Friday, September 3, 2010

Cambridge Burnt Cream: A Guest Post From Lazaro!



I am very pleased to welcome Lazaro, of Lazaro Cooks to do my first guest post! Lazaro has single-handedly wrangled food bloggers, a proverbial 'herd of cats', all together through his wonderful blog. Now everyone is sharing their favorites through his generosity. I can't tell you how many new blogs I have found through him. He is also tireless in supporting other blogs and cheering us all on. For that I am so grateful as well as for the fact he is really passionate about sustainable, organic and seasonable food and has written about it. Living in Florida with his beloved "lady lawyer", his food tends to have that warm Florida feel with a Latin touch so he has really stretched to do his post for me... who has really been hitting England with a vengeance lately. I am so grateful he found this amazing dish and especially those Marco Pierre White clips... I know what I will be watching this weekend! So, after that introduction, HERE"S LAZARO!!!

Hello readers of Deana's awesome blog. She wows us weekly with her amazing love of history and her keen eye for photography. The first time I set eyes on her blog I instantly fell in love. I too share her passion for history, although I really do not blog about it, I mostly blog about my kitchen escapades. On June 30, 2010, Deana graced LC with her wonderful post, Tagliarini with Almond-Arugula Pesto & Meatballs.

It truly is an honor to be guest posting here. I have a very limited blogroll and Lostpastremembered is on it, that tells you how I feel about the work that Deana does here. In addition, she gracefully accepted my recommendation that she join us over at Blogcritics and has been enlightening us with her articles.

Today, I will be chatting about a well loved dessert that most call Creme Brulee. On LC, another talented cook Tanantha from I Just Love My Apron created a truly original tapioca-pearls-rose-water-vanilla-bean Pearls, Rosewater, Vanilla Infused, Creme Brulee at LC. I can only tell you that it is worth clicking over for.

The origins of the dessert known as Crème Brulee are shrouded in mystery. It is widely accepted that it is a French dish created by the French. Although, the Spanish insist that their version, Crema Catalana, is the original. With the origins theory in question, I am throwing the British into the mix as the creators of the sweet egg custard dessert.


In the early 1600’s, at Trinity College in Cambridge, chefs made a baked egg custard and burnt it. This story reinforces one of my most cherished kitchen axioms "that there are no kitchen mistakes, only future success if you are paying attention.” When the chefs tried the burned custard they instantly fell in love with this “mistake.” Thus, Cambridge Burnt Cream was born.

On the record, the story that the dessert was invented at the college has no basis in fact. Dig a little deeper and you will find that the folks over at Trinity are quite certain that they created it. In fact, in the early days the chefs at Cambridge made a brand with the school’s crest that they burned onto every Cambridge Burnt Cream made.

The greatest and most influential British chef of all time, Marco Pierre White, went to Trinity to get the truth behind the rumors. It was done for television as part of Marco’s Great British Feast. And if I may recommend you watch the entire show, it can be seen on YouTUBE, it is an interesting look into a great cook’s journey to highlight the wonderful food of his homeland. Additionally, if you are into organic, sustainable food like me, Marco makes it a point to source the best local, natural ingredients indigenous to Britain that you can see on Marco Pierre White's Trip to Trinity College



Cambridge Burnt Cream

20 oz Heavy cream
5 tbs Caster sugar
5 Organic Free-Range Egg Yolks
2 Vanilla Beans - split in half
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
Cane Sugar
Preheat the oven to 250 F.
In a saucepan, bring the heavy cream and vanilla beans to just below the boil. DO NOT ALLOW THE CREAM TO BOIL.

In a glass bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until completely mixed. Add the ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Strain the cream through a fine mesh strainer. Slowly pour into the egg mixture, WHILE WHISKING, until all the cream is mixed in.

Cut a piece of cotton cloth to fit the bottom of a large deep sided baking tray. Place 4 small ramekins into the tray. Ladle the cream mixture into the ramekins. Pour boiling water into the tray until it is half way up the ramekins, creating a water bath.

Eggs are delicate and in my kitchen they are treated as such. So I like to cook them low and slow. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 50 minutes. Only allow the custard to JUST SET. DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Remove the ramekins and allow to cool at room temperature. Place the ramekins in the fridge for 4 hours.

