The flamber is a French word that means a burning dish. This cooking way is based on a short-term processing the food by an open fire. Brandy, rum or other strong alcohol is poured into cookware with a dish and ignited. After a few seconds, the oxygen supply is blocked by means of a lid and the flame goes out. Flambeing provides superfine crispy crust, and dish acquires weak appetizing aroma of the used alcohol.
Flambeing refers to high cooking and is mainly used by chefs. This cooking requires special skills and high quality raw materials. Usually, chefs use the best brands of rum or brandy with an alcohol content more than 40 degrees.
Such dishes are called flambe (for example, strawberry flambe, vegetables flambe, chicken flambe, etc.). Flambeing is suitable for the thermal treatment of virtually any foods.
Demonstration of spectacular colorful flambeing process is an integral part of the pleasure from dishes. Therefore, restaurateurs often accompany feed of dishes by the colorful show with the help of a special flambe trolley with burner, elegant frying pans, stewpan of copper or silver-plated stainless steel, metal tray, heat-resistant mirror, etc.
Flambeing is particularly popularly at preparation of meat dishes, especially for large birds – pheasants, bustards, etc.
Flambeing for dessert uses a flame only on the edges of cookware. Alcohol is poured along the perimeter, forming a fire ring around fruit. In this case, flame affects on the surface of fruit only for a few seconds. This technology is used for cooking flambeed dessert.
Typically flambeing technology uses spirit lamp and a special frying pan with a long handle. Alcohol is poured with the help of a small soup ladle. Hot frying pan with dish rotates in a certain way over the spirit lamp. The flame is transmitted with a spirit lamp to edge of frying pan. Then, flame is extinguished with the help of lid that blocks access of the oxygen.
Alcohol combustion temperature reaches 900 degrees. Therefore, enamelware or cookware with non-stick coating is poorly suited for cooking the flambe due to high risk of coating damage by flame. Cookware of cast iron or stainless steel without coating is optimal for this cooking method.
Of course, such cookery requires a caution from chef. Professional chef typically checks the behavior of alcohol-containing liquid during combustion and serviceability of spirit lamp. Ignition is usually carried out with the help of extra-long fireside matches for hand protection from burns.
The long handle of cookware of heat-resistant material provides the maximum distance between chef and dish.
Flambeing additionally uses one more technology. Alcohol is poured into a separate bowl and is ignited. Burning liquid is poured onto the plate. Then the flame is extinguished. Requirements to material of coating are similar. Soup ladle of stainless steel is also well suited for this purpose.
Professionals often use the special gas burners that are embedded into flambe trolley. Their design is similar to the conventional burner of gas stove. But the market today also offers a special fondue gel fuel that is also well suited for flambeing.
The video demonstrates the cooking process using this technology.