Desserts – Lessons 2 –Cream Based Desserts + recipe for a delicious Crème Brulee

My mother was before her time in many ways and worked full time from the mid 60s until she retired in the late 90s, even though she had 4 children. My nanna helped out, and apart from collecting us from school each day, she always started the main meal preparation for mum to cook when she got home and made dessert. Dessert invariably included a milk/cream-based component, so I think she would have really liked Lesson 2; White Chocolate Pannacotta served with Strawberry Jelly, Crème Brulee with an Almond Tuille and Pavlova Roulade with Chantilly Cream, Kiwi, Strawberry and Passionfruit.

Lesson 2 – Cream based desserts

White chocolate pannacotta with strawberry jelly……. is there any other response but yum? Recently a talented blogger I follow, Valentina from “Cooking on Weekends”, asked her readers what their favourite flavour combinations were. I didn’t think of this combination at the time, but since tasting it I think it’s a contender. The recipe calls for gelatine mass rather than a gelatine sheet, simply sprinkle gelatine powder over water and in seconds it’s a mass…..voila! Bring cream and sugar to boil, add the gelatine and ensure it’s melted before adding the melted white chocolate. Once well combined, the yoghurt is added and whisked before placing the bowl over ice to assist in dropping the temperature to 18C – 20C. There were several choices re how the jelly was included in the dish; add the jelly to the bottom of the mould and when set add the pannacotta mixture on top, set the jelly straight on the plate and place the pannacotta on top or set the jelly in a sheet pan and dice and decorate the pannacotta …..lots of options…did I say yum?!

White Chocolate Pannacotta with Strawberry Jelly

Then there was the Crème Brulee incident! The recipe couldn’t have been easier, and I thought my finished product came out really well, but you’ll just have to take my word for it. I’ve included the recipe below. Once the mixture is made, it pays to sieve it into a jug which makes for easy pouring into the ramekin or moulds for cooking in baine marie with water 1/2 way up the sides. I usually top mine with demerara sugar before blow torching, but in class we used castor sugar (potato/patato). I made 6 individual Brulee’s, a presentation one in a ceramic ramekin and five in aluminium cups, but I have no photo to show as mine were mysteriously missing from the fridge, where I left them to chill, when I came back from our break. It seems one of my classmates had a greater need than mine to present my work as their own. Fortunately Chef had seen me making and torching mine, so I was still marked as having completed all the products, but it left me quite disappointed. Chef decided that the Almond Tuilles would be served with the Crème Brulee, and even though mine turned out beautifully, having curled well after being carefully draped over a rolling pin straight out of the oven, I didn’t take a photo as they looked ever so lonely without the central component on the plate.

Pav (Pavlova) is the quintessential Australian and New Zealand dessert! There is always a lot of debate across the ‘ditch’ regarding its true country of origin, but I’m going out on a limb here by saying I think it’s a NZ creation. My lovely NZ Aunt and my NZ girlfriends make a mean Pav….I think it’s in their DNA. I’ll lay claim to the fabulous ANZAC biscuit and the iconic Lamington for Australia (I think that’s fair). The recipe we made was a pavlova but made into a roulade, filled with Chantilly Cream and fruit, rolled in cinnamon sugar and set aside in the fridge to set. The quality tip is to make the Chantilly Cream very (very) stiff and not over fill the meringue before rolling. My Chantilly was a tad soft…. lesson learnt. I will be doing this one again as it looked great on the plate.

Only two lessons and a final assessment to complete before the end of semester when we finish the weekly kitchen tutorials. The last semester of the course will all be done in the college restaurant kitchen under the direction of a head chef. Next weeks lesson, Lesson Three, will be Chocolate based Desserts and will include; Dark Chocolate Mousse, Milk Chocolate Lava Cake (Fondant) & Choc Chip Cookies served with Mango Ice-Cream…. I hope you stop by and see how it all goes. 

Bon Appetite 

Kathryn 💙👩‍🍳

Creme Brulee

A classic French favourite for good reason..creamy custard topped with crunchy toffee makes this a delighful sweet treat to end a meal. Tapping a spoon on the lightly burnt sugar to find the silky smooth vanilla custard underneath is a guilty pleasure!

  • 210 mls Whole (full fat) milk
  • 210 mls Cream
  • .5 unit Vanilla Pod – slit
  • 6 unit Egg yolks
  • 60 gm Sugar – castor
  • Demerara or castor sugar to cover in thin layer
  • Garnish of choice
  1. Heat the milk, cream and split vanilla pod to blood temperature

  2. Whisk egg yolks & castor suga. Slowly pour over the warme milk/cream mixture

  3. Sieve into a jug and remove whey (froth/bubbles). Pour into ramekins (or moulds).

  4. Create a bain marie ensuring the water covers up to 3/4 of the ramekins.

  5. Bake at 160C until set – approximatley 35 – 45 mins.

  6. Remove from the oven and chill. Once sufficiently cool, sprinkle an even layer of sugar across the top. Clean the edges of any sugar and using a kitchen blow torch caramelise the tops to a deep golden brown.

  7. Garnish as desired. Strawberries or raspberries with a splash of green such as a sprig of mint looks nice.

About kathryninthekitchen

I find joy in all aspects of food and cooking; reading about it, enjoying the offerings of great restaurants and cafe’s, sourcing beautiful produce & transforming it into delicious meals to share with the people I care about. I quite easily lose track of time when I am engaged in my favourite pastime. I have always dreamt of one day training as a cook and 2018 is the year that journey begins. I am excited I have the opportunity to follow my passion and grateful for the support of my family and friends. I hope you enjoy my journey with me as well as other food related detours.
This entry was posted in Commercial Cookery, Culinary School, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Desserts – Lessons 2 –Cream Based Desserts + recipe for a delicious Crème Brulee

  1. Ron says:

    Both of your dessert lessons we’re divinely sweet (pun intended), but in lesson two you definitely brought it up a notch. Thievery in the kitchen should come with serious consequences, in my opinion. Your Pav roulade looks amazing. We love meringues up this way, but I’ve never tried rolling one. Is there a trick to it?

    • kathryninthekitchen says:

      Hey hey Ron…. what we did with the pavlova is have a tray lined with baking paper and covered in the cinnamon sugar and tip the sheet of meringue onto it …then transfer the baking paper with the meringue onto a sheet of laid out plastic wrap. If you don’t over fill it (which I did) and your Chantilly is really stiff (which mine wasn’t) it is pretty easy to roll. Place the roulade covered in the paper and the plastic in the fridge to firm up. With your talent you’ll have no problems. ☺️

  2. chef mimi says:

    Oh how wonderful. This is so exciting! You’re getting to the end. I’m not much of a dessert maker (at all) but I would love to taste all of these creations!

    • kathryninthekitchen says:

      That is very kind of you Mimi…thank-you. I’m not sure where this will lead, but I’ve really enjoyed the experience. I appreciate your encouragement.

  3. Please can you email me the recipe for the pannacotta? I have been trying for ages to get the set right with a gelatine mass and either it is too firm or too runny. Crème brûlée is one of my go to recipes 🙂

    • kathryninthekitchen says:

      Hi Tandy, a few people have asked me for the White Chocolate Pannacotta recipe, so I will add it to my next post. Hope it hits the mark for you!

  4. What an experience, to have your beautiful dessert swiped! It is a good thing the chef was watching you work. My grandchildren absolutely love creme brûlée because I let them use the blow torch and they feel quite grown up (don’t tell their parents..)! I love the story of your grandmother helping out while your mother worked. I had a similar but slightly different childhood. My mother also worked when I was a kid in the 60s (two brothers and one sister), and my grandmother lived with us. She was my father’s mother, and I don’t ever remember her cooking a thing! But she took us for long walks in the woods and taught me about wildflowers, and that made up for a lot.

    • kathryninthekitchen says:

      Hi Dorothy, there are so many similarities between us. I too had 2 brothers and a sister, but as I think we have previously exchanged, I lost my youngest brother over 20 years ago…although he lives large in my heart. Creme Brûlée is such a delicious dessert and I can see your little people sitting on the kitchen bench top or perched on chairs caramelising the sugar (shhh… don’t tell the parents indeed) 😊

  5. I’m happy that you share the panna cotta recipe in your next post. I think we shall all be trying it so thank you. I can’t believe that someone took your work and passed it off as their own. 🙁

    • kathryninthekitchen says:

      Hey Karen,
      I can only think they were really in a bad place and didn’t know how to face Chef with theirs! Oh well…I get to do it again in the assessment, just hope I pull it off as well as the first time! haha

  6. cookingontheweekends says:

    So lovely that your “Nanna” helped get the meals started each day. And thank you for the mention in your post. Happy to have gotten flavor combinations on your mind. 🙂 This combo does indeed sound delicious. SO many tasty things here. Wish I could taste each and every one! ~Valentina

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