Creme Brulee – rich and creamy vanilla flavored custard topped with layer of caramelised sugar. This make-ahead dessert is easier to make than you think and is sure to impress even the toughest critics. Try also vanilla mug cake recipe!
- 500 ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod or 1 – 1.5 tsp vanilla extract (see notes below)
- 100 g caster sugar
- 5 large egg yolks
- some brown or caster sugar for caramelising
- fresh berries to serve optional
- Cut the vanilla pod open and scrape out the seeds with the knife. Pop them in a medium saucepan together with the pod itself and add cream. Bring the cream almost to the boiling point and quickly take it off the heat. Let the cream infuse with vanilla whilst you prepare the egg yolks.
- Separate egg yolks from the whites (freeze the whites for another time). Whisk yolks with caster sugar until pale in colour and foamy and very slowly start adding the hot cream whilst whisking constantly and vigorously (to prevent the yolks from scrambling).
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and distribute evenly between the ramekins.
- Put the ramekins onto the baking dish and fill with hot water to come up half way up their sides. Bake in 150°C/300F/Gas Mark 2 for approx 30 min until the little custards are just set. Keep watching them as you want for the edges to be set with some visible wobble in the middle of your brulees.
- Carefully lift the ramekins out of the baking dish and chill really well – minimum 4 hours in the fridge but preferably overnight. Once baked they can stay in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- Once chilled sprinkle thin layer of either caster or soft brown sugar and caramelise with blow torch or under the grill until bubbly and brown.
- Wait a few minutes for sugar layer to harden before serving with some fresh berries if you wish.
- If you are using vanilla extract instead of pod simply add the extract to egg yolks and sugar and whisk together. You will still bring the cream almost to the boiling point and take it quickly off the heat but without the pod, seeds and the need for straining.