Crème Brulée Recipe
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- 500ml cream (I like using half single and half double)
- 1 vanilla pod, split and scraped
- 4 large egg yolks
- 4 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
How to make Crème Brulée
Crème brulée is one of those dishes I love doing, since it's so much fun to crank on your blowtorch and start flaming away at the sugar crust in front of your guests. Yet it's super simple to prepare, and can be done in advance - so all you need to do when your guests arrive is grab it out of the fridge, sprinkle on the sugar, and start flaming away! (Makes 8 small ramekins worth)
- Preheat your oven to 110°C. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan lined with a dishcloth.
- Place the cream in a heavy-based saucepan with the vanilla pod (and all the seeds), and heat gently until just before it comes to the boil. Remove from heat, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow vanilla flavour to infuse.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar until mixture is pale and frothy.
- Strain about half a cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks, and whisk thoroughly. Strain in the remainder in 3 batches, whisking thoroughly in between to ensure that the egg doesn't get overheated and curdle.
- Divide the custard between the ramekins, ensuring that each one is filled right to the brim (it will shrink a bit as it cooks). Pour boiling water into the roasting tray so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins carefully, ensuring that it doesn't splash INTO the ramekins. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the custard is just set.
- Remove from the oven, cool ramekins on a rack, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (They can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance.)
- To serve, sprinkle a 1mm layer of sugar over each ramekin, and blowtorch to melt the sugar. If you don't have a blowtorch, you can place it under a very hot grill, but watch carefully to make sure the sugar doesn't burn. Anyway, you should just go get yourself a blowtorch. They aren't that expensive and they're so much more fun! :)
- For black sesame crème brulée, substitute the vanilla pod with 2 tbsp of black sesame paste, and increase the amount of sugar to 5 tbsp. (The picture has me blowtorching black sesame ones.)
- Fresh berries can also be added to the bottom of the ramekins, using the vanilla recipe.