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Cream or crème brulée is a dessert made of egg yolks, sugar, cream and vanilla.
The exact origin of the crème brûlée is unknown. However, it is close to the Catalan cream, a caramelized corn flour cream prepared for the feast of St. John in the seventeenth century. Another “creme brulée”, from the Flanders, also dates back several centuries, perhaps after the Spanish occupation (XVI-XVIII centuries).
The first reference to creme brulee cream is in the book Nouveau Cuisineier Royal et Bourgeois of François Massialot, published in 1691. The recipe is then made with egg yolks and milk with a pinch of flour.
Once cooked, the chef of Philippe d’Orléans says that it must be well covered with sugar, besides the sugar that you put in it: one must take the shovel from the fire, when glowing red, and burn the top of the cream, so it takes a nice golden color.
This sugar is often brown, except in Flanders, where they use the vergeoise blonde. As for burning cream, it was once in the “households” with a red-hot poker passed a few millimeters from the surface.
French, Spanish and English are fighting behind the creme brulee, but the first historical reference is French.
In Britain, there is mention in 1879 of a version called Trinity Cream or Cambridge Burnt Cream.
The base version of cream and egg yolks is modern.
Ingredients for 6 people
- 10 egg yolks
- 150 to 250 g of caster sugar
- 1 liter of cream (not light) liquid
- 1 vanilla pod
- 40 g of brown sugar
Empty stick vanilla seeds. Reserve seeds. Put the empty vanilla sticks in a saucepan with the cream and heat to 60 ° C. When it begins to steam, remove from heat. Mix in a bowl the sugar, vanilla seeds and egg yolks with a whisk. Pour the cream into the bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix well and pour into serving dishes (ramekins, Catalan dish).
The whole is baked in a bain-marie or ramekin halfway flooded. It is interesting to cook slowly at 100 ° C for a better result if time permits.
Caramelization. Once cooled, the top is caramelized by a flame or grill. It is served, warm or cold, with a crust top of crispy caramel and warm if possible, in individual dishes called ramekins.
Variants: From the basic recipe there are various variants for adding ingredients: flavors (vanilla, black tea, maple sugar, saffron, coffee …), fruit, tomatoes, bread, spices, etc..
It is now possible for people who are lactose intolerant to eat this preparation. There exists soy cream that replaces real cream, and coconut milk (about 50 ml for a recipe calling 400 ml cream, add 350 ml of soy cream) for a slight taste of coconut, very interesting.