When to put in cream when flambeing

Hi, everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Last year, I flambed some sliced mushrooms and shallots in cognac for a side dish (I use Godet VSOP, which my girlfriend and I also love to drink). I had no organic heavy cream (I didn’t want any gum in the cream, and non-organic creams all seem to have some thickener, as do organic whipping creams), so I just used a generous amount of butter and some white pepper. It came out really good, but I want to try using some organic half & half this time (we struck out in searching for organic heavy cream - it was out of stock in the one store that carries it near me, etc.). Anyway, would you put the cream in first, then the cognac, or flambe first and then add the cream?

I’m pretty sure you’d get a much better flambe effect before adding any cream, but I don’t think the dish would taste noticeably different either way. Actually, I’ve never been sure of the culinary value added by burning the alcohol which is already being driven off, but it does look great!

It caramelizes the mushrooms and shallots, if nothing else. Thanks for your advice!

I agree with @robinjoy, the cream should be added after the flambe for the best result.

I prefer the use of kitchen torch, it’s a bit more caramelized than a flambe and one has a better control.

I don’t have that piece of equipment.

Cream is typically added after you flambé and reduce the Alcohol. Half and half will break in a reduction it is only 14% compared to Heavy Cream at 44%.

Biermonk has the answer.

By the way, I’m curious do you using cooking cream?

Yeah, I wasn’t satisfied with half & half. Next year, I will try to look for organic heavy cream earlier. What is cooking cream, Respectfully_Declined?

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I’m only a home cook who plays in the kitchen. My best critics are my four legged customers. But believe me, they aren’t completely yes-puppies.

It’s a stable cream that handles heat well. I like it because it seems more forgiving to my brash-ish style of cooking. If I want a tiny sour flavor I use crème fraiche.

I haven’t noticed cream being sold as cooking cream. Is that a product you can find in supermarkets?

Yes I find it under Nestles and Philadelphia, but also at international markets.

They will all have stabilizers added to them which sounded like you are trying to avoid. Also I have never seen it in the US if that is where you are.

Commodities, a health food store on 1st Ave. between 11th and 12 Sts. (I think that’s right) says they carry organic heavy cream, they were just out of stock.

Sorry I was talking about the “cooking cream” I am sure that you can find heavy cream without additives.

Oh, I see.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo