Do it once, do it right. No pressure ….
It’s easily enough done, to be scared of doing something for years because you thought it was too hard.
Crème Brûlée. I had seen so many disasters on TV shows where the custard had split and it was more like scrambled eggs, or the sugar had not been mixed in and had made the texture all grainy, or it just tasted eggy. I was freaking out that something like that was going to happen, because you don’t know until you serve it, I had no back up plan.
A connoisseur of Crème Brûlée was coming for dinner, he had requested it for dessert, he has eaten plenty of it, it’s his favorite. Perhaps not the best time to be trying something out. I felt the pressure. I had attempted Crème Brûlée once before, years ago, it was nasty, and didn’t work, at all. I was dreading this was going to happen again.
I followed the recipe to the T, measuring everything, being careful and double checking each ingredient. I gave the custard my undivided attention, no multi tasking, being careful not to split it. I had a sink of cold water on standby, ready to plunge the bowl into at the first sign of scrambled eggs. So far so good. As I was scooping the foam off the top before pouring into the ramekins, I had a sneaky taste, not bad. Now the only thing left was to cook the little buggers and hope they were going to set. The recipe said not to let them go too firm. But to a first timer that didn’t help much, I would have to go with my gut. I went with wobbly in the middle. Out of the oven, chill them in the fridge. Wait for dessert time.
Charlie was eagerly awaiting dessert. I pulled them out of the fridge. They looked set! Phew! I found my blowtorch, spread some sugar on top and we torched two each. Who doesn’t like playing with fire? The moment of truth had arrived. It was time to serve up.
The caramel made that beautiful crack when tapped with a spoon! The custard tasted great. Thank goodness for that. The only thing that we all agreed on was that it would be awesome if the vanilla seeds had have stayed mixed through the custard instead of sinking to the bottom.
Tim said it was the best Crème Brûlée he had tasted in his life (he may have been biased, lovely husband), Rob had never tried it before and was convinced that the bar had been set too high for future experiences. Charlie just smiled with a satisfied look on his face. The plates were emptied. These seemed like good signs.
Relief swept through me, not such an arduous taste in the end, just a dessert that requires a little TLC to get right. I won’t be afraid again. It’s easily enough done, to be scared of doing something for years because you thought it was too hard. only to find out that once you do it, it was actually easier than you thought. I know I did this with the Pana Cotta, and I have totally done the same with Crème Brûlée, that was until yesterday.
Thanks for reading.