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Wendy DeBord

'Stovetop' Creme Brulee

51 posts in this topic

I've never made it stove top before, but need to this weekend.

I have 2 questions, please.

Do I need to make any changes to standard recipes?

Cook to temp. or texture?

Thank-you for your help. It's very appreciated.

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Try extra yolks, cook like a creme anglaise--slowly so the bonds form gently and evenly--perhaps even pull it off the heat early to "poach" up to the final temperature--with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed down onto the surface--then add just a touch of gelatin as it is cooling down.

You can also experiment with cooking this in the microwave with a turntable and then give it a whiz with the immersion blender.

Depends on what you plan to do with it. Why do you "need" to cook it on the stove top?


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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i have a recipe i can dig up.

basically, you cook the custard on the stove until it splits...then you whiz the hell out of it with an immersion blender.

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It's for job and I need volume.

I need to make it stove top because the place doesn't have individual containers appropriate to bake it, no extra hotel pans and definately no place to store them. I'll be serving in wide mouthed champagne glasses.

Yesterday the chef runs through the kitchen looking for sheet pans. Their all being used and Easter hasn't happened yet.

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Then the stovetop way will work great. If you're pouring it in glasses to set, and serving it right out of the fridge, you can omit the gelatin and just go with the extra yolk percentage; if you don't want the extra egginess or if these glasses might sit on a buffet takeaway table or be passed--I'd keep the gelatin in. If you were going to pour the cream out into a flexipan, then freeze and pop out, say to put in a tartlet or composed dessert--then you'd need the touch of gelatin.

You mean the chef and the prep guys haven't figured out where you hide your few flat sheetpans from them?


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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I'll be serving in wide mouthed champagne glasses.

I'd be really careful about this if I were you. If you're planning on torching the top of the brulee, the glasses may well crack and/or shatter since they aren't tempered. I personally wouldn't torch anything that wasn't oven safe, especially right out of the fridge. Please say you'll test several first?

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Of course, very thin flat disks of a croquant--with a lot caramel powder in the mix--cut perfectly to drop into the wide mouth of that coupe glass--resting right above the cream--which the diner could just break with his spoon--could be a very cool "brulee" alternative.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Of course, very thin flat disks of a croquant--with a lot caramel powder in the mix--cut perfectly to drop into the wide mouth of that coupe glass--resting right above the cream--which the diner could just break with his spoon--could be a very cool "brulee" alternative.

That IS a cool idea. And would still give the diner that creme brulee "losing virginity" moment. :wink:

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Herme did something like this years ago in an old book of his--pistachio creme brulee in a ramekin with a nib tuile slid over it like a lid.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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I don't even know what you guys are talking about, but it sounds damn good.

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Stone--sorry--we pros are glad to multi-task here when requested. Thanks for the question. You know how a custard or creme brulee is usually baked--in individual ramekins--slowly, at lower heat in an oven, with the ramekins sitting in a water bath?

Well, that's all fine and dandy if you plan to serve the custard in the ramekin. Usually you chill it after it's baked, sprinkle it with some dried brown sugar, and torch it or place it under a salamander (that funky broiler-thingy line cooks usually heat things up under) so the sugar crisps. Then when you crack that caramel surface you get, well, in the very poetic words of scot, that losing virginity moment.

OK--this thread is about NOT cooking the cream for the brulee in ramekins but all at once--and not in the stove but in a saucepan on top of the stove--like you'd cook a creme anglaise. Extra yolks and little gelatin help the cream set and thicken. Then you have the option to pour it into bowls, glasses, little molds--like the flexipan (those black flexible non-stick sheets) where it will set up "like a creme brulee" but at that point you don't really have the brulee part--the burnt sugar.

It is possible to sugar and burn this mixture just as you would a regularly baked creme brulee in a ramekin but it usually doesn't work precisely as well as a properly baked custard would.

The "brulee" part could be a thin tuile or disk of caramel powder (sugar cooked to caramel, poured out, cooled, ground to a powder, sifted out onto a Silpat, then baked a bit to melt the powder together into a thin hard disk.) That's the principle behind alot of what Adria calls "croquant." He makes little lollipops of all sorts of caramelized things ground into powders.

