Monday, September 27, 2010

Girl Meets Torch (Bruléed Oatmeal)


The motto of my absolute favorite food magazine is "special made simple" (I'm sure many of you immediately knew which one I meant XD). It's a wonderful approach to cooking, and I always look forward to new ways of applying it. But I also find the reverse mentality, "simple made special," equally if not more appealing. The perfect example of this can be found in my new favorite breakfast: Bruléed Oatmeal.

I happened upon this brilliantly easy method on the blog, à la mode*, while hunting for creative uses for my kitchen torch. Oddly enough, I'd bought one not to make classic creme brulée but to fulfill a cupcake vision. The idea to brulée breakfast has certainly breathed new life into my neglected tool. With just a few sprinklings of sugar and blasts of heat, I can regularly transform run-of-the-mill breakfasts into treats worth getting up for. Please do make sure you have enough gas in your torch. That way you'll get more drool-inducing results like this instead of the light browning in my photo.

For those of you who also own a kitchen torch, what uses have you found for it other than creme brulée?

Bruleed Oatmeal Breakfast!

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Brûlée [Printable Recipe]
From à la mode*
Serves 1

XIAOLU'S NOTES: I actually doubled the recipe for the bowl of oatmeal in the photo, but the fruit doesn't keep well so I suggest you make only as much as you'll eat right away. Almost any fruit can be substituted here. Just don't expect the fruit to taste cooked, since the torch is really just there to caramelize the sugar into crunchy goodness! Please be careful not to overheat the edges of the bowl or bowl may crack, and be careful handling the bowl afterwards; it will be hot! Rick from à la mode* says that a torch works the best for this, but that about 20-30 seconds under the broiler should also work. If you try this, check first that your bowl is oven-safe.

1 portion of oatmeal, cooked and lightly sweetened
3-4 fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 banana, sliced
1 Tbsp sugar

Add cooked oatmeal to a heat-proof bowl. Over top, arrange sliced banana and strawberries cut side up, to expose flat surfaces. Sprinkle evenly with sugar. Light torch and heat sugar till golden brown, making sure to pass torch slowly back and forth over fruit.


  1. Mmm...sounds so easy and healthy! Bookmarked :)

  2. Oh I remember this recipe - twas a wonderful way to spice up regular porridge - lovely images

  3. A great idea! Oatmeal is so delicious.



  4. Great idea! Now I can put my blow torch into better and more frequent use!!

  5. Ahh... my blow torch - I use not only for brulee but also to sear sashimi (scallops, scampi, salmon belly etc). Now I've got another use for it - your idea is genuis.

  6. great idea!! And I want that bowl of fruits :)

  7. My newest goal in life is to own a kitchen torch, mainly so I can make creme brulee to my heart's content. And not to make this oatmeal on a daily basis. Delicious.

  8. I LOVE this idea! I have oatmeal most every morning, tomorrow I'll have to break out the torch! :)

  9. Wow, a breakfast brulee! Never would have thought of this. I use my torch for creme brulee, baked alaska and lemon meringue pie.

  10. beautiful photos Xialu. Kitchen torch is one cool gadget. I use it a lot to make my dessert look more appealing.

  11. Mmmm this sounds amazing!! I can't wait to make it.

  12. Great idea. You know I just got my torch and I'm really eager to use it again. :)

  13. looks amazing! such a great idea! thanks for the recipe!

  14. Now, THAT I would wake up bright and early for! ;)

  15. Wow nice idea! How fun would it be to work with a torch. I never did it.

  16. What a way to spice up breakfast. This looks incredible.

  17. I love this idea! OMG, I gotta say, I would love to start my morning off with some fire-y fun!

  18. What a fun, everyday sort of brulee!

    I use my torch all the time, for pretty random stuff, actually. Sometimes I use it to do a quick defrost on popsicles that are stuck in their molds, or to warm up the bowl of my stand mixer if it looks like my butter cream is about to curdle. You never know how handy these things are until you have them to play with!

  19. Creative idea! I've been wanting to invest in a torch but haven't yet mostly because I didn't know what else I could do with it besides creme brulee or maybe a toasted marshmallow frosting. This is definitely making me want one now!

  20. I've been thinking about getting a kitchen torch and now I'm completely convinced! What a great recipe!

  21. Hmm, makes me wonder if I'd be violating any workplace health & safety rules if I was to bring my torch along to work and make my lunch brûlée at my desk. :)

  22. Oh I love the look of this recipe! I first saw it on Chanel11's blog, and have been meaning to try it. Thanks for reminding me :)
    I have a torch but honestly never use it. The only ideas I have are for creme brulee and this lovely oatmeal twist :)
    Heidi xo

  23. Another thing I do with the torch is brulee figs and other small pieces of fruit.

  24. seems to be i gotta go get myself a blowtorch soon! :)

  25. That looks fantastic! Sadly my torch has died only after about a dozen uses. I need to get a new one but hubby recommends a proper hardware one :P

  26. Great idea! This looks like a really tasty breakfast. :)

  27. I still haven't gotten my torch! Grrrr.. :P

    Healthy and tasty looking breakfast u got there!

