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Can You Use a Lighter For Creme Brulee

Can You Use a Lighter For Creme Brulee? Solved (2023)

Last Updated on December 29, 2022 by Shari Mason

Creme brulee is a delicious dessert that the whole family can enjoy. It is a classic French dessert with a creamy custard topped with a layer of caramelized sugar. 

But can you use a lighter for creme brulee?

We will discuss the different methods of using a lighter to make creme brulee and what you need to know to get the perfect result.

Is It Okay To Use A Lighter For Creme Brulee?

creme brulee on a white bowl

Yes, it is okay to use a lighter for creme brulee. This sweet dessert is traditionally topped with a crisp layer of caramelized sugar [1], and a lighter can be used to melt the sugar and achieve that perfect golden brown color. 

When using a lighter, it is important to keep the flame away from the custard and to move the lighter back and forth in a zig-zag pattern to ensure that the sugar melts evenly. 

Additionally, it is helpful to use a lighter with a long handle to keep your hands away from the heat. 

A kitchen torch is another popular method for achieving the perfect creme brulee. 

This tool is designed for caramelizing sugar and is easy to control, allowing you to caramelize the sugar without burning it. Kitchen torches produce a high-temperature flame that can quickly caramelize the sugar. 

As with a lighter, it is important to keep the flame away from the custard and to move the torch in a zig-zag pattern to ensure even caramelization.

Can You Use A Lighter To Torch Meringue?

Using a lighter to torch meringue [2] is a great way to give it a delicious toasted flavor and a beautiful golden-brown color. 

With a steady hand and careful use, you can easily use a lighter to give your meringue an extra crunch and a delicious, slightly smoky flavor. 

“Creme Brulee is the ultimate ‘guy’ dessert. Make it, and he’ll follow you anywhere.”

– Ina Garten, Chef/TV Host

The key is to move the flame quickly, in a circular motion, and keep the flame away from the surface of the meringue. 

It’s important to be careful when using a lighter, as it can be dangerous if used improperly.

Can You Make Creme Brûlée Without Torching?

Yes, you can creme brûlée without a torch. The traditional method of caramelizing the sugar on top of the custard is done by placing the custard dishes in a preheated oven and broiling them for a few minutes. 

The sugar topping of the custard will caramelize and form a hard, crispy top layer. This method is often preferred as it is much easier than a torch and requires minimal effort.

Can You Use Propane Torch?

Yes, you can use a propane torch to make creme brûlée. A propane torch is a great tool for achieving a golden brown crust on the top of the custard. 

The torch should be held at an angle, about six inches away from the custard, and moved in a circular motion until it is evenly browned. 

Make sure to move the torch slowly and carefully, and to watch it closely, as creme brûlée can burn quickly. 

Additionally, a propane torch will also help caramelize sugar on the custard in a very short amount of time.

What Causes Crème Brûlée Not To Set?

4 bowls of creme brulee

The main reason that crème brûlée does not set is not cooking it for long enough. 

If not cooked for a long enough time, the custard will not thicken enough to form a solid layer. This can be caused by cooking it on low heat or not stirring the mixture enough as it cooks. 

Additionally, if too much liquid is added to the recipe, the custard will not be properly set. 

Finally, adding too much sugar can prevent custard from setting properly.

Tips On How To Make The Best Creme Brulee

  1. Use high-quality ingredients. Use fresh, organic ingredients whenever possible. Choose heavy cream, eggs, and vanilla extract that are all of the highest quality. 
  2. Preheat the oven. Preheating the oven is essential to making the perfect creme brulee. The oven should be preheated to at least 350°F (177°C).
  3. Use a shallow baking dish. Creme brulee should be baked in a shallow baking dish, such as a 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pan. 
  4. Use an oven thermometer. An oven thermometer is essential for baking any dessert, especially creme brulee. The thermometer should be placed inside the oven to ensure the exact temperature. 
  5. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together. Beat the egg yolks and the sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy. This important step helps to create a creamy texture. 
  6. Add the cream and vanilla. Slowly add the cream and the vanilla extract, stirring until the mixture is smooth. 
  7. Bake the creme brulee. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake the creme brulee in the

FAQs

Can you caramelize creme brulee without a torch?

Yes, you can caramelize creme brulee without a torch. Place individual ramekins of creme brulee on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the oven, and broil on high for a few minutes until the tops of the creme brulee are golden and bubbly. Watch carefully to make sure the tops don’t burn.

Do you have to chill crème brûlée before torching?

Yes, crème brûlée should be chilled in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight before torching to make sure it sets fully.

Should I cover crème brûlée while baking?

No, you should not cover crème brûlée while baking. Crème brûlée should be baked in an uncovered dish so that the top forms a golden brown crust.

Final Thoughts

While you can use a lighter to caramelize the top of a crème brûlée, it is not the best method. 

A kitchen torch is preferred for achieving the perfect golden-brown caramelized crust. However, a lighter can be used in a pinch if you don’t have one. 

Just be sure to use the lighter at a safe distance, move it quickly, and keep an eye on the top of the custard to ensure it doesn’t burn.

References:

  1. https://www.thespruceeats.com/burnt-sugar-2137985
  2. https://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/articles/how-to-make-meringue-a-step-by-step-guide
Shari Mason

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