Thursday, December 27

Crème Brûlée

In all honesty, this was the first time that I had ever made Crème Brûlée, so I fortunately got help from my boyfriend, B who is very skilled in this department ('this department' meaning cooking!).
It was a cold evening so we decided to stay in and cook ourselves up a treat, thus Crème Brule was on the menu.
Whenever I have a meal out, I always opt for a Crème Brûlée for desert, I'm like an expert on this bad boys, trust me!
 So here are the instructions on how to cook up these ramekins of delight.
500ml/18fl oz double cream
1 vanilla pod
100g/4 oz caster sugar (plus more for the topping)
6 free range egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
Pour the cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the cream. As we didn't have any vanilla pods, we used vanilla flavouring, which does not produce the same taste, but is helpful in times of crisis! I would advise to put as much vanilla flavouring you want to put into it, the more you like vanilla, the more you pour in.
Chop the empty pod into small pieces, and add them to the cream.
Bring the cream to boiling point, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for five minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat the sugar and egg yolks together in a large heatproof bowl until pale and fluffy.
Bring the cream back to boiling point. Pour it over the egg mixture, whisking continuously until thickened - this indicates that the eggs have begun to cook slightly.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large jug, and then use this to fill six ramekins to about two-thirds full.
Place the ramekins into a large roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up their outsides. (This is called a bain-marie.)
Place the bain-marie onto the centre shelf of the oven and bake for 15 minutes, it is usually advised to cook for 40-45 minutes, but ours were cooked to perfection by 15 minutes. Or you can test whether the custards are set by wobbling the ramekin and waiting for a wobble in the middle.
Remove the ramekins from the water and set aside to cool to room temperature. Chill until needed. We left ours in the fridge for 2 whole days, this allowed the Crème Brûlée to set.
When ready to serve, sprinkle one level teaspoon of caster sugar evenly over the surface of each crème brûlée, then caramelise with a chefs' blow-torch.
Try not to be mucky pups like us and get it all over the hob!
This was most certainly the most fun part of the whole process, using the chef's blow-tourch to caramelise. Mmmm yum.