  28. wow, this looks and sounds amazing! I want to go out and buy a kitchen torch right now. I have decided I must have one. I will probably end up brulee-ing everything ;)

  29. This is a great idea! I like oatmeal and fruit but usually try to find a way to add a little more crunch - and this might just be the very best way to do that. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Why is my breakfast oatmeal so boring and not as vibrant as this? What you made, is so beautiful.

  31. As a child, I did not like oatmeal. I've only 'discovered' this year. Your recipe sounds like it would be perfect for me :)
    I used to have a really cheap, bad torch, and just bought a new one recently. I use it for melting cheese sometimes. And for blackening the skins of peppers.

    p.s. I just made Isapahan cupcakes...I used a different recipe but I have to thank you for your inspiration :)

  32. I agree with @ancco looks so healthy! I would love to have one (torch), but my mom won't let me coz she thinks i'm gonna burn down the kitchen! lol. I am officially in love with your pictures. <3

  33. I think you found the perfect creative use for the torch. I don't have one yet (sadly), but I'm marking this for future torching ideas! xo

  34. Thanks for your fast responses, everyone!

    Anncoo - That's what I loved about it :)
    Chanel11 - I can't believe I forgot you posted about it. It is so lovely, isn't it?
    Rosa - Glad you like it too!
    Shirley - Good, I love finding more uses for one-trick pony tools.
    Trissa - Wow thanks for several great ideas!
    Anh - Hehe looking at it now I already miss summer fruits.
    Joanne - I can just imagine what hilarious story you'll post once you do get one :).
    Jennifer - :)
    Danielle - OoO I really want to try baked alaska. Never eaten or made it before.
    elra - thx! means a lot coming from you who has such a beautiful blog =).
    warmvanillasugar - hope you like it when you make it!
    Michelle - congrats on getting a torch.
    claire - you're welcome :).
    Carolyn - me too ;).
    Prerna - it's a bit intimidating at first but then the pyromaniac takes over j/k.
    Eliana - thanks, girl!
    naomi - hahah, that's a good way to describe it.
    Hannah - What great, unexpected ideas. Thanks!
    smalltownoven - well you just listed 2 good uses in my opinion. I know you'll enjoy it whenever you do get it :).
    Faith - glad you've been convinced ;p. it's always a little exciting working with fire though you have to be careful.
    Jess - haha I'm sure there's something about that in the fire code...
    Heidi - mine was gathering dust, too, before I found some alternative uses.
    Michael - that sounds delicious. thanks!
    Chelle - hehe hope you do.
    Lorraine - oh no! sorry that happened and I hope the same doesn't happen to mine as it's not a heavy duty one.
    Sara - :).
    maameemoomoo - aw hope you get it soon!
    sohdalex - haha after this recipe I did start thinking about bruleeing things I never would have before. It's a brave new world!
    Laura - yes, the crunch does make things a lot more fun.
    tigerfish - hehe it's so easy you can have this too in just a few minutes.
    Indie.Tea - Congrats on the new torch and the cupcakes look amazing. I didn't dislike oatmeal as a kid but simply had no exposure to it. Then I too discovered it in college.
    Ardna - aw thank you! and yea you do need to be very very careful with fire.
    Robin - I know you'd do amazing things with a torch, as everything you make is so lovely :).
    Pepy - ^_^.

  35. I never thought of using a torch. How healthy and delicious!

  36. Great shot! I never realized how beautiful strawberries when combined with banana. Should give it a try then :-)

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  37. interesting blog! thx for sharing.

  38. What a grand breakfast & what a COOl idea!! That breakfast rocks, girl!

  39. Love the clever way to use your blow torch. I use my blow torch to blow away bubble on top jelly, get a smooth top.

  40. I have to admit that I am not fond of oatmeal, but I could gladly have that lovely bowl of fruits. anytime. My breakfasts never look so pretty.

  41. Hehe this is so made of win. Looks delicious. I checked those banana brulee cupcakes out, they were beyond amazing. On my make immediately list!

  42. This is such a wonderful way to start the day - I'm making this soon, you bet!
    I have used my torch to make brulee tartlets and other stuff - actually, what a coincidence, I have posted a recipe that calls for a torch, caramelized tangerine slices from Gourmet Traveller.

  43. I still can't believe how pretty you make oatmeal. OATMEAL!!


  44. What an interesting use for a kitchen torch. I've been meaning to buy one anyway, and I'll have to try this when I do.

  45. blow torches are so much fun! i love mine!

  46. the pyromaniac in me gets excited for any excuse to break out the torch. :)

  47. Thanks, you all! Great ideas, Ellie and Patricia. I'll have to try out those other uses for my lil torch, too. Grace, yea the pyro in me definitely cackles inwardly as the flames rise...j/k O:-).

  48. Love what you've done with oatmeal! How fun. I've only used my torch a few times and sadly for nothing more exciting than creme brulee!


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