It’s a classic. No one who truly adores dessert can deny a love for crème brûlée. There’s nothing more satisfying than breaking that hard sugar barrier and diving into the creamy, rich custard beneath.
- 375ml (1½ cups) double cream
- 125ml (½ cup) milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- 4 large egg yolks
- 100g (½ cup) sugar
- 80ml (1/3 cup) coarse, raw sugar or castor sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk and vanilla over medium heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as it begins to boil, turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for at least 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.
Remove the vanilla pod from the cream mixture. Whisking constantly, gradually pour the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture.
Pour the custard into 4 ovenproof ramekins and place in a deep oven tray. Pour hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in the centre of the oven until almost set but still a bit soft in the centre, about 30 – 40 minutes. The custard should quiver a bit when you shake the pan; it will firm up more as it cools. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours but for no more than 24 hours.
When ready to serve, pour as much coarse sugar as will fit onto the top of each custard.
Place the ramekins on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan under the very hot oven grill for about 1 – 2 minutes, or use a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar melts and browns nicely. Cool for about a minute before serving.