Creme Brulee for 20 people
Posted: 17 July 2013 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]
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My coworkers have never had creme brulee and “suggested” that I make some and bring it in for a treat. I certainly don’t have 20 glass custard cups, but I do have about 2 dozen silicone cupcake cups. My fear is that I will start a fire when it’s time to caramelize the sugar - also, that it will take about 30 minutes to prep that many servings! I need advice: will the silicone cups be okay to use a small kitchen torch? Or, does anyone have better ideas for me?

Thanks,
Mary

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Posted: 17 July 2013 08:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You could make individual creme brulee tarts, from the Pie and Pastry Bible.  The crust takes the place of the ramekin and protects the custard while it bakes.

If you don’t want to to that much work, in Roland Mesnier’s Dessert University cookbook, he makes creme brulee in a 9x13 casserole - but his recipe is basically a stove top pastry cream technique rather than a custard cooked in the oven.  It can work for your group for them just to try; it’s not as silky smooth as a custard but it will give them the general idea.  He has several varieties - champagne, orange and vanilla in the book.

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Posted: 17 July 2013 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks, Jeanne.

I have the Bread Bible, the Cake Bible, and RHC, but not the Pie and Pastry Bible. I will check the library to see if they have it. My husband thinks we should just go buy 18 more custard cups (I have 6). I think that he’s nuts because he doesn’t have to find the place to store them!

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Posted: 17 July 2013 09:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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You could probably just use your favorite creme brulee recipe and bake it in a tart shell; we have several that we use at work because different chefs want different things (some want all heavy cream and yolks, which I find to be very, very heavy; while others prefer some milk or light cream in with the heavy cream).  I know that you can do a google search sometimes on a recipe name (the Champagne Creme Brulee for example) and you can see the recipe online or see a blogger’s adaptation of it.

I wouldn’t try to bake a 9x13 creme brulee though because the center won’t be cooked and the edges will be overbaked.

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Posted: 18 July 2013 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Cook’s Illustrated magazine has a recipe for “family style” creme brulee cooked in an 11 by 17 pan. It serves 8. I have made it before and it comes out perfectly. If you made a 2 3/4 recipe, you could fill two 11 by 7 pans and 6 cupstard cups, and that would serve 22. The custard cups only take 25-35 minutes, so be sure to check them earlier. They should be 170F, just like the large custard.

4 cups heavy cream, chilled
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch table salt
1 vanilla bean halved lengthwise
12 large egg yolks
8 - 12 teaspoons turbinado sugar or Demerara sugar
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Combine 2 cups cream, sugar, and salt in medium saucepan; with paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into pan, submerge pod in cream, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that sugar dissolves. Take pan off heat and let steep 15 minutes to infuse flavors.
3. Meanwhile, place 1 1/2-quart casserole or 11 by 7-inch baking dish in larger baking dish or roasting pan. Bring kettle or large saucepan of water to boil over high heat.
4. After cream has steeped, stir in remaining 2 cups cream to cool down mixture. Whisk yolks in large bowl until broken up and combined. Whisk about 1 cup cream mixture into yolks until loosened and combined; repeat with another 1 cup cream. Add remaining cream and whisk until evenly colored and thoroughly combined. Strain through fine-mesh strainer into 2-quart measuring cup or pitcher (or clean medium bowl); discard solids in strainer. Pour mixture into empty casserole or baking dish. Custard should reach about two-thirds of way up dish, with depth of 1 to 1 1/4 inches.
5. Carefully move pan holding baking dish on oven rack; pour boiling water into larger pan, taking care not to splash water into ramekins, until water reaches two-thirds way up custard-filled dish. Bake until center of custard is just barely set and no longer sloshy and digital instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 170 to 175 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Begin checking temperature about 5 minutes before recommended time.
6. Transfer dish with custard to wire rack; cool to room temperature, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Set custard on rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
7. Uncover custard; if condensation has collected on custard, place paper towel on surface to soak up moisture. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar; tilting and tapping for even coverage. Ignite torch and caramelize sugar. Refrigerate cr?me brulee, uncovered, to re-chill, 30 to 45 minutes (but no longer); serve.

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Posted: 24 July 2013 09:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I know storing the cups is or would be a problem.  It is one I face all the time with acquiring new things.  But where I live, you can get 18 more custard cupes for $18.00.  You will use them again…not often but you will.  Or you can keep some and give away the rest.  This way you would be sticking with what you know. 

 

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Posted: 21 August 2013 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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For sure don’t hesitate to get some extra cups, they are cheap at the dollar store, or perhaps think of using little individual foil tartlet pans. Also I highly recommend using a plain old Blow Torch - yes the kind used by plumbers! It is faster and more efficient, which helps to keep the custard nice and cold under the sugar crust! Best of luck! I’m sure the CB’s will be such a hit you will be asked to bring them repeatedly! (try doing a pistachio, white chocolate or maple version - you will be hopelessly hooked!)

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