Throughout the Bake Off Bake Along some of the biggest challenges have been photographing the bakes each week. Especially crème brûlée from desserts week. The Spanische windtorte and baked cheesecakes may now seem ages ago but you'll have to forgive me, I'm running a little behind.
So, in an attempt to catch up (and watch last weeks Bake Off!), here's my entry for dessert week, espresso crème brûlée...and yes I cheated by not grilling my sugar topping and instead opted for a kitchen torch, way more fun.
I used a Gordon Ramsay recipe which you can find, here.
In order to create the perfect wobble and crisp caramel topping, here are some pointers:
- my biggest mistake here was not using enough sugar to caramelise for the topping. I was in a little bit of a rush with these. But ideally all the sugar should melt into caramel. The recipe I used called for demerara which helps to give a nice toffee flavour but will not fully melt. For a smooth, glossy melt use caster sugar.
- essentially you're making baked custard, so whilst different flavours are great, have a think of what goes with custard before getting too fancy! Earl grey would be great, as would orange and almond flavours. Unfortunately, as good as these espresso versions taste, they look a little brown and unappealing before adding a sugar topping.
- older crème brûlée recipes will be made entirely on the stove and heated until jelly-like and firm and cooled in the fridge. However, its must quicker and easier to make the custard and bake it for 30 minutes or so. The milk and cream is gently scalded in a pan before whisking into the eggs and sugar. The mixture is then poured into ramekins positioned in a large baking tray of water. By doing so the water will create steam and will also help to ensure that the crème brûlées are cooked evenly throughout. Once done they should become firm and have a slight wobble.
- some recipes call for buttering ramekins, but it seems pretty pointless, unlike panna cotta you don't need to remove them to serve.
With just a few elements, crème brûlée is surprisingly easy to make. Just not too appealing to photograph!
Fancy checking out how I got on with the rest of the Bake Off Bake Along challenges?