Who isn’t a fan of the classic Crème brulee, one of the most delicious and creamiest desserts! Despite its popularity, many people seem to have some questions around this tasty dessert.
Is it a kind of custard? Is it similar to crème caramel, or panna cotta? What exactly is Crème Brulee?
Or, what does Crème brulee taste like? If all these questions look familiar to you, you might want to continue reading.
In this article, we’ll take you through everything about crème brulee and the things that make this dessert so creamy and yummy!
So, without any further ado, let’s jump straight into the article.
What is Crème Brulee?
In simple words, crème brulee is a dessert that contains a rich custard base at the bottom and a layer of hardened caramelized sugar at the top.
Generally, the dessert is mostly served cold. However, since you’ll have to caramelize the sugar before serving, it may make the top layer warm while the inside remains chilled.
Did you know? crème brulee is one of the oldest dessert recipes, since 1691!
The recipe for crème brulee first appeared in a cookbook called “Le Cuisinier Roial et Bourgeois,” meaning “The Chef that declares himself Royalty,” written by a popular French chef Francois Massialot.
Another similar dessert, “Crema Catalana” became popular in Spain during ancient days. Thus, many believed that the inspiration for the modern-day Crème Brulee came from such ancient desserts.
Today, you can find crème brulee served in almost every restaurant and household! Also, the flavor and ingredients of this dessert have changed over the years.
Let’s discuss more on the taste of Crème Brulee in the next part of this article.
What Does Crème Brulee Taste Like? Does Crème Brulee Taste Good?
The name crème brulee comes from the French words “Krem Bru Lei,” which means burnt cream. Thus, there are other names of crème brulee, such as burnt cream, Crema Catalana, burned cream, or Trinity cream.
When it comes to the taste of crème brulee, it can vary. Traditionally, crème brulee’s ingredients were just milk, eggs, cream, sugar and vanilla, and sometimes flavored with lemon or cinnamon.
Thus, most traditional crème brulee had a rich vanilla custard base with caramelized sugar toppings.
You can call it a perfect combination of vanilla and caramel flavors. However, in recent years, people have started creating variations of crème brulee using varieties of ingredients like coffee, heavy cream, butterscotch, etc.
Thus, with the introduction of new varieties of crème brulee, the flavors will differ.
For instance, nowadays, most people love adding coffee in crème brulee desserts.
They say that the bitterness of coffee compliments the sweetness of vanilla and caramel flavors very well! Some people even top this off with whipped cream for a creamy texture.
The flavor of crème brulee is quite similar to crème caramel or baked custard. However, crème brulee is the richest in terms of taste and texture.
Another common comparison is between the taste of crème brulee and panna cotta.
While the flavor is somewhat identical, the major difference lies in the fact that while crème brulee uses milk as the main ingredient, the latter opts for heavy cream.
How to Make Crème Brulee?
Making a crème brulee is not as easy as it looks! Approximately, it could take around three to four hours to prepare the best crème brulee dessert.
You’ll need about thirty minutes for preparation, around one hour to cook, and two hours to set it and chill.
Apart from the time factor, you’ll also need to follow a systematic series of methods for making crème brulee. Let’s take a closer look at the process:
Tempering the eggs: While making crème brulee, you need to be extra careful while handling the egg as it may curdle while exposed to heat and you wouldn’t want that!
Hence, you’ll have to slowly temper the eggs (tampering is a special type of cooking technique).
What you need to do is, you’ll have to bring the eggs to warmer temperatures slowly while constantly mixing it. This will avoid egg curdling.
But in case this process fails and you still end up with a curdled egg, you can strain the egg mixture to ensure a smooth consistency.
Choosing the right ramekins: Ramekins are simply those small ceramic bowls used for custards and other desserts.
They are available in different sizes. For a classic Crème Brulee, the right Ramekin size would be about 4-6 oz.
Water Bath process: The Water Bath process allows the crème brulee mixture to cook slowly and evenly. You need to place the ramekin containing the mixture on top of a thin towel in a pan.
Then, you can add warm water in the pan until it reaches about half of the ramekin. You can even wrap the ramekin with tinfoil to prevent water from getting inside.
You can cook this between 275-335 degrees for about 40 – 50 minutes. Keep monitoring the water level and pour extra warm water whenever needed.
Once you’re done cooking the crème brulee, you can take it out of the pan and place the ramekins in the refrigerator for about two hours.
Torch Process: When serving the chilled crème brulee, add the preferred amount of sugar on top and start torching it until it turns golden brown.
And your Crème Brulee is all ready!
Crème Brulee is undoubtedly one of the creamiest desserts out here. However, to create this delicious dessert, there are certain proper guidelines you should follow, as mentioned above.
With the proper process and right ingredients, you may actually enjoy making this caramelized dessert with your friends and family.
Here are some of the best and easy Crème Brulee recipes that you can make for your guests at the next social event!