I recently was wasting time (a perennial occupation of mine), watching some “how to cook” videos on the BBC cooking website – one of my favorite recipe sources. I learned the best way to poach an egg and how to line a cake tin with parchment paper. Such fun! Then I watched one on making crème brulée. I was instantly filled with an overwhelming desire to try it. However, one needed a little blowtorch, an item I didn’t have, and felt a little afraid of having. I actually made a foray downtown shortly thereafter, and was planning to get one. I had a list of shopping tasks, and completed them all except going to the cooking store to get the little torch. Once downtown, it never entered my mind. Was it fear that made me forget? I think maybe. A week or so later, Rebecca and I went to the cooking store, and once again I had my little list. This time, I was actually in the store, and made all my planned purchases but that! I didn’t give it a thought till I got home. Wow! I had developed a real mental block, or something, about it. Finally, I made a special trip for just that, so it would be impossible to forget it. The cooking store lady told me it was not terrifying at all, and actually turned in on, producing a flame right there in the cooking store. She was right, it wasn’t scary when she did it. Doing it oneself would be another thing however.
Ana was coming for dinner, so this was just the time to try making some nice crème brulée – with Ana for moral support. We made our ever so creamy custard, and when it was time to fill the torch, Ana was alarmingly nonchalant and brave. I was astonished. She pointed out that she was a chemist, and chemists did this sort of thing. I suppose they do, but it was very brave none the less.
Our final product was one of the tastiest things I ever ate. The glass like crust was perfect – fun to look at, fun to crack open, and most fun of all to eat. However, it was so rich that we both made ourselves slightly sick – full as ticks and bloated as poisoned pups, as my sainted Uncle Robert was wont to say.
Here is the custard with its coating of sugar.
Ana fearlessly blow torching the sugar, melting and caramelizing it,
The finished product.
10 hours ago