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Help! How do I get my Creme Brulee to set?! October 3, 2009

Filed under: desserts,Home Cookery,random — Dobsessed @ 9:01 pm
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So, I bought a blow torch today!! It was great, so easy to use and I had a lot of fun learning how to use it…I have a problem though, it won’t set!!

I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t cook it enough, if I didn’t leave it in the fridge long enough, or if I fiddled with burning the top too long, does anyone know how I can stop it from being so runny??

I might have to just do an experiment…watch this space for a possible creme brulee revelation…

Or please leave a comment and help a fellow foodie out!

Attempt #2

So a week after my failed creme brulee (it tasted great but it didn’t set), I tried again.  My second creme brulee attempt set, but I had to cook them much longer, which made the creme brulee curdle a little bit and it wasn’t smooth.  These were some of the things that I did different:

- I didn’t allow the creme to boil, apparently scalding point means to bring it to the point that it’s about to boil (small bubbles) but not;

- I ‘tempered’ the egg mixture by adding a ladle of scaled cream to it, mixing this, before adding the rest of the cream mixture (I previously let it cool – you actually need the hot cream to ‘set’ the egg yolks;

- I cooked the creme brulee on a higher oven temperature, 160 degrees celsius instead of 120 degrees; and

- I used full fat cream rather than light cream.

Tomorrow I’ll attempt it again, as it’s still not perfect…watch this space.

Attempt #3

So, I’ve been trawling different recipes to try to find one that will actually set properly (or technique) and I came across that instead of cooking it in a water bath in an oven, you cook it over the stove, stirring constantly on the lowest heat possible until it is the texture of a custard and then you pour this into a ramekin and leave it in the fridge to set.  The recipe also called for 2 tablespoon of corn flour (with one vanilla bean, 300 ml of full fat milk, 300 ml of full fat pure cream and 4 egg yolks).  This recipe has probably worked the best out of all the ones I tried…however, I’m not sure if I like the addition of the corn flour.  I still tempered the egg mixture with the warmed vanilla infused cream before I added the rest of the cream into the eggs (why you then transfer into a saucepan and stir over low heat til it thickens – this took me about 25 – 30 minutes).

The resultant creme brulee was a lot richer than the usual creme brulee but it set without curdling and was delicious.  I’ll try it again without the corn flour.

Creme brulee attempt no #3

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4 Responses to “Help! How do I get my Creme Brulee to set?!”

  1. Wendy Says:

    Guys please help!

    I have used below receipe to make my creme brulee.

    I have cook the mixture and pour into the egg yolks, up til these stage it still looks perfectly okay. Then I bake them in oven (water bath with towel and hot water) for 30 mins and take out and let it rest. When I take it out the top surface have some bubble and then side is set and middle still seems a bit jiggles when I shake it. ( from reading all the blogs this should be the way it looks as the thing will still cook itself after resting) after about 2 hours resting I pop them to the fridge for 3 hrs.

    When I take it out from fridge it looks all set but when I put my spoon inside. its so grainy (crudle). feels like the eggs has seperate from the cream and there is some water inside. I follow exactly the steps below and I don’t see which part I went wrong? Is it because the cream mixture was not hot enough when I pour into the eggs?

    I have made only 2 desserts in my whole life and they all fail.. My friend follow exactly this same recipe and hers turn out perfect. however she said she bake for 40 mins instead. I seroiusly need to know why and I meant to make this for my bf as a surprise gift this weekend….please kindly help !!

    600ml thickened cream
    1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
    6 egg yolks
    ¼ cup caster sugar
    120g demerara sugar for the crust

    Step 1: Preheat oven to 120°C.

    Step 2: Place the cream, vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to scalding point, then remove from heat. Remove vanilla bean and discard.

    Step 3: Whisk together egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl for 2-3 minutes or until pale.

    Step 4: Pour hot cream over egg yolk mixture, continuing to whisk until well combined. Strain mixture into a jug, evenly divide between 4 x 200ml ramekins.

    Step 5: Carefully place ramekins in a deep roasting pan lined with a folded tea towel. Pour boiling water into pan to come halfway up the sides of ramekins. Cover pan loosely with foil.

    Step 6: Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until the custard has just set. Remove ramekins from the water bath, and set aside to cool.

    Step 7: Sprinkle demerara sugar evenly over the surface of the baked custards. Run a kitchen blowtorch over the custards, or place under a preheated grill until the sugar bubbles and caramelises. Serve.

    • yeeshin Says:

      Hi

      I’ve tried Creme brulee a number of times and the last couple of times, they’ve worked well for me.

      I did the following, hopefully it works for you!

      – When they say scalding point, that means the cream is not yet boiling, it means the cream is starting to get little bubbles, they usually start at the end of the pan, so you’ll get some bubbles. Before it starts to boil, that’s when it’s ready.

      – Pour that with the egg yolk and caster sugar and whisk continuously.

      – Make sure there are no bubbles at the top before you bake it in a water bath. You can do this by skimming the surface of it with a spoon or using a blow torch. When you use a blowtorch, the bubbles just pops away.

      – When you bake it in a waterbath, make sure NO water gets into the ramekin at all. The easiest way I have found is to have paper towel on the bottom, the ramekins in the roasting in and then fill the roasting tin with water (half way up the ramekin) whilst the tin is on the oven wrack in the oven.

      – I didn’t use the foil when I cooked my recipe but it might be wise so that it doesn’t curdle.

      – make sure you do bake for 40 minutes, 30 minutes isn’t enough time

      – Remove the ramekin from the hot water bath straight away (i don’t know, that’s just what I did)

      – And don’t use a grill to burn the sugar on the top, it’s uneven and it takes a bit of time, usually making the custard warm or curdle. Use a blow torch and make sure you have only a thin layer of sugar for the same reasons.

      GOOD LUCK!

      Alternatively, you could try making a panna cotta (there’s a recipe on my blog) – I believe panna cotta to be completely failproof and they only take 10 minutes of actual prep/cooking time!

  2. laura Says:

    I’m 12 years old and have never failed at a dessert i have made suffles cookies, brownies, Dominican cakes, but i can’t seem to master a creme brule please help. it seams watery on the surface but not on the bottom and it doesn’t taste so bad but it’s runny. Once again HELP

    • Dobsessed Says:

      Unfortunately, I think it’s a matter of trial and error. I think one of the things that need to happen is that it’s probably not cooking long enough maybe?


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