Monday, 18 June 2012

To Creme Brûlée or to not Creme Brûlée

Now, anyone who knows me will also know that I like desserts, in fact that is definitely my favourite part of the meal. I hate it when I'm out at a restaurant with a group of friends and someone asks that question, "Are we having starters?". There are the general 'erhmms and arr's' and then the group agreement that starters are the way to go.

This is the signal for the first attack on my dessert. It is now likely that desserts will not be on the agenda by the end of the meal due to my fellow diners thoughts, said or unsaid;

  1. I'm full up
  2. If I have three courses does that make me look greedy
  3. Whoa, three courses is a bit expensive
  4. I'm on a diet, so I had better not eat dessert even though I have eaten a large plate of creamy carbonara
  5. Can we get one dessert and two spoons
Now, I maybe different to some others, but on entering the restaurant I have already taken a sneaky look at the dessert menu (usually a small blackboard which looks like a spider has crawled over it, where the cost of the pudding is always £4.95). I have already weighed up the options and have been forward thinking enough to judge whether I can 1. I should, 2. Afford, to eat a starter and a pudding. If the answer is no to one or both of those two questions then the starter is out. 

So we have made it to the dessert course. The waiter comes over and asks would we like to see the dessert menu.

This is a crucial moment of the meal, this is make or break time for the pudding, if there are ummmms and errrrrrs now then pudding is off. I have to jump in, of course we want to see it, damn right, but I say, "I guess there is no harm in taking a look." The thing is, I don't need to take a look, I already know what I want, I looked when I came in, just bring me some cheesecake!

Cheesecake is usually my dessert of choice, but failing that a good crumble with ice cream is just what is required.

Ice cream is always good and if there is nothing on the menu that gets me interested you can never go wrong with a scoop of the cold stuff. Even after two courses there is always room for ice cream.

However, there is one dessert I would never order, even if it was the only thing available and that is the Creme brûlée. Now, don't get me wrong, I know that it is a classic and it is actually quite tasty but it always disappoints. Even if it is prepared well it is still a bit of burnt sugar covering a bit of warm custard! Sometimes even flavoured with lavender, like that makes it better.

Mark my words Creme Brûlée is always a bad dessert choice.

However if you want to make one and invite me to dinner I will of course be polite and eat it. Apparently a good recipe can be found here. But you will also be needing one of these.



  1. Ed Vogue, I appreciate this the first post about dessert - I think you have found a nice niche as you are clearly a connoisseur - and I hear your pain when going to dinner with people who like savoury stuff (believe me, I married into a family who think dessert is the small biscuit you get with coffee). However, I have to take some umbrage about your (mis)-treatment of the creme brûlée.

    The creme brûlée is a fine, fine dessert - "it's just burnt sugar covering warm custard"?! Ummmm yes and that is exactly why it is unbelievably delicious. The beautiful combination of crunchy bitter sweet sugar breaking into the soft, warm luxuriously creamy custard with hints of vanilla... unbeatable. Cheesecake - that is just a bunch of cloying fatty cream on broken ginger nuts... there is no finesse, there is no skill in a cheesecake.

    I am looking forward to your treatise on trifle... "it's just a bunch of fruit and sponge, with custard and cream" - yeah and that is why it is the best dessert ever invented.

    1. Dear Anonymous

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post. I am trully sorry that your family believe dessert is in those annoying Italian biscuits so wrapped in foil served with coffee.
      Your description regarding the Creme Brûlée is a fine one and nearly had me buying one in the supermarket, but truth be told I would still have been disappointed. It doesn't change that fact that it is custard and burnt sugar.
      I feel that you have been a little hard on the cheesecake. It is the king of desserts especially when served in New York with a fruit compot dribbling down its edge. I challenge you not to salivate at the thought.
      As for trifle. Well let that be the subject of another post. Don't get me started.

  2. Mmmm French sounding name makes it a non-starter (excuse the pun) straight away :-))

    1. To creme brûlée. Never thought about it that way before. Smut to be sure!

  3. It's my very favourite......crunchy, yet, yet cold.....a conundrum brûlée if you will.