When ready to glaze remove from fridge 30 minutes before torching. If you don't have a Cook's Torch, do not bother to try and make this dish. Here is a very good one.


Spoon a light coating of cane sugar and glaze. Repeat with a second coating of cane sugar and glaze again. Let sit for 5 mintues before eating.

Then all that is left is to take your spoon and cut in...


That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!

In the spirit of musical blogging chairs, I have posted this week at MARX FOOD's blog! You can visit me there as I talk about Bartolomeo Scappi. His nearly 500 year-old cookbook made The Guardian list of best 50 cookbooks and his Filet with cherries, prunes, fennel pollen and spices will blow you away!

34 comments:

5 Star Foodie said...

I loved reading the history of this dish, and the recipe is excellent! Terrific guest post, Lazaro!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

One of my favourite recipes. Will give this version a try, thanks Lazaro. Yes I do have a cooks torch! Diane

Lazaro Cooks! said...

Deana,

Thank your the kind words. Also, Thanks for adding the sketches to the post they add so much. Have a wonderful weekend!

Rachana said...

A great read and the recipe is yummm!!!!

alison said...

the history it's always amazing!like lazaro post!

Marjie said...

I suppose that Lazaro is telling me that my son's little blowtorch for heat pipe repair is not going to work in this application. Sad. Lovely post!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Wonderful guest post, Lazaro! I love reading about the origins of recipes and this post didn't disappoint. Creme Brulee is one of my all-time favorite desserts!

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

I love creme brulee and thanks for sharing the history. I am a regular here at lostpastremembered and always enjoy Deana's blog, too.

Fresh Local and Best said...

This is a terrific guest post Lazaro! I've always thought creme brulee as uniquely French, but given the history it may as well be up in the air. This looks like a wonderful dish.

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

You know something has got to be good when no less than three countries lay claim to it! Deanna - your blog is indeed lovely and a haven for history buffs!

Love the addition of nutmeg - something I do as well. Nutmeg is so perfect with milk and cream and goes beautifully with vanilla too.

What a pleasure to crack through the burnt sugar crust and get to the tender and tremulous centre!

Thank you both for a wonderful and informative post :)

alwayswinner786 said...

Excellent guest post Lazaro! Cambridge Burnt Cream is too delicious!The history of this is very interesting and I take my word of motivation that there is no kitchen mistakes...!
Great sharing!

Sommer J said...

a kitchen torch is on my birthday/christmas list :) looks absolutely delicious! I love reading the history behind food!

pegasuslegend said...

Another fabulous recipe, I had just discovered eating a ton of this on the cruise but it sure didnt look or sound anywhere near this good...I love the texture and flavors this looks great!

pegasuslegend said...

I also just discovered this blog recently through a post and love your website here keep up the great work! Nice job lazaro!

Joanne said...

Two of my favorite bloggers in one place! How awesome.

The history of creme brulee...recipe included. Can life get any better? Well, maybe if I had a bowl of this while reading it! Fantastic guest post!

jelena said...

I always love a bit of history with every dish. We sometimes forget about the cenuries that have passed before us when people also cooked and created marvelous dishes. I don't have a blow torch, so I can only say thank you for a bit of history. I'll remember it the next time I have this dish!

Chef Dennis said...

Deana & Lazaro

what a wonderful guest post! I am always amazed at your creations Lazaro, and Deana the wealth of knowledge that you impart upon us is priceless! Thanks so much for such a great recipe with so many helpful hints and for so much history of a much enjoyed dessert! I have made many versions of this classic myself, and no matter what we call it, I like to call it delicious!
thanks again for leading the way in our wonderful blogging community!
Hope you both are enjoying this glorious weekend!
Dennis

citronetvanille said...

Gorgeous crème brulée, and I am with you on Marco Pierre White. He is a amazing chef. As for the origins of a dish, it's sometimes hard to go back to its real origins, many countries claims they're the real inventors! what matters is how good it is, and I have no doubt that this is just a delectable version of it. Great job guys!

lequan@luvtoeat said...

