Variously terrify and impress your friends by bringing a blowtorch into your kitchen
So I was a little bit disappointed when I arrived to collect my blowtorch from the store and discovered that my weapon of mass destruction was scarcely bigger than a marker pen. I would have to work very hard to burn an eyebrow off.
Blowtorches have a variety of functions in the kitchen – they can unmould a jelly, skin a tomato and are a great substitute when embarking on any recipe that unhelpfully assumes everyone has a gas hob. But the creme de la creme, ahem, of blowtorch jobs is Delia’s passion fruit creme brulee.
Creme brulee is a pudding in two acts. Act one is the custard, which is fairly easy provided you have a wellorganised worktop. I found the addition of passion fruit too sweet the first time around, and preferred to use just 100g of sugar rather than the 150g Delia’s recipe specified, but your mileage may vary.
I recommend taste-testing that first, though, as it is when you caramelise the sugar on top that the wheels can really fall off. Despite testing out my blowtorch on thin air, I am still taken aback at how much of the flame reached the sugar the first time around. The aim is to gently lick the sugar with the tip of the flame until it is golden brown. There are two ways to achieve this. The first is to have better hand-eye coordination than I do. This is not particularly difficult, as everyone I ever did PE with could attest to. But the more transferable approach is to make slightly more than you need while you are learning. And happily, all my eyebrows are still intact.