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A Quick Way to Make Crème Brulee Without an Oven

A Quick Way to Make Crème Brulee Without an Oven

After retiring from teaching in school, I’ve been a stay-at-home mother and a home cook for many years, developed a deeper love of cooking for the family.

When Leon, my dear son, asked me if I’d like to guest post on Lifehack, I felt honored and anxious at the same time. Lifehack is one of the authority blogs, that I’ve subscribed and enjoyed reading for a long time, talking about tips and hacks on making life easier and more effective. I feel anxious about what I should share with all the loyal readers and visitors of Lifehack. All of the sudden, one popular French dessert came to my mind. That’s crème brulee.

Crème Brulee is a classic French dessert, that literally means “burnt cream”. I’m really fascinated by the smooth, rich, creamy custard, topped with a glassy layer of caramelized crust. It’s so enjoyable after a meal, served either cold or warm.

To burn and caramelize the sugar takes only seconds, but I feel it takes too long to bake the custard in a “hot water bath” (“hot water bath” is a cooking method. Have the custard sit in a deep tray that filled half way with warm water) in an oven.

I like delicious foods, yet love easy or quick cooking ways even more. Here’s the experiment I made the classic crème brulee in a non-traditional way without an oven. I was pretty satisfied with the results. My daughter, a dessert taster, couldn’t identify that they were not from our oven compared to those I baked before. The texture of the custard was as smooth and creamy as those baked in an oven.

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    So, if you don’t have an oven or for whatever reason you don’t want to use an oven, you still can cook and enjoy this beautiful dessert. All you need is to have a wok, or a steamer or a deep pot, apart from the ingredients. I used a wok to steam the dessert. Best still, the steaming method is eco-friendly because you’d use less energy and time to heat up a wok than an oven.

    Serves 3 (prepare 3 ramekins, each 150ml capacity)

    Ingredients:

    • 4 egg yolks, room temperature
    • 200ml thickened cream, room temperature
    • 100ml milk, room temperature
    • 2 tablespoons of caster sugar
    • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (if you use vanilla beans, please see the note below)

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      Separate egg yolks and egg whites carefully. I love all kitchen gadgets, especially this egg separator. It helps me easily separate yolks and whites with less failure. The egg whites are so clean that I can save them for baking some meringue cookies.

      Stir caster sugar into egg yolks. Add thickened cream, milk and vanilla extract and combine well. Don’t beat too hard because you don’t want too many bubbles produced on the surface of the mixture. The surface of the end product won’t be smooth otherwise.

        Drain the mixture through a fine sieve to ensure you have a very smooth custard.

        Divide mixture into three ramekins. Here’s the secret trick to produce smooth custard surface after steaming.

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          Cover with foil and put in a wok or steamer with boiling water, cook over high-medium heat for 15 minutes. The foil will prevent the custard surface from being over-cooked before the whole custard is cooked through, as well as avoid any steam from being condensed on the surface. While steaming, you should see some steam releasing from the wok or steamer.

          After 15 minutes, turn off the heat. Let the custard sit in the wok or steamer for another 10 minutes. Remove from wok, take away the foil and let cool completely before chilling in the fridge, covered, for 1 hour or so.

          Transfer the chilled custard from the fridge, generously sprinkle caster sugar on top. Caramelize the sugar with a kitchen torch to your liking.

          Enjoy the smooth crème brulee topped with the crunchy, caramelized layer on the go.

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            Note:

            • You can use a vanilla bean to replace the vanilla extract if you like. Use a sharp knife to cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the inside content and seeds. Warm the cream and milk in a saucepan. Add the vanilla content and seeds, simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover. Let the flavour of vanilla infuse in the milk mixture for a few minutes. Then follow the above steps to add egg yolks and sugar to make custard. Drain through a fine sieve into ramekins.
            • If you don’t have a wok or steamer, you can just simmer the sifted custard mixture until almost boils. Then chill it until it sets or when you need it.

            I do hope you like my sharing here. Do you have any other quick methods to make crème brulee?

            Check out the author’s food blog, Christine’s Recipes for more easy Chinese and Western recipes.

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            1 7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes 2 Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes & How to Tackle Them 3 9 Powerful Questions That Can Improve Your Quality of Life 4 How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them 5 20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

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            Last Updated on September 15, 2020

            7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

            7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

            Overcoming fear and making life changes is hard. It’s even harder when it’s a big change—breaking up with someone you love, leaving your old job, starting your own business, or hundreds of other difficult choices.

            Even if it’s obvious that making a big change will be beneficial, it can be tough. Our mind wants to stay where it’s comfortable, which means doing the same things we’ve always done[1].

            We worry: how do we know if we’re making the right decision? We wish we knew more. How do we make a decision without all of the necessary information?

            We feel stuck. How do we get past fear and move forward with that thing we want to do?

            Well, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but here are 7 things to remember when you want to move forward and make positive life changes.

            1. You’ll Never Have All the Information

            We often avoid making important decisions because we want more information before we make a tough call.

            Yes, it’s certainly true that you need to do your research, but if you’re waiting for the crystal clear answer to come to you, then you’re going to be waiting a long time. As humans, we are curious creatures, and our need for information can be paralyzing.

            Life is a series of guesses, mistakes, and revisions. Make the best decision you can at the time and continue to move forward. This also means learning to listen to and trust your intuition. Here’s how.

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            2. Have the Courage to Trust Yourself

            We make all sorts of excuses for not making important life changes, but the limiting belief that often underlies many of them is that we don’t trust ourselves to do the right thing.

            We think that if we get into a new situation, we won’t know what to do or how to react. We’re worried that the uncharted territory of the future will be too much for us to handle.

            Give yourself more credit than that.

            You’ve dealt with unexpected changes before, right? And when your car got a flat tire on the way to work, how did that end up? Or when you were unexpectedly dumped?

            In the end, you were fine.

            Humans are amazingly adaptable, and your whole life has been helping you develop skills to face unexpected challenges.

            Have enough courage to trust yourself. No matter what happens, you’ll figure out a way to make it work.

            3. What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

            Like jealousy, most of your fears are created in your own head.

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            When you actually sit down and think about the worst case scenario, you’ll realize that there are actually very few risks that you can’t recover from.

            Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Once you realize the worst isn’t that bad, you’ll be ready to crush it.

            When you’re preparing to make a big life change, write down all of the things you’re afraid of. Are you afraid of failing? Of looking silly? Of losing money? Of being unhappy?

            Then, address each fear by writing down ways you can overcome them. For example, if you’re afraid of losing money, can you take a few months to save up a safety net?

            4. It’s Just as Much About the Process as It Is About the Result

            We’re so wrapped up in results when we think about major life changes. We worry that if we start out towards a big goal, then we might not make it to the finish line.

            However, you’re allowed to change your mind. And failing will only help you learn what not to do next time.

            Furthermore, just because you don’t reach the final goal doesn’t mean you failed. You chose the goal in the first place, but you’re allowed to alter it if you find that the goal isn’t working out the way you hoped. Failure is not a destination, and neither is success.

            Enjoy the process of moving forward[2].

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            5. Continue to Pursue Opportunity

            If you’re on the fence about a big decision, then you might be worried about getting locked into a position that you can’t escape from.

            Think about it a different way. New choices rarely limit your options.

            In fact, new pursuits often open up even more opportunities. One of the best things about going after important goals with passion is that they open up chances and options that you never could have expected in the beginning.

            If you pursue the interesting opportunities that arise along the path to your goal, then you can be sure that you’ll always have choices.

            6. Effort Matters, So Use It

            It sounds simple, but one of the big reasons we don’t make life changes is because we don’t try. And we don’t try because then it’s easy to make excuses for why we don’t get what we want.

            Flunked that test? Are you stupid? “Of course I’m not stupid. I just didn’t study. I would have gotten an A if I actually studied.”

            Stuck in a job you hate? Why haven’t you found a new job yet? “Well, I haven’t really tried to get a new job. I could totally ace that interview if I wanted.”

            Why do we make excuses like these to ourselves? It’s because if we try and fail, then we just failed. But if we don’t try, we can chalk it up to laziness.

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            Get over it. Failure happens to everyone.

            And the funny thing is, if you actually try—because it’s pretty clear that most people aren’t trying—then you’ll win a lot more than you think.

            7. Start With Something Manageable

            You can’t climb Everest if you don’t try hiking beforehand.

            Maybe applying for your dream job seems intimidating right now. What can you start with today?

            Can you talk to someone who already has that position and see what they think makes them successful? Can you improve your skills so you meet one of the qualifications? Can you take a free online course to expand your resume?

            Maybe you’re not quite ready for a long-term relationship, but you know you want to start dating. Could you try asking out a mutual friend? Can you go out more with friends to practice your communication skills and meet new people?

            You don’t need to be a world changer today; you just need to make small life changes in your own world.

            More Tips to Help You Make Life Changes

            Featured photo credit: Victor Rodriguez via unsplash.com

            Reference

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