I loved reading the history part of this. Burning the creme brûlée was a mistake gone extremely right ;-). Gotta love mistakes in the kitchen that turn out so well. Thank you for another wonderful recipe and for the very interesting history on creme brûlée Lazaro. Your posts are always a pleasure to read.

Thank you Deana for sharing this lovely guest post with us. You have a a wonderful blog here. Hope you have a great weekend.

Carla and Michael said...

Great post and great recipe. Love it.

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Great guest post. I"m now off to check out Lazaro's site. Thanks Deana and Lazaro! :)

Heavenly Housewife said...

Great guest post and delicious desert... but hubbs would NEVER trust me with a blow torch LOL.
*kisses* HH

pierre said...

hi there almmost done the same but with a different flavour !!
cheers from Paris Pierre

Pacheco Patty said...

Lazaro, I think you are such a versatile writer as well as cook and it's interesting to see your post excel in such a different setting. Congratulations and I wish that I could have been one of the lucky tasters of your luscious looking creme brulee, imagine accents-left the French keyboard at home! Hope you're all enjoying your weekend:)

Mo said...

Hey, Lazaro! I've only known of crème brulée when it comes to "burnt creams", so this is all very interesting to me! I enjoyed learning the history of Cambridge Burnt Cream. :)

And it looks wonderful - I've never had any kind of custard (shameful, I know) but I'm betting it's delicious. :)

Barbara said...

Marvelous guest post, Lazaro! You've combined history and the recipe with the ease of a pro...
when I order creme brulee in a restaurant, it never ceases to amaze me how few (pastry)chefs know how to make it. One gets a pudding with a burnt top more often than a custard. Your recipe is exactly right! I so enjoyed reading your post!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

I always learn something new form your post! Love your blog :)

Mary said...

A most enjoyable - and tasty - guest post. Your burnt cream sounds delicious. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dear Lazaro, I have told Deana this, and I will pass it on to you that you foodies are such professionals; you KNOW your stuff down to the history of the cuisine, and this is well appreciated! YES, the photos in this blog are stunning, and you know, WHOEVER made this fab dish, KUDOS to them....I am of Mexican-American heritage, and my mom used to make burnt egg pie, really a custard. I know that the Europeans probably introduced it to the Indians but who knows? GREAT POST!

And DEANA:

THANK YOU for your heartfelt and intelligent comments about the shameful state of our education system. Yep, I will have to take on 50 students instead of 25, and I will be teaching half the day in English for language arts and then the other half in French for science and social studies, while my fearless team colleague teachers her kids and mine (50) French Math and language arts. What a screwy schedule we have, and I pray that us teachers will keep our heads AND OUR HEARTS together to not only survive, but to THRIVE! THAT IS WHY I TEACH! I don't do it for the money to survive. It is an art, but societies priorities SHOW that education is not important. These darling kids need us so badly, and this is why I try to take care of myself, because they need a teacher who is healthy of body, soul and mind!!!

Thank you for listening and understanding. You are awesome and now I have a craving for my momma's burnt egg pie (custard(!!!!!!

BON APÉTIT! Anita

tasteofbeirut said...

So many cultures in Europe do the "custard" thing, so I am not all that concerned about who invented what; love the elegant simplicity of that dessert. Great post.

Sara said...

This looks delightful! I just love the sound of the spoon cracking into the sugar on top of this type of dessert! :)

OysterCulture said...

What a wonderful amazing post and what a "reward" for getting to the end. Not that it was a struggle, I love learning the history of food. The cream sounds amazing. Thanks Lazaro for a wonderful lesson.

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said...

Hi Deana you picked the right choice for your first guest post! What a great guest post! It's good to know the source of the dish and how it initiated. I remembered that statement when Lazaro told me about my mishap kitchen -There's no kitchen mistake; only future success only if you're paying attention-gotta love this quote!

The "burnt cream" looks so inviting with a great flavor. It's burnt perfectly! Oh, thanks for the mention Laz! I totally with Deana that you're one of the most supportive friends ever!

Gemma said...

Yes, we insist that our version, Crema Catalana, is the original! I am Catalan, from Barcelona :)
The Catalan recipe is little different and the lemon and the cinnamon are the most used aromas. The cream is simply delicious!