03 Oct Earl Grey Crème Brûlée
For most people, their favourite thing about crème brûlée is cracking the crisp sugar topping. For me, its the first bite of rich, creamy custard that lies beneath. I suppose it’s the contrast of these two textures that makes this dessert so heavenly.
Crème Brûlée is classically a vanilla flavoured dessert. Since I had already decided to make it in teacups instead of ramekins, it got me thinking about the flavour. Earl Grey is my tea of choice, so in keeping with a tea theme I infused the cream with Earl Grey tea leaves. I was very pleased with the result. Of course, not everyone has my love of Earl Grey tea, so feel free to use any other tea of your choice (Rooibos would be amazing I’m sure). Or go