Why do people love crème brûlée so much? We think it is how you have to crack through the crispy sugar-topping to get to the heavenliest of all custards. It is a very elegant desert, and usually expensive when you order it in a restaurant – but is actually very easy to make. Especially this recipe, demonstrated by the French pastry chef Guillaume Nicoli on NZ television, as it does not require the use of a bain-marie (water bath) to cook.
You will note that the ingredients require weighing to get the quantities just right.
Makes three medium-sized crème brûlées.
- 70g milk
- 210g fresh cream
- 35g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- 2 egg yolks
For the caramelized topping:
- 1 tablespoon raw or Demerara sugar per ramekin
- Heat the milk and cream without boiling and add the vanilla pod.
- Allow the vanilla pod to infuse in the cream and milk mixture for 30 minutes.
- Combine the egg yolk and sugar and whisk continuously while slowly adding the milk and cream mixture to it. Or, do it the Gillaume way, by adding a third of milk mixture at a time and whisk it before adding the next third.
- Pour into your ramekins and bake in a pre-heated oven at 100°C for one hour.
- Allow to cool and then chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle brown sugar in an even layer over the top of each.
- You can either torch it with a kitchen blow torch, or put under the oven grill for a few minutes until the sugar caramelised (but keep a constant eye on it!).
- Allow the caramel layer to harden for a few minutes before serving.
Will keep well in the fridge for a day or two.