Gifts can introduce you to something new, up until the moment I received a set of Chasseur ramekins and a blowtorch I never knew the taste of a crème brûlée nor had I even made one at home. Chilled custard, creamy soft in texture and covered in a crispy hard carmelised layer of sugar, THIS is a crème brûlée. Instantly hooked, I have been making this dessert again and again since Christmas! Taking this current love to the next level I am attempting to make a multi layered patisserie cake featuring one layer of crème brûlée but this is proving a challenge that I am not ready to reveal just yet!
The English dessert is surprisingly very easy to make and does not cost a lot either, very budget friendly. The ingredients are simple kitchen staples of milk, eggs and cream but the creme brulee is a reflection of the quality within those ingredients. Watery low fat milk and over processed cream will leave your crème brûlée short of being perfect. I have tried a few different lines of Australian milk and cream, to find that either The Bannister Downs or Sunnydale Dairy creates beautifully creamy textured brûlées. The Bannister Downs cream is a little hard to find at times, the lady at the supermarket mentioned that most customers do not like the clumps in the cream! Strange as i think it is the best cream out!
There are two methods to making a crème brûlée that I am aware of and this one is the oven method. I whip up the custard, leaving it in the fridge overnight for the flavour to come out and the next day bake it in the ramekins.
1 1/4 cream
1 cup milk
1 vanilla pod
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon or more
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup white sugar
raw cane sugar
Pour the cream and milk into a small sauce pan. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthwise and scrape out those grains. Add both the pod and grains into the mixture. Add the cinnamon. Bring to a slow boil, look for bubbles that appear. Turn off the heat.
Combine the egg yolks with the sugar in a separate bowl, hand whisking very gently to mix.
Pour the hot milk and cream over the egg yolks and sugar, whisking steadily but do not over whisk which will create air bubbles in the mix.
Refrigerate overnight in the fridge. This will infuse and bring out the cinnamon flavour.
The next day preheat the oven to 110 degrees. Divide the mixture between the ramekins. Place in a roasting pan, fill the roasting pan with cold water to reach halfway up the ramekins. Place in the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is set around the edge. For my oven I find it takes roughly 55 minutes.
To caramelise, sprinkle sugar on the top and use the blowtorch to scorch the sugar. As fun as it is, very fun – be mindful not to burn the sugar. If it becomes dark quickly, hold the blowtorch further away to slow down the process. Remember the sugar will continue to cook after you stop for a few seconds.