A quick flambé or a treatment of a kitchen torch can enhance the aroma and caramelization of and number of dishes, from classic crème brûlée to flaming cocktails.
Credit for inventing crêpes Suzette is claimed by French restaurateur Henri Charpentier, who in 1894, at age 14, while an assistant waiter, accidentally set a sauce aflame when serving dessert to the Prince of Wales.
Baked Alaska first made its way into print in Fannie Farmer’s 1896_ Boston Cooking-School Cook Book,_ but the idea of baking ice cream inside cake and meringue had been around for much of the century. The way was paved in the early 1800s by that genius of thermodynamics Benjamin Thompson, with his work on the resistance of egg whites to heat.
This simple raspberry dish can also be made with tayberries or blackberries.
Cherries Jubilee is typically flambéed tableside, both for presentation and to ensure the sauce is piping hot when poured over vanilla ice cream.
Classic Bananas Foster
This boozy, buttery concoction of caramelized bananas flambéed in rum sauce is a dining-out classic invented at legendary New Orleans restaurant, Brennan’s.
The flavors of ruby port and cognac grow even more profound when fired up in this orange juice-laced drink.
Navy Blue Blazer
This twist on Jerry Thomas’s original uses overproof rum, a spirit with a high sugar content that, when burned, lends caramel depth to the drink.