Sunday, 31 March 2013

Now You've Got Your New Blowtorch, What Will You Do With It?

I try to limit the amount of kitchen gadgets I have, on the basis that it's hard to find space to store them, and worries about how useful they will be. In the case of the blowtorch, it was like trying to decide whether or not to buy an iPad. However, the blowtorch is considerably cheaper (about €45 with a big can of lighter fluid), therefore the risk of it sitting unused and unloved on a shelf is less. So, I've had it about a week, and this is what I've done with it so far:

  • A test run, melting some sugar to form something like toffee
  • Cheese on toast - our grill has never been up to this job, but melting cheese onto pieces of buttered toast takes a matter of minutes and tastes delicious
  • Browning pale-looking meringue: be careful, you can easily turn it into a blackened and inedible Vesuvius
  • The classic excuse for buying a blowtorch, créme brûlée. I admit, I cheated with the custard base - used a shop-bought 'flan' mix. Melted a spoonful of sugar on top of each custard to form a wonderful caramelly crunchy layer
  • Crisping up some leftover chicken skin
  • Cheese on toast again
  • Adding some colour to cheeseburger baked in a flatbread parcel
  • Zapping pork belly skin to make perfect crackling
  • 'Toffee apple' - a slice of apple coated in sugar caramelised with the blowtorch.
Not a bad investment, methinks.