Créme Brulee – an Amazing Desert

Monday, November 5th, 2012

When it comes to various types of custard, there’s a lot to be said historically speaking. It seems that custard started in Ancient Roman cuisine, where cooks tried various egg based dishes. They realized that eggs had a binding property and used them accordingly in various omelets, custards and even baking. They often used ingredients like honey and various nuts to create beautiful deserts but also mixed the eggs with meat or cheese for savory meals. However, the pudding type of custard seems to be dating at least to Middle Ages and it was often used as a filling for various other dishes such as pastry or pies, but people also liked to eat it alone. However, there were different variants of custard in Asia too, so Europeans were not the only ones eating it.

One of the most famous custards is Créme Brulee, which is an old dish that is composed of custard with a caramelized sugar topping. It seems to be dating from the 1600s and there is a high debate regarding its origins but it seems that it first appeared in Cambridge. However, it is also a big debate regarding the fact that it may have appeared in Spain, being called crema catalana. However, many people make the mistake of thinking that this is a traditional French dish when it’s clear it may have many origins.

The custard is a mixture of milk, eggs and sugar that are thickened through heating that can be used in various dishes. Its original taste is of milk and eggs but nowadays many people use different spices to enhance it such as lavender, cardamom, lime, orange, etc. The earlier mention of this dish appeared in a 1691 cookbook with the name Créme Brulee and the sugar added on top of the crust was gently caramelized with an iron. Nowadays people are caramelizing it with a small torch, immediately before serving and even flambé it for a more interesting touch.

Créme Brulee is definitely a dish any chef should know how to cook that comes with an interesting history and an unforgettable taste and look.

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