Sunday, September 6, 2009

Crème Brulée

I created a quick recipe for Crème Brulée a while ago, thought I should share it! If you use the lower temperature and put love into it, I'll guarantee it'll be better than the Fine Dining restaurants. The real secret to Great Crème Brulée isn't the custard, its time and temperature. The lower the temperature or your oven the more silky the custard is. Long slow cooking low temperatures results in a smooth custard. Here is the recipe.

Crème Brulée

Makes approx 8 x 4floz portions

4 cups whipping cream

2/3-cup sugar plus 1-2 Tbsp per portion cup

8 large egg yolks

1 vanilla bean pod sliced lengthwise

1) Pour the heavy cream in a saucepot and add the vanilla bean. Heat slowly until almost boiling.

2) While milk is steeping and coming to an almost boil combine the egg yolks and sugar in a large metal bowl. Stir together to form a paste.

3) While constantly whisking, slowly add 1 fluid ounce of the cream at a time at first. It is important to only add a small amount at the beginning because the eggs will scramble if the hot milk is added too fast. Continue to add the milk slowly and whisking until all of the milk is used up.

4) Using a spoon or paper towel remove the bubbles on the top of the custard. (The egg mixture and milk mixture are now a custard)

5) Heat your oven to 275˚F or 300˚F (I like to the lower temperature because it creates a smoother texture).

6) In 8 ramekins (approx 4 fl oz each), pour in the custard ¾ of the way up. Once each is filled place all but one into a baking pan (at least a 9x9, glass or metal doesn’t matter). Place the tray on the middle rack of the oven and pour in some hot water from the tap about ½ way up the ramekins, and then add the last ramekin.

7) Carefully push the pan into the oven and close the door, set a time for 50 minutes. You will know they custard is cooked when if wiggles like gelatin. Slightly undercooked is better than over cooked, any more than 1 hour and the custard could over cook.

8) Refrigerate at least 6 hours but I recommend up to 1 day.

9) Now the actual Brulée part. (Crème Brulée translated means burnt cream). Use about 2 teaspoons of either white or brown sugar to coat the top of the custard. Now you can either A) use your oven or B) use a blowtorch if you have one handy.

a. To use your oven set the rack on the highest point (that will still give you room to put these on a baking sheet) and put the custards into the oven. Cook until the sugar is just starting to turn golden, then remove and let the sugar cool.

b. To use a Blowtorch. Turn on the blow torch making sure nothing around it is going to catch fire (IE: significant others, cats, dogs, houses… you get the picture). While turning the custard in a clockwise fashion in your fingers heat up the sugar with the torch starting at the top and work side to side all the way to the bottom and then reverse. The sugar will start to turn a golden brown liquid, once all the sugar is melted let it rest for a up to 30 seconds so as to harden up.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A little hole in the wall

While visiting my brother and sister-in-laws in Halifax, my brother-in-law took us for lunch to a little restaurant named John's Lunch. This was an out of no wear 1.5 story home in Dartmouth, as we pulled up I didn't think anything of it. We got out of the van and walked up to the door to order... there was a line up, like going into a Starbucks in Vancouver. "Usually a good sign," I thought. There wasn't a table available in the place, it looked to seat approximately 35- 40 people, and every seat was taken with more waiting. As I looked at the staff that worked there I could see a resemblance in some of them, so they're a family run business! I couldn't exact their nationality, it doesn't really matter anyways, this wasn't going to persuade my decision of the food.

As we waited for our food people came and left and continued to line up for what was going to be a great feast I could imagine. About 10 minutes later we received our food wrapped in a paper bag, we took it to the van and drove a little ways to a picnic area. We sat down and opened our plentiful bounty reveling our prize. The first bite awaited... *crunch*...*chew, chew, chew*... "mmmmmm", as silence filled the air. Crunchy, moist, oily. Fish and Chips... it was magical. I've never had such a great meal at a little dinner. This is definitely worth the wait, yet how could I have been missing this?? The only place I have to compare this to is Barb and Ernie's old fashioned country inn back in Edmonton. Always packed, always buzzing with customers, the owners entertaining the crowds, handcrafted speicalties flowing like water out of the kitchen. These types of family owned businesses are a dying breed, and yet when someone stumbles across them its hard to believe more and more people aren't trying to create this type of atmosphere anywhere else in the cities. This is definatley what makes these places speical!

Chef Corey

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Welcome to Big White Hat Blogging

Welcome to the blog of Chef Corey.

I'm looking forward to describing my adventures in the culinary world. Big White Hat Catering is a small Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The type of catering I would like to do is in home personal Chef dinner parties. I have catering mostly appetizer functions thus far. And have a few functions coming up this year, one with the Kids with Cancer Society and the other is a Wedding. Both functions are in May. I am looking forward to these events, and hope that over time I can turn this side job into a full time envelope pushing passion.

Stay tuned for my adventures in cooking. I like to experiment with various recipes from various cultures. One adventure I'm currently looking into doing this summer is roasting a whole pig for a personal summer party with my wife at home. I'll do my best to keep up this blog and give pictures with my various adventures.

Chef Corey