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Thread: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

  1. #1
    Damaeus Guest

    Default Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    I made creme brulee for the first time a few weeks ago. I had never had
    it before. I had only had creme caramel, which I did like. What
    surprised me about the creme brulee is that the creme part wasn't very
    sweet at all. There was a hint of sweetness, but not enough to really
    overcome the taste of plain old cream. As a result, I didn't really like
    the creme brulee even as much as a container of Snack Pack vanilla
    pudding. I assumed the caramelized sugar on top was going to be a
    sufficient sweetener for it overall. If it hadn't been for the sugar
    topping, I wouldn't have liked it at all.

    Now for the surprising part. I was embarrassed about having made
    something that wasn't so good, but I decided to share a couple with my
    friend's parents. She'd had creme brulee before and she told me that mine
    was excellent. Maybe I just don't like a "proper" creme brulee.

    So what about it? Is the creme part of a creme brulee supposed to be
    sweet? How sweet?

    I used Alton Brown's recipe here, which has 5/5 stars, so apparently
    people who have had creme brulee find his version just fine:

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/a...ipe/index.html


    On a side note, I'm thinking of trying something like a "creme cheese
    brulee", adding cream cheese to the cream. I think it would offset the
    "plain cream" flavor and give it an interesting twist.

    Damaeus

  2. #2
    Ophelia Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?



    "Damaeus" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > I made creme brulee for the first time a few weeks ago. I had never had
    > it before. I had only had creme caramel, which I did like. What
    > surprised me about the creme brulee is that the creme part wasn't very
    > sweet at all. There was a hint of sweetness, but not enough to really
    > overcome the taste of plain old cream. As a result, I didn't really like
    > the creme brulee even as much as a container of Snack Pack vanilla
    > pudding. I assumed the caramelized sugar on top was going to be a
    > sufficient sweetener for it overall. If it hadn't been for the sugar
    > topping, I wouldn't have liked it at all.
    >
    > Now for the surprising part. I was embarrassed about having made
    > something that wasn't so good, but I decided to share a couple with my
    > friend's parents. She'd had creme brulee before and she told me that mine
    > was excellent. Maybe I just don't like a "proper" creme brulee.
    >
    > So what about it? Is the creme part of a creme brulee supposed to be
    > sweet? How sweet?
    >
    > I used Alton Brown's recipe here, which has 5/5 stars, so apparently
    > people who have had creme brulee find his version just fine:
    >
    > http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/a...ipe/index.html


    This recipe looks perfect to me. Perhaps you just have a very sweet tooth
    I hope you find one you like

    --
    --
    https://www.shop.helpforheroes.org.uk/


  3. #3
    Janet Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    In article <[email protected]>, no-
    [email protected]d says...
    >
    > So what about it? Is the creme part of a creme brulee supposed to be
    > sweet? How sweet?


    "Not very". It's supposed to be a subtle contrast of taste and
    texture ; the sweet-hard-crunchy- top surface contrasting with the
    creamy soft underneath. I like to be (subtly) aware of the vanilla in
    the cream.

    If you didn't taste the vanilla maybe the pod was old?

    Janet.

  4. #4
    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    Damaeus <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I made creme brulee for the first time a few weeks ago. I had never had
    >it before. I had only had creme caramel, which I did like. What
    >surprised me about the creme brulee is that the creme part wasn't very
    >sweet at all. There was a hint of sweetness, but not enough to really
    >overcome the taste of plain old cream. As a result, I didn't really like
    >the creme brulee even as much as a container of Snack Pack vanilla
    >pudding. I assumed the caramelized sugar on top was going to be a
    >sufficient sweetener for it overall. If it hadn't been for the sugar
    >topping, I wouldn't have liked it at all.
    >
    >Now for the surprising part. I was embarrassed about having made
    >something that wasn't so good, but I decided to share a couple with my
    >friend's parents. She'd had creme brulee before and she told me that mine
    >was excellent. Maybe I just don't like a "proper" creme brulee.


    Methinks that's the 'problem'. To me, the texture & flavor of the
    custard is the star. The crunchy sweetness of the sugar is the
    'icing' on the cake. Nothing says you can't brulée your pudding.
    Just remove it from the plastic container first.<g> [I think I see a
    Sandra Lee show in the making.]