Then if something like this were placed on top of a creamy custard--you'd get that same burnt brulee effect just in a different, perhaps more interesting way.

OK?

Take this to another level--say you wanted to do a "Creme Brulee of Corn" as a dessert.

You could make a stovetop creme anglaise infused with corn--then strain out the corn--and pour this cream into glass bowl to set. Or you could pour this into a larger container and let it set. (Planning later to scoop out quenelles of this on a plate.) You then make a caramel corn tuile or croquant by mixing some dried pulverized corn ("Just Corn" or corn nut) with caramel powder--sprinkling this onto a silpat and after baking for a bit, letting it cool down. Break this sheet of caramel corn powder tuile into pieces--stick them into the glasses of corn custard or onto the quenelles--and serve. "Creme Brulee of Corn."

It could be an amuse or app if your custard had less sugar.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Wow, thanks. To take it a step back further -- what's the difference between creme brulee (or at least the custardy stuff under the burnt sugar), custard, creme anglais, and pudding (the vanilla pudding I'm used to, not blood pudding and stuff like that)? (Or is this a topic for another tread?)

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Wow, thanks.  To take it a step back further -- what's the difference between creme brulee (or at least the custardy stuff under the burnt sugar), custard, creme anglais, and pudding (the vanilla pudding I'm used to, not blood pudding and stuff like that)?  (Or is this a topic for another tread?)

Not much and a lot.

Not much in that they are all milk or cream thickened, custard like, and usually with some vanilla.

A lot in that they can differ in texture from pouring to solid, and in thickening agent.

Stuff under the caremel for creme brulee: Usally a rich baked egg custard (eggs, cream sugar, baked in a ramekin in a bain marie), but can be anything from plain whipped cream (cream Chantilly) to fruit fool (fruit puree + sugar+ cream or custard - setting agent is the pectin in the fruit). Incidently it is claimed the dish was invented in the kitchens of Trinty College Cambridge "Trinity Burnt Cream", but probably derives form an older Scotish recipe.

Creme Anglais: Classically milk thickened with egg yolk cooked over gentle heat. Pouring consistency

Custard: Thickened with starch custard powder or cornflour. Invented by Mr Bird as his wife was allegedly allergic to eggs. Pouring, but some like it thicker, as blancmange

Instant Whip etc: Same principles, but the product of a chemical factory. May use other setting agents, like carrageen.

Zabaglione etc: Thickened with egg yolk, flavoured with Marsala, and whipped while cooking

Syllabub: Cream, wine, lemon. The acid in the lemon sets the whipped cream.


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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Would it be possible to spoon the custard into the glass, mounding it, sprinkle that with sugar, and then blowtorching it without the glass breaking?

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Would it be possible to spoon the custard into the glass, mounding it, sprinkle that with sugar, and then blowtorching it without the glass breaking?

That's what I was referring to above - I wouldn't torch it in anything but an oven-safe container, especially since the custard will be cold and the extreme temperature difference between the cold custard and hot torch coming in simultaneous contact with the glass would probably crack it unless the glass was tempered.

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Even if you don't put the heat too close to the glass? or just too dangerous to do quickly?

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Even if you don't put the heat too close to the glass?  or just too dangerous to do quickly?

By all means give it a try, but personally I don't think I could control the flame finely enough to keep from heating the glass.


Edited by nightscotsman (log)

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Of course, very thin flat disks of a croquant...

...could be a very cool "brulee" alternative.

Or skip the calculations of the stove top custard altogether...

Fortify an anglaise with a touch of gelatin and throw it into a foam canister. This way, one could even alternate the layers and textures right into the coupe... foam, croquant, foam, croquant... by assembling it a la minute.


Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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Not much and a lot.

Not much in that they are all milk or cream thickened, custard like...

Jackal, might I add to your list...

Crème Caramel or sometimes refered to as just 'flan'... custard thickened with egg yolks and whole eggs, set in a dish or ramekin to which a caramel was placed into the bottom, so when inverted, voila, a sturdy custard with its own caramel sauce.

