December 23, 2009
Unlike the cocktail sauce, creme brulee is much more hardware heavy than software heavy (though with all that cream, the software’s pretty heavy too). Lots of ramekins, pans for the oven, pot for the stove, this is the kind of cooking I enjoy!
First thing to do is infuse the cream with vanilla flavor. Some people just use vanilla extract, but using the actual vanilla bean gives a much better flavor, in my opinion. These beans are the first I’ve ever gotten over the Internet (Beanilla.com if you’re interested, and they’re awesome), Mexican vanilla beans that are supposed to be awesome.
But you don’t just throw the beans. You have to strip them of their pulp to get all the flavor:
Just cut them down the center, split them, then run the knife along perpendicular, scraping out the insides. The pulp and the insides then go into a pot filled with all the cream:
Next, put the cream on the stove and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, to the eggs. I’m only using egg yolks for the creme brulee, 12 of them to be exact, and separating eggs can be tricky. As you can see below, I’m using the “three bowl method” for separating them: you open one egg into an egg separator (or in my case, a slotted spoon) over a small bowl and separate the whites from the yolks. When it’s done, if you didn’t break the yolk, put the yolk in bowl #2 and the white in bowl #3. That way if the yolk breaks, it doesn’t contaminate your whole set of whites.
Once that’s done (I lost 2 eggs in the process, btw. Always have extras.)…. OH! And be careful! If you don’t pay a decent amount of attention to the cream, it can boil over:
Okay, so, I made a bit of a mess (and lost about 1 ramekin’s worth of cream in the process), but I stayed on track, tempered the cream into the eggs with some sugar, and got them into their final resting places before sending them into the oven.
Now into the oven for 40 minutes or so, then into the fridge to cool. When cooled, I’ll cover them up so they don’t absorb any other fridge flavors, and there they’ll sit till tomorrow night. Sadly, it won’t be until then when I melt the sugar on top of them with my cool blowtorch, so there may or may not be pictures. But okay.
See, why can’t people just let me cook all day? Life intervenes, and thus the liveblogging. I now have to run across town and back, then back again later tonight (by which time I had hoped to be done with cooking) to go ice skating and make merry. Sheesh, I hope I do hope I get everything done by then so I’m not up late tonight getting stuff done. And I do NOT want to put anything MORE off till tomorrow if today is any indication!
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