    >
    >So what about it? Is the creme part of a creme brulee supposed to be
    >sweet? How sweet?
    >
    >I used Alton Brown's recipe here, which has 5/5 stars, so apparently
    >people who have had creme brulee find his version just fine:
    >
    >http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/a...ipe/index.html
    >


    Very different from the one I use.
    Mine;
    [custard]
    3 slightly beaten eggs
    2 c. light cream
    1/4 c. granulated sugar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. vanilla
    [topping]
    1/4 c. packed brown sugar

    Alton uses 6 yolks-- twice the volume of cream [and not light]-
    actually twice the sugar- and a vanilla bean instead of the extract.

    I think I'll stick with mine-- but if I was served Alton's, I doubt
    I'd turn my nose up at it.<g>

    >
    >On a side note, I'm thinking of trying something like a "creme cheese
    >brulee", adding cream cheese to the cream. I think it would offset the
    >"plain cream" flavor and give it an interesting twist.


    I haven't made mine in a while and was wondering if my recipe used
    Crème Fraîche, or Mascarpone.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Bryan Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    On Jan 1, 6:10*am, "Ophelia" <Ophe...@Elsinore.me.uk> wrote:
    > "Damaeus" <no-m...@damaeus.earthlink.invalid> wrote in message
    >
    > news:[email protected]..
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > > I made creme brulee for the first time a few weeks ago. *I had never had
    > > it before. *I had only had creme caramel, which I did like. *What
    > > surprised me about the creme brulee is that the creme part wasn't very
    > > sweet at all. *There was a hint of sweetness, but not enough to really
    > > overcome the taste of plain old cream. *As a result, I didn't really like
    > > the creme brulee even as much as a container of Snack Pack vanilla
    > > pudding. *I assumed the caramelized sugar on top was going to be a
    > > sufficient sweetener for it overall. *If it hadn't been for the sugar
    > > topping, I wouldn't have liked it at all.

    >
    > > Now for the surprising part. *I was embarrassed about having made
    > > something that wasn't so good, but I decided to share a couple with my
    > > friend's parents. *She'd had creme brulee before and she told me thatmine
    > > was excellent. *Maybe I just don't like a "proper" creme brulee.

    >
    > > So what about it? *Is the creme part of a creme brulee supposed to be
    > > sweet? *How sweet?

    >
    > > I used Alton Brown's recipe here, which has 5/5 stars, so apparently
    > > people who have had creme brulee find his version just fine:

    >
    > >http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/a...ulee-recipe/in...

    >
    > This recipe looks perfect to me. *Perhaps you just have a very sweet tooth
    > I hope you find one you like
    >

    Perhaps Damaeus just has Snack Pack tastes on a creme brulee budget.

    --Bryan

  6. #6
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?


    "Janet" <[email protected]> ha scritto nel messaggio
    >> So what about it? Is the creme part of a creme brulee supposed to be
    >> sweet? How sweet?

    >
    > "Not very". It's supposed to be a subtle contrast of taste and > texture
    > ; the sweet-hard-crunchy- top surface contrasting with the
    > creamy soft underneath. I like to be (subtly) aware of the vanilla in >
    > the cream.


    I agree with this in the main, except that I like other flavors besides
    vanilla, too. Like ginger and pumpkin. They're never really sweet,
    however.



  7. #7
    Damaeus Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    In news:rec.food.cooking, Jim Elbrecht <[email protected]> posted on Sat,
    01 Jan 2011 07:33:20 -0500 the following:

    > 3 slightly beaten eggs
    > 2 c. light cream
    > 1/4 c. granulated sugar
    > 1/4 tsp. salt
    > 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    > [topping]
    > 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
    >
    > Alton uses 6 yolks-- twice the volume of cream [and not light]-
    > actually twice the sugar- and a vanilla bean instead of the extract.


    Oh, I didn't have a vanilla bean, so I used a couple of tablespoons of
    vanilla, and a tablespoon of golden rum. She likes a lot of vanilla. I
    guess since she gets some Mexican vanilla that comes in a liter bottle,
    she became bolder with it.

    > I think I'll stick with mine-- but if I was served Alton's, I doubt
    > I'd turn my nose up at it.<g>


    I'm impressed with Alton because on his show he explains the science
    behind the steps in cooking and why they work, and why something else
    doesn't work. So when I'm looking for recipes, I see what he's done and
    try it....and, of course, learn something along the way that I can apply
    in other things I cook on my own.

    Anyway, the creme brulees are in the fridge chilling now. Got another 16
    minutes to go.

