I've made Crème Caramel/Crème Brûlée several times and don't have too much trouble with it. I'll be making them for company this weekend and thought it would make for a nice spectacle to flambé them. But, I don't have a lot of experience in that technique, and I'd like to make sure that I'm not going to set the entire dining room on fire by accident.
Has anyone attempted (successfully, preferably) to caramelize the sugar in a Crème Brûlée by flambéing the surface as opposed to simply heating it with a torch? And if so, what exactly was involved?
- How much alcohol would be required for a single standard ramekin?
- Can it be done safely right inside the ramekin?
- Can I light it with a quick touch of the torch, or should I use a match instead?
- Could this have negative effects - i.e. ruining the flavour or melting the gelatinzed cream?
- How long should I expect it to burn for and how long would it be necessary to wait before eating?
- Do some types of alcohol work better for this than others? (I'm leaning toward brandy)
- Anything else I should know or any other precautions I should take?
Basically I'd like to know everything I possibly can about the flambé technique as it would relate specifically to Crème Brûlée before actually attempting it.