached a file with most of the different recipes from the generic pralines forum.  Is there any reason to think one would be better than the other, as applied to pralines?
      2.  Any particular pistachio roasting recipe you think would work well?  (I've purchased raw, unsalted)
      3.  To get more pistachio-related flavor, should I substitute Pistachio Extract for Vanilla Extract.  Do I substitute one-for-one?  
      4.  Is there a role for Pistachio Paste to impart a more intense Pistachio flavor?  If so, how?
      Praline-multiple recipes.docx
    • Rookie Joins the Pros
      By Tennessee Cowboy
      Hello, All.  My monniker is Tennessee Cowboy.  In real life I am a retired lawyer who has invested way too many hours in ice cream making!  I have tested over 100 recipes over the last five years, and I would like to go to a new and higher level. . . hopefully with your help.  
       
      One of my fixations over the years is how to make low- or no-sugar recipes so that my friends who are on sugar restricted diets can enjoy what I make.  At the moment I'm working on pistachio ice cream, and trying to make the pistachios more flavorful and present.
       
      My wife is a spectacularly good cook, and I'll share some of her secrets if she will let me.
    • Fondant ruffles
      By pastrygirl
      I've been requested to make a cake inspired by Prince circa the Purple Rain era - "a riot of purple" and white ruffles like the shirt he wore.  I have little experience with fondant, am planning to use marshmallow fondant (melted marshmallows + powdered sugar).  Does anyone have any tricks to making the ruffles perky and 3-D?  Should I drape them over something the day before and let them dry? I want them to add dimension. Thanks!
       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.