    Oh, and Alton's recipe called for a half-cup of sugar. I like a little
    more sweetness so I added an extra quarter of a cup of sugar. Even though
    my friend's mom said it was excellent the first time, maybe she won't
    think this one is nasty just because it's a little sweeter. She's in her
    70s and doesn't like really sweet things anymore, I guess. When I
    prepared the creme brulees last time, specifically for her and her husband
    I put the sugar on top, then tilted the ramekin to remove what didn't
    stick to the top of the creme.

    I just wish I had a torch. I'm going to have to use the broiler instead.

    Damaeus

  8. #8
    Dan Abel Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Damaeus <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I made creme brulee for the first time a few weeks ago. I had never had
    > it before. I had only had creme caramel, which I did like. What
    > surprised me about the creme brulee is that the creme part wasn't very
    > sweet at all. There was a hint of sweetness, but not enough to really
    > overcome the taste of plain old cream. As a result, I didn't really like
    > the creme brulee even as much as a container of Snack Pack vanilla
    > pudding. I assumed the caramelized sugar on top was going to be a
    > sufficient sweetener for it overall. If it hadn't been for the sugar
    > topping, I wouldn't have liked it at all.
    >
    > Now for the surprising part. I was embarrassed about having made
    > something that wasn't so good, but I decided to share a couple with my
    > friend's parents. She'd had creme brulee before and she told me that mine
    > was excellent. Maybe I just don't like a "proper" creme brulee.
    >
    > So what about it? Is the creme part of a creme brulee supposed to be
    > sweet? How sweet?
    >
    > I used Alton Brown's recipe here, which has 5/5 stars, so apparently
    > people who have had creme brulee find his version just fine:
    >
    > http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/a...ipe/index.html


    My daughter made a pumpkin brulee last weekend. It was very good. The
    recipe looked similar (it's still posted on our fridge). I think it is
    less sweet than a commercial pudding cup, but it was plenty sweet enough
    for me. Perhaps you just like sweeter things than I do.

    --
    Dan Abel
    Petaluma, California USA
    [email protected]

  9. #9
    Damaeus Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    In news:rec.food.cooking, Dan Abel <[email protected]> posted on Sat, 01 Jan
    2011 08:59:19 -0800 the following:

    > My daughter made a pumpkin brulee last weekend. It was very good. The
    > recipe looked similar (it's still posted on our fridge). I think it is
    > less sweet than a commercial pudding cup, but it was plenty sweet enough
    > for me. Perhaps you just like sweeter things than I do.


    Well, I'm not saying it's wrong for creme brulee to be not-so-sweet. I've
    just never had one prepared by anyone but me, so I was just trying to find
    out if I'd done something wrong. heh.

    Funny... the texture of this second batch isn't as smooth as the first
    was. I'm not sure why. I suppose it could be because I used boiling
    water for the water bath instead of just using "hot" water out of the tap.
    I'm not sure if I boiled water the last time or not, but that's the only
    reason I could think of. The texture right next to the glass is kind of
    "curdled" a little, while the center is smooth.

    Next time I'll just use hot tap water for the water bath and see if it's
    smooth again.

    Damaeus

  10. #10
    Goomba Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    Damaeus wrote:
    > I made creme brulee for the first time a few weeks ago. I had never had
    > it before. I had only had creme caramel, which I did like. What
    > surprised me about the creme brulee is that the creme part wasn't very
    > sweet at all. There was a hint of sweetness, but not enough to really
    > overcome the taste of plain old cream. As a result, I didn't really like
    > the creme brulee even as much as a container of Snack Pack vanilla
    > pudding. I assumed the caramelized sugar on top was going to be a
    > sufficient sweetener for it overall. If it hadn't been for the sugar
    > topping, I wouldn't have liked it at all.


    A wonderful vanilla-y dairy taste is exactly what I like about a good
    creme brulee! Instead of just "sweet" I enjoy the cool texture, the
    subtle flavor and the mouthfeel.
    Did you use enough vanilla? A fresh bean?

  11. #11
    Goomba Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    Damaeus wrote:

    > Funny... the texture of this second batch isn't as smooth as the first
    > was. I'm not sure why. I suppose it could be because I used boiling
    > water for the water bath instead of just using "hot" water out of the tap.
    > I'm not sure if I boiled water the last time or not, but that's the only
    > reason I could think of. The texture right next to the glass is kind of
    > "curdled" a little, while the center is smooth.
    >
    > Next time I'll just use hot tap water for the water bath and see if it's
    > smooth again.
    >
    > Damaeus


    Perhaps using the boiling water started the creame at the edges to
    cooking too quickly instead of the entire custard coming up to
    temperature at the same time?
    Referring to your previous posts-I think you overdid the vanilla if you
    used "tablespoons" instead of the one good bean. Mexican vanilla isn't
    even real vanilla, IIUC?
    Creme brulee is a sophisticated, simple dish. Not sickeningly sweet or
    overly fussy. That is one of its charms.

