This week, Lucy is treating us to a classic French dessert, full of elegance and plenty of double cream.
I got an email recently from a PR company offering to send me a Creme Brûlée making set, such are the joys of being a food blogger. As I had been meaning to feature a recipe for this on Lucy Loves for ages, I bit their hand off.
My reasons for feeling the creme brûlée love are as follows, oh how I love a list – a) a creme brûlée is my Mother’s favourite dessert and her birthday is coming up b) I had never really mastered this dessert before so wanted to give it another stab, and c) who doesn’t love a Creme Brûlée?
So, thanks to my PR company pals and all of the above, today’s post is for an elegant vanilla Creme Brûlée .
Creme Brûlée is not just my Mother’s favourite dessert, whenever it gets a mention in conversation, drooling and oohs and aaahs follow. And unsurprisingly so, this elegant French dessert consists of a rich, sweet but not too sweet, custard topped with a crisp, burnt sugar crust which you crack through to reap the cream based rewards. I had made Creme Brûlées before but with limited success and using several different cooking methods. So today, under pressure to make good use of my lovely kit, I went straight to the top and asked my friend and boss, a professional chef, for his best recipe. And what a recipe it is, the custard is rich and smooth and the top is crisp, but not too thick.
These are far simpler than I had ever imagined to make. I feel now I have mastered Creme Brûlées they may just appear on the menu at least once a week.
This post will appear on Lucy Loves later this week.
Creme Brûlée Recipe
Makes a generous 6
You will need a cooks blow torch or hot grill plus 6 ramekins
- 600ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod or a generous teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- 6 eggs yolks, reserve the whites for lots of lovely meringues
- 75g caster sugar, plus extra for the tops
- Fruit or biscuits to serve, if needed
Pre heat your oven to around 120 degrees fan assisted. Take your double cream and heat over a low heat on the stove until just coming to the simmer. Be careful it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. If you are using a vanilla pod, scrape the seeds out into a separate bowl you will use for your eggs and sugar, but add the pod to your pan of cream.
In a largish bowl, separate the egg yolks from the whites, reserving the whites for meringues another day. Add the caster sugar to the yolks, along with either your reserved vanilla pod seeds or your vanilla extract or paste. Whisk until the mixture has become much lighter in colour and texture, a good couple of minutes.
Once your cream has come up to the simmer, pour this onto your egg yolk and sugar mixture, whisking all the time until well blended. Transfer this mixture to a jug for ease of pouring.
Place 6 ramekins into a baking tray then fill each one with the custard mix. Fill them right to the top of each little dish. Next, boil a kettle of water and fill the surrounding baking tray up to half way up each ramekin.
Place in the pre heated oven for around 30 to 40 minutes. The creme brûlées are cooked when they are golden, firm but with a touch of wobble in the middle when you move the pan. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and leave to cool before putting in the fridge to chill completely. Leave for at least four hours, overnight would be better.
When they are completely chilled spoon half a tablespoon of caster sugar onto the top of each custard. Take your blow torch and carefully melt/brown the sugar, keeping the torch moving to ensure an even topping. If you are using the grill on your oven, use a high setting, but keep an eye on the custards whilst they are browning.
Chill until serving. Serve with a biscuit or some fruit, or just unadorned in their delicious simplicity.