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Fresh egg custards are very delicate in nature and can curdle very easily. It thickens or holds together because of the egg yolk. To prevent it curdling or splitting:

  • Ensure your milk is at boiling point when adding to the egg mixture, this will drastically reduce the time it is actually cooking.

  • Temper the mixture. Tempering means readying a mixture, in this case making sure it does not get shocked by sudden heat.

  • Do not forget to add the flour. Most recipes for fresh egg custards do not contain flour, mine does! Why? Because a little flour helps to stabilise the mixture, to thicken it and most professional chefs do it . . . although they wont tell you!

  • Do expect this mixture to go thick, thick like a packet mix. As soon as it thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon it is ready. Remove from the heat immediately and strain into a clean bowl.

When making a Crème Anglaise, if you want it quite thick, replace half the milk with cream.

Ensure your eggs are fresh (they can/should have a 4 - 6 week shelf life). As eggs (yolks) get stale they lose their thickening properties. If you want to know how to tell if your eggs are fresh read Using Fresh Eggs.

Never attempt to re-boil a fresh Crème Anglaise. Becasue of its delicate nature it will curdle. If you want to use it hot you must use it straight away.



Food and Cooking Tips
from professional
Chef Tallyrand


Born and raised in Plymouth, Tallyrand started his initial training as a chef at Plymouth College of Further Education. It was here that he was to learn his love, his passion for food and the culinary arts. From here he headed to Germany to complete his apprenticeship as Commis de Gardemanger.

Germany gave him his first taste of cooking for the rich and famous, as half way through his first year, along with the Sous Chef and a Chef de Partie, he was whisked off to Cologne to help prepare meals for a political conference, where amongst other dignitaries they cooked for Mr Brehznev, the then powerful Russian leader. This was to prove to be just one of the many celebrities he was to cook for or get to know over the years . . .

If you would like to find out more why not visit Tallyrand's own web site www.tallyrand.info (link in main menu)

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com