Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Brulee By Any Other Name... caramelized sugar. I sort of learned this fact about twenty-four years ago when I made my first Raspberry Bakewell Tart (with Burnt Cream). Actually, it was a creme brulee with with fresh raspberries on top. I found the recipe in one of my issues of Bon Appetit and it was a hit with my dinner guests. This was well before I actually had my first true creme brulee, mind you. I hadn't even heard of that dessert at the time. Yet I made one just the same. Go figure.

What does this have to do with the price of tea in China, you may ask. Well, not much, except that I recently got back into the creme brulee game, and by "creme" I mean "ice cream". The story goes like this:

Remember a while ago when I made all that ice cream to send my father? Remember the Golden Double Vanilla? Remember when I told a  friend mine about it and he issued a challenge? Of course you don't because I didn't tell you about it then! Don't pout; I'm telling you about it now. Being an excellent cook himself, he said something like "Now I challenge you to put some of that in a heat resistant bowl, freeze it hard then put some turbinado sugar on top of it and caramelize the sugar." Essentially he wanted me to make an ice cream brulee. Hot sugar on still frozen ice cream? How could I resist?

It just so happens that I actually have a kitchen torch. It was a birthday gift from someone (a professional chef) and I'd never used it. The box just gathered dust for nearly twenty years until this challenge. I bought some butane for it, filled it and prepared to light it for the first time.

No, it didn't explode but it was rather unnerving to have that kind of controlled flame so close to my hand. An arc welder I'll never be. I was a little incredulous how this little experiment would turn out, especially since I had zero experience with the torch. Still, I was committed so I set things up...

With sugar on top.

...put the fire to the ice and watched what happened.

Poufe! Caramelizing sugar.
Working. Sort of.

And I ended up with:

Sort of.
As another friend of mine told me when I showed him a picture, I need a bigger torch so I can broaden the flame to get a more even melt. The tiny torch I have is prone to hot spots. Not that I gave one wit about all that when I was broke through the hardening hot crust to dig into still frozen ice cream. I cared even less after the first spoonful hit my tongue. Delicious! I call this challenge mostly met.

But, yeah, I'll get a bigger torch. Later.

Currently listening to: Azedia - Calm Down


1 comment:

  1. It's a perfect torch for marshmallow toasting. Just sayin' ;)