Chibouste... a French classic you don't see much anymore, a crème patissiere (egg yolk and starch thickened custard) lightened with a French-style meringue (simply sugar and raw egg white, whipped). The timing is critical, as both the custard and meringue should be completed simultaneously. Also dusted with sugar and caramelized more often than not. (Come to think of it, this could also work for Sinclair, perhaps in a different vessel, something safe for both freezer and torch...)

And then a Bavarois... an anglaise, lightened with whipped cream, fortified with some gelatin.

Ice Cream, of course, is often essentially frozen crème anglaise, though most pastry chefs see it as a somewhat more complex balance of water, fat, sugar, and flavoring.

I know I've heard of this syllabub business before... how exactly is it prepared/assembled?


Edited by Michael Laiskonis (log)

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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I know I've heard of this syllabub business before... how exactly is it prepared/assembled?

Lemon Syllabub added to the Recipe Archive

Forgot to add Creme Patissier to the list. Thickened with cornflour, sometimes eggs. Thick, for pastry fillings.


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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I'm not a pro, but I've always thought of "custard" as a rather generic term for all the non starched egg and milk products be they pourable, such as creme anglaise, or set such as creme caramel or flan. Stone's "pudding" which has slipped by undefined, is custard with flour or a starch of some sort. Even a little bit of corn starch in a custard mixture can make it much easier to cook, although to my way of thinking it most often cheapens the final texture and taste of a pure custard. The exception is crème patissiere which is normally used in connection with pastry, but I'd less like to eat a bowl of creme patissiere than a bucket of creme anglaise or creme caramel. For what it's worth, "pudding" in England has become a generic term for dessert, as I understand the way it's used there. Most puddings in the US are made from a packaged mix. Then again there's rice pudding which qualifies in my book as pudding with the rice being the starch.

If one is not hung up on having the experience of breaking into the custard and depending on how set the "custard" is in the glasses, one could use disks or even shards of caramel set upright into the custard for effect, of spinkle crushed caramel either dust or crunchy broken pieces and have an effective presentation.


Robert Buxbaum

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When I worked at Darryl and Oliver's Cafe Maxx in Pompano Beach several years ago, we served a cooked brulee served in a florentine cookie cup. We would spoon the custard into the cup, spoon on some brulee sugar and then caramelize with a brulee iron. This was served with fresh berries and cookies. I do not have the recipe for the brulee custard anymore. I prefer the more traditional style that is baked in the flat brulee dish.


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.

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This thread is making me hungry!

All these beautiful custardy creamy desserts are the top of my list. If I see creme brulee or any of it's ilk on a menu it's always my first pick. Think I am going to have to make one for dinner tomorrow.

My kids love it when I make Creme brulee..... my recipe makes way too much you see and they get to have it 2 nights in a row.

Whats that I hear? You could halve the recipe Saffy ? I would not even dream of it.. :biggrin:

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When you folks are talking about stovetop creme brulee, are you

A- Talking about cooking the mix on the fire, pushing it to that Anglaise state and pouring it into molds for cakes,etc.

B-Could you use that method for plain old poured into the regular dish type of brulee also?

I saw the recipe for 'quick' brulee in the Bau book but haven't really checked it out yet.

Thanks


2317/5000

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Tan, I think everybody has a slightly different approach and recipe depending on how they plan to use it, the texture they want, but yes, stovetop "creme brulees" usually are cooked like a creme anglaise, and have some extra percentage of yolk and/or gelatin added. (I have seen similar creams cooked in the microwave then whizzed with an immersion blender; I've seen it thickened up to temperature "poached" in an oven and then whizzed with an immersion blender.) You can then pour this into ramekins to set up, that's how a lot of hotels do their brulees. There can be differences in unctuousness--say you want to do a creme brulee napoleon a la Michel Richard--you bake sheetpans of brulee the traditional way, then cut and lift off little squares of the cooled brulee to form a plated dessert a la minute napoleon with caramelized phyllo. You'll have to compare how your stovetop version--which you could potentially mold into shapes, freeze, thaw and use--does side by side.

Your time with Bau will be well spent. An excellent, influential book.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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