Nick Nairn article on Foodepedia using the Thermapen® to make the perfect crème brulée.
“…We tackle the crème brulée first. And this is the point of cookery courses. It’s not just about working through the recipe; it’s equally about the snippets of information you pick up along the way.
As Nick says, no pudding puts a chef in the spotlight more than a crème brulée. Will it be too runny, or scrambled? Will the topping be a thick, impossible to penetrate slab of caramel that pushes down in one piece, squirting the crème east, west, north and south over everything and everyone – or will it be an equally embarrassing runny pool of murky liquid? To avoid these problems we will not be using a bain-marie in the oven where the little pots can’t easily be seen, making it hard to check when it’s ready. Instead, the crème bit will be made like custard – in a pan on the easier-to-control induction hob. That’s tip one. To check it’s ready, we’ll use a Thermapen that tells us when it’s reached exactly the right temperature (82° to 85°). Tip two. To create the caramel we won’t rely on the cooker’s roll-out grill (disappointing, that; I wanted to test everything on the Falcon) but the cutest blow torch I’ve ever seen. Tip Three.
We are watching intently. The session starts with a demo of each course before we move to create them ourselves. He’s separating the eggs – not the Nigella or Jamie way of letting the white slip through the gaps between the fingers but properly, cleanly, using the shell. The vanilla pod is scraped – a real crème bruléehas vanilla seeds through it – and Nick whisks and stirs and takes the mixture’s temperature, again with that Thermapen, simultaneously. He moves the hob temperature up a notch – not too much, not too fast he warns – stirring till the custard reaches the perfect creamy, neither runny nor solid, texture.”