For my birthday last year my OH let me buy a whole selection of baking goodies from Yuppiechef. One of these items was a chef’s blowtorch as I planned to master making crème brûlées. That was back in October and the blowtorch still sits in its box. The reason being? I am rather scared of it. And with good reason.
Soon after we arrived in Johannesburg, we went to a well-known outdoor buffet restaurant. We were a bit late for lunch and after hitting the main courses hard, we sidled up to see what the (now unmanned) dessert section had to offer. On the side were a load of un-brûléed brûlées and a blowtorch. Now I don’t know if it was intended to be a do-your-own-brûlée thing (health and safety not being quite what it is in the UK) or whether the chef had just given up and gone home. Anyway I thought “Cool, I’ve always wanted to try one of those,” picked up the blowtorch and proceeded to singe a large hole in the restaurant’s table cloth (By accident I hasten to add, not due to some pyromaniac tendencies.) Needless to say, I scuttled off red faced back to my table, un-brûléed brûlée in hand.
So you see I have good reason to be scared of the blowtorch. Particularly as I live in a rented house where the things I might singe may not be my own. In my head, I had visions of a great wall of flame shooting out of the nozzle and me waving it around the kitchen like an unwieldy lightsaber. In reality, when I finally plucked up the courage to turn the thing on, I was rather disappointed by the pitiable flame it produced.
And the dessert that finally made me brave the blowtorch? Well it wasn’t a crème brûlée but this caramelised passionfruit & lime tart from BBC Good Food. The passionfruit plant in my garden has finally come good and is laden with fruit so this tart, which uses eight whole passionfruit, was just the thing. It’s lovely and simple. A smooth, soft and zingy passionfruit and lime curd-like filling topped with the crunch of caramelised sugar. A stellar recipe that was just perfect for my blowtorch initiation. Now I have faced the fear, expect to see more brûlée recipes coming soon to a blog near you. (And my landlord will be pleased to hear that no kitchen surfaces were damaged in the making of this dessert.)