Thursday, May 2, 2013

"Damn Good" Crème Brûlée

Finally... The perfect crème brûlée

To be honest, I actually enjoy sharing Recipes more than Reviews on this blog. Even though I've got SO many recipes in my drafts folder of food that I love to eat (and am pretty sure other people will like), I can't seem to bring myself to share them.... Yet. 

All because of the incredibly stubborn and pain-in-the-ass-perfectionist in me. For some annoying reason, I can't bring myself to publish a recipe unless I've made it at least 5 or 6 times, taken proper photos every single time (so I'll have more to choose from) before tweaking the recipe again and again and again (down to every gram, millilitre or teaspoon). Although, this has got to stop because:
1) The only person that is probably able to tell the difference is myself
2) There's no such thing as achieving a 100% perfect recipe because everyone's taste is slightly different and measurements will vary depending on the ingredient you buy on the day

That said, you can rest assure that every recipe that I post on The Hungry Excavator is true and tested NUMEROUS times without fail. After all, my hope is that people (especially new or non cooks) find inspiration to cook more often from this blog and that I can build a reputation for having recipes that are helpful and truly reliable to people. 

And I must say that I'm quite happy with every single recipe that I've shared on this site so far. I won't share food unless it's something that I personally LOVE to eat and am also sure that everyday/learning cooks like me can recreate easily.

*tap tap*

Anyway, back to this crème brûlée. I'm not one who normally enjoys dessert but boy, do I LOVE my custards or what. This really is one of my favourite desserts to eat, period. Even after looking at SO many different recipes for this online, I knew that I could trust the one I found on one of my favourite food blogs around: Hunger Hunger.

After reading the post, I was convinced that this was one of the most reliable crème brûlée recipes out there... And it's true. Terri has really done her research and compared the measurements for cream to egg yolk ratio from recipes by many world renown chefs (Alton Brown, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey, Nigella Lawson etc etc) before drawing her own personal conclusion, which is both impressive and helpful. Besides that, I've been a long follower of her blog and must say that I've made so many of her recipes and can vouch how good they've all turned out. I only hope my blog can be just as good of a source for reliable recipes as hers.

The perfect brûlée consistency

This recipe here seriously NAILED the egg to cream to sweetness ratio with my idea of the perfect consistency. Not too thick and "eggy" but still smooth and just set. Borderline liquid but still retains its shape. The custard is REALLY good. Although, I've modified it slightly and also added and torched 2 layers of sugar to give it that extra *CRACK* at the top before you dig in.

So, here you go. A "DAMN GOOD" Crème Brûlée recipe that you'll definitely want to try. Personally, I prefer making it in a big tray/pan to share with friends. Way more fun to eat that way, but that's up to you. Cheers!

Sharing a big tray of crème brûlée is WAY more fun than having them in individual ramekins


 "Damn Good" Crème Brûlée Recipe
(adapted from this recipe by Hunger Hunger)


6 large egg yolks
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 vanilla bean
500ml cream
Extra caster sugar to make crust *


1. Preheat oven to 140 deg C. Whisk egg yolks and sugar with a fork until well combined (about 2 or 3 minutes)

Tip: Don't overbeat by bringing to "ribbon stage" or using an electric beater as most recipes suggest. I find that this adds too much bubbles to your custard and makes it foamy. Custard will even expand as a result in the oven if too much foam

2. Run a small knife down lengthwise of the vanilla bean, scrape the pods and add to a small pot with the cream. Stir the mixture and bring cream to a boil

3. Pour the cream into the egg yolk, stirring continuously. Set aside for 15 minutes so bubbles can rise to the top. Skim some off if you find that there's too much bubbles

4. Strain the mixture into individual ramekins or a tart pan. Place ramekin/pan in a baking tray and fill with hot boiling water up to 1/3 high from the bottom of the ramekin/pan. 

5. Place in centre of oven and bake for 30 minutes. Take ramekin/pan out and give it a shake. If the sides are set and middle is still wobbly, it is ready. Let it cool slightly before chilling it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Tip: If you still find it too runny, turn up the dial of your refrigerator to the maximum coldness. Helps set the custard even more. Custard should still be smooth and silky.

6. Sprinkle caster sugar evenly across the surface. Use a torch to melt/caramelise the sugar. Let it cool for 1 minute (to harden) before sprinkling a second layer and caramelising it some more. Chill in fridge again for 5 minutes or until ready to serve (so melted custard from the heat can firm up again)

Tip: Some recipes specify sprinkling demerara sugar, but I personally think that it is highly unnecessary. Also, double layer of sugar gives it the extra *CRACK* that everyone enjoys!

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