Grading is a tricky subject, with so many variables to consider when determining the final mark. I will try to explain how I determine what score to apply to given brûlée so you can grade your own and tweet me yours @trinitycream.
I try to focus on the following things:
Overall Artistic Impression – just how much effort did the chef put into it’s presentation? I think this is really important. Is less more, or is more less?
Custard Temperature – was it fridge cold, blow torch hot or somewhere close to room temperature? My preference is room temp, but is this considered de rigeur? What is the correct temperature?
Caramelisation – was the sugar topping light, dark, fully caramelised, cremated or something else? How much spoon pressure did it take to break through? Did chef caramelise all of the sugar grains or back off with the blow torch?
Smooth or Curdled – making custard is a bit of an art from, so how did chef do on keeping the lumps at bay? Smooth is good. Lumps is bad. At least I think so…
Custard Infusions – classic brûlées are simple affairs with a vanilla custard, but how experimental did chef decide to get? Caramel? Chocolate? Liquorice? Raspberry? Sea Salt?
Passion – not fruit, but energy. Was love involved in preparation? You can always tell. And not that sort of ‘love’.