It was Custards night in Baking 124: pastry cream, crème anglais, crème brulee, and chocolate soufflé. I have always been a fan of pudding – I looked for a ginger cat specifically so I could name him Puddin’ — and I have fantasized many times about bringing puddings back big time, but flan has never found favor with me, and pastry cream just isn’t my bag, either. (Bag! Ha!). So, I was prepared to be indifferent to custards. HOWEVER, that was before I torched my own crackly sugar crust on a freshly chilled crème brulee. The photo isn’t mine – I was too enamored with torching the tray of ramekin soldiers to get a good shot before the rest of the class descended upon them – -but it’s pretty much the same idea. The chocolate soufflé pictures are mine, though, as is probably obvious by the obnoxious glare from the camera through the oven window.
I’ve come to the preliminary conclusion that when leavening goods with egg whites (merengues) there is not enough juice to the squeeze. And by that I mean they are a hassle. Merengues are very temperamental and I think they’re just a little too big for their britches. I could just as easily – more easily, actually – have made a warm chocolate cake tonight and I wouldn’t have had to fold a thing. But, that’s neither here nor there. Back to the blowtorch: for all my family and friends who thought that I have everything necessary for the kitchen, I’m here to tell you I don’t have a blowtorch and I think it has just become an imperative. Or, at least a fun new toy. And all of you who know me I’m sure would agree that my having a blowtorch is an excellent idea! So, look for the post where I tell you I burned down my kitchen. It wouldn’t be the first time, but that wasn’t technically my fault. Well, maybe technically it was.