Bake Off 2015: Week Four – Desserts

This week’s Bake Off theme was just up my street, who doesn’t love desserts? It also meant that I could try my hand at making creme brûlée, another thing that’s been on my ‘to make’ list for a long time. I have to say, I’m quite pleased with how they turned out (mostly!) and they weren’t as difficult as I had initially thought. 

Since it was my first attempt, I went for the traditional creme brûlée, just vanilla. Now that I’ve made it once, it’ll be time to experiment, I’m thinking possibly a fruity concoction or an earl grey variation next time… 

Now, back to this creme brûlée..I have a set of four glass ramekins from Gu puddings, so decided to make use of them for once. They seem to have held up fine in the oven, still in tact, so don’t listen to the Gu website! These ramekins are about 9cm in diameter and 3.5cm deep, which is a good size for a creme brûlée I think, so the recipe below has been adjusted for 4 ramekins of this size. 

creme-brulee-bake-off

I kept checking the custard to look for the slight wobble when they were baking and ended up with a good consistency; firm, but not too firm and absolutely no scrambled eggy-ness in sight, which was my main worry. I let them cool before I attempted the caramelisation. Now, I don’t own a blowtorch and I wasn’t going to buy one just for the sake of this one pudding, so I attempted to do it under the grill. It didn’t work out as well as planned, I didn’t get the colour I was going for and I’m pretty sure I burnt two of them in the process.. I was also worried that the custard would cook further and end up as an overcooked mess, so took them out before all the sugar had completely caramelised. I think I may have used a little too much sugar, I’ve still got some leftover mixture, so will attempt again tomorrow.. creme-brulee-bake-off

Otherwise, I’m pretty pleased with the result and will definitely be trying other variations in the future! 

Traditional Creme Brûlée
Serves 4
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 250ml double cream
  2. 1 vanilla pod, or 1tbsp vanilla extract
  3. 3 egg yolks
  4. 100g caster sugar (plus extra for caramelising)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees
  2. Heat the double cream and vanilla until it reaches boiling point, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes
  3. In the meantime, combine the egg yolks and sugar together in a heatproof bowl
  4. Bring the cream mixture back to the boil, then take off the heat and slowly add to the egg mixture, constantly whisking - don't add it too fast, otherwise the egg will cook!
  5. Drain the mixture through a sieve, into a measuring jug.
  6. Place your ramekins in a baking tray, pour in the mixture to fill about 2/3 full, then transfer to the oven
  7. Once the tray is on the oven shelf, pour hot water into the tray to create a bain-marie, this should be about half way up the ramekins
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes, keep a check on it towards the end, there should be a very slight wobble when it's done
  9. Remove from oven and bain-marie, let it cool on a baking tray before caramelising
  10. Sprinkle just under a teaspoon of caster sugar on top of the custard, spreading evenly. If you have a blowtorch, use it now to caramelise the sugar, otherwise place under a hot grill and keep a watch on it until the sugar caramelises
Notes
  1. Tip: If you're using the grill to caramelise, place ramekins into the baking tray as before, but fill with ice water instead. This should stop the custard cooking further!
Sam's Cupcakery https://www.samscupcakery.com/

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