Saturday, November 15, 2008

Recipe: Creme Brulee with Fresh Berries

The second recipe I thought to make with my berry haul was a creme brulee, to bring to a dinner I was invited to at a friend's new house (more photos on that to come later). I like creme brulee a lot but I always relate to it as a contextual food. I remember the places that I eat creme brulee and for me, it's reminiscent of New York and of course, Paris.

For awhile I went on a search for Singapore's best creme brulee but more often than not it can be quite disappointing. It's one of those foods that is theoretically not difficult to make but what makes it brilliant can be quite according to personal taste.

I made the custard with a healthy spoonful of vanilla paste, chock-full of vanilla seeds and a dribble of grand marnier, which I feel helps to kill the "eggy" taste, which is one of my personal criteria. My second criteria is a crackly hard sugar surface and the third is a brulee that is heaped with fresh berries!

The custard part turned out lovely and nuanced but when it came to creating the crackly surface, I found that my brother's blow-torch had run out of bhutane! Thankfully, my resourceful friend also had a blow-torch. The other method I've heard of is to grill the surface in the top of an oven but I must admit, I have never grilled a creme brulee surface satisfactorarily.

(makes 6)

500ml double cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
4 egg yolks
60g sugar (see note above)
2 tbsp caster sugar, extra

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
2. Place the cream and vanilla bean inb a small saucepan over low heat and cook gently until the mixture just comes to the boil.
3. Remove from the heat.
4. Whisk the egg yolk and sugar together until thick, pale and frothy. Pour the warm mixture over the eggs and whisk to combine.
5. Return to the saucepan and whisk on low heat for 6-8 minutes or until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
6. Pour the custard into 6 ovenproof ramekins and place into a deep baking dish. Pour in enough water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
7. Bake for 25 minutes or until just set.
8. Remove the crèmes from the baking dish and refrigirate for 3 hours. Sprinkle each dessert with two teaspoons of extra sugar and caramelize the topping either with a hot spoon or a blowtorch.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Where do u get the double cream? From cold storage? Pls advise. Thanks alot! :)