  12. #12
    Paul M. Cook Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?


    "Damaeus" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    >I made creme brulee for the first time a few weeks ago. I had never had
    > it before. I had only had creme caramel, which I did like. What
    > surprised me about the creme brulee is that the creme part wasn't very
    > sweet at all. There was a hint of sweetness, but not enough to really
    > overcome the taste of plain old cream. As a result, I didn't really like
    > the creme brulee even as much as a container of Snack Pack vanilla
    > pudding. I assumed the caramelized sugar on top was going to be a
    > sufficient sweetener for it overall. If it hadn't been for the sugar
    > topping, I wouldn't have liked it at all.
    >
    > Now for the surprising part. I was embarrassed about having made
    > something that wasn't so good, but I decided to share a couple with my
    > friend's parents. She'd had creme brulee before and she told me that mine
    > was excellent. Maybe I just don't like a "proper" creme brulee.
    >
    > So what about it? Is the creme part of a creme brulee supposed to be
    > sweet? How sweet?
    >
    > I used Alton Brown's recipe here, which has 5/5 stars, so apparently
    > people who have had creme brulee find his version just fine:
    >
    > http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/a...ipe/index.html
    >
    >
    > On a side note, I'm thinking of trying something like a "creme cheese
    > brulee", adding cream cheese to the cream. I think it would offset the
    > "plain cream" flavor and give it an interesting twist.



    I add a hint of copgnac when I make it. And it is not typically a very sweet
    custard. The sugar is in the melted sugar crust.

    Paul



  13. #13
    Damaeus Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    In news:rec.food.cooking, Goomba <[email protected]> posted on Sat, 01
    Jan 2011 13:45:28 -0500 the following:

    > Damaeus wrote:
    >
    > > Funny... the texture of this second batch isn't as smooth as the first
    > > was. I'm not sure why. I suppose it could be because I used boiling
    > > water for the water bath instead of just using "hot" water out of the tap.
    > > I'm not sure if I boiled water the last time or not, but that's the only
    > > reason I could think of. The texture right next to the glass is kind of
    > > "curdled" a little, while the center is smooth.

    >
    > Perhaps using the boiling water started the creame at the edges to
    > cooking too quickly instead of the entire custard coming up to
    > temperature at the same time?


    That's what I was thinking. It spent more time at higher temperatures
    than the center. And possibly adding 50% more sugar ruined it. lol

    > Referring to your previous posts-I think you overdid the vanilla if you
    > used "tablespoons" instead of the one good bean. Mexican vanilla isn't
    > even real vanilla, IIUC?


    Smells like real vanilla. I had assumed that vanilla must be some kind of
    sacred, hard-to-get product because I've always seen it in such small
    bottles. I'm not even sure how much she pays for such large bottles of
    vanilla. And this site says:

    The Aztecs shared their secrets of how to make vanilla with
    the Spaniards. It was taken back to the old world and it
    grew to become the most popular flavoring in the world.

    Mexico originally had some of the best vanilla available and
    still does today but in very small quantities. Good quality
    Mexican vanilla extract and whole beans are expensive. Make
    sure to buy products from a reliable source

    http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/Article...9/vanilla.aspx

    > Creme brulee is a sophisticated, simple dish. Not sickeningly sweet or
    > overly fussy. That is one of its charms.


    I hope this is the last time I have to make it. That or I'm going to
    start trying to put my own twist on it by whipping cream cheese into it.

    Damaeus

  14. #14
    Goomba Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    Damaeus wrote:

    > I hope this is the last time I have to make it. That or I'm going to
    > start trying to put my own twist on it by whipping cream cheese into it.
    >
    > Damaeus


    I'm sorry but that sounds dreadful to me and totally unnecessary. It
    won't add much in flavor, which is one of your complaints. It most
    certainly will ruin the beauty of the classic custard texture. Perhaps
    you need to investigate flavored custards more?

  15. #15
    Miche Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Damaeus <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I made creme brulee for the first time a few weeks ago. I had never had
    > it before. I had only had creme caramel, which I did like. What
    > surprised me about the creme brulee is that the creme part wasn't very
    > sweet at all. There was a hint of sweetness, but not enough to really
    > overcome the taste of plain old cream. As a result, I didn't really like
    > the creme brulee even as much as a container of Snack Pack vanilla
    > pudding. I assumed the caramelized sugar on top was going to be a
    > sufficient sweetener for it overall. If it hadn't been for the sugar
    > topping, I wouldn't have liked it at all.
    >
    > Now for the surprising part. I was embarrassed about having made
    > something that wasn't so good, but I decided to share a couple with my
    > friend's parents. She'd had creme brulee before and she told me that mine
    > was excellent. Maybe I just don't like a "proper" creme brulee.
    >
    > So what about it? Is the creme part of a creme brulee supposed to be
    > sweet? How sweet?
    >
    > I used Alton Brown's recipe here, which has 5/5 stars, so apparently
    > people who have had creme brulee find his version just fine:
    >
    > http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/a...ipe/index.html
    >
    >
    > On a side note, I'm thinking of trying something like a "creme cheese
    > brulee", adding cream cheese to the cream. I think it would offset the
    > "plain cream" flavor and give it an interesting twist.


    Maybe you just don't like creme brulee.

    Miche

    --
    Electricians do it in three phases

  16. #16
    gloria.p Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?


    >
    > "Damaeus" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]..
    >> I made creme brulee for the first time a few weeks ago. I had never had
    >> it before. I had only had creme caramel, which I did like. What
    >> surprised me about the creme brulee is that the creme part wasn't very
    >> sweet at all. There was a hint of sweetness, but not enough to really
    >> overcome the taste of plain old cream.




    That's the standard creme brulee, the topping is supposed to provide the
    sweetness. I prefer flan for exactly that reason, the custard is a bit
    sweeter and the caramel sauce is easier to eat with each spoonful.

    gloria p

  17. #17
    Dan Abel Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Goomba <[email protected]> wrote:


    > Referring to your previous posts-I think you overdid the vanilla if you
    > used "tablespoons" instead of the one good bean. Mexican vanilla isn't
    > even real vanilla, IIUC?


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla

    "Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla native
    to Mexico."

    It also states that Mexico is no longer the only source, or even a main
    source (about 2% of world production), and cautions against "great
    deals" from street vendors, since the product may not only be
    artificial, but could even contain coumarin, which is banned from food
    in the US.

    --
    Dan Abel
    Petaluma, California USA
    [email protected]

  18. #18
    Dan Abel Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Goomba <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Damaeus wrote:
    >
    > > I hope this is the last time I have to make it. That or I'm going to
    > > start trying to put my own twist on it by whipping cream cheese into it.


    > I'm sorry but that sounds dreadful to me and totally unnecessary. It
    > won't add much in flavor, which is one of your complaints. It most
    > certainly will ruin the beauty of the classic custard texture. Perhaps
    > you need to investigate flavored custards more?


    Sometimes you reach a point where it's best to just get a fresh start.
    If he's not happy with creme brulee, and likes pudding cups, well,
    there's nothing wrong with a good, homemade pudding. That would be a
    lot easier and cheaper than trying to rework a classic recipe into
    something that it was never intended to be.

    --
    Dan Abel
    Petaluma, California USA
    [email protected]

  19. #19
    Mr. Bill Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?

    On Sat, 01 Jan 2011 14:54:56 -0800, Dan Abel <[email protected]> wrote:

    >That would be a
    >lot easier and cheaper than trying to rework a classic recipe into
    >something that it was never intended to be.


    Amen to that! .......".....I tried your recipe but I didn't have
    heavy cream, so I used sour cream. I didn't have any butter so I
    used margarine.....I didn't have cinnamon so I used nutmeg...I didn't
    have blah...blah...but I used .... Your recipe sucks...." I have
    read that more times than I care to remember.

    The Fine Art of Cooking involves personal choice.
    Many preferences, ingredients, and procedures may not
    be consistent with what you know to be true.
    As with any recipe, you may find your personal
    intervention will be necessary. Bon Appétit!

    http://whstoneman.blogspot.com

  20. #20
    gloria.p Guest

    Default Re: Creme Brulee -- Is It Supposed to Be Sweet?


    > Damaeus <[email protected]> wrote:


    >>
    >> On a side note, I'm thinking of trying something like a "creme cheese
    >> brulee", adding cream cheese to the cream. I think it would offset the
    >> "plain cream" flavor and give it an interesting twist.

    >



    Then you'd have an unsweet cheesecake. If you don't like the classic, I
    suggest making something else for dessert.

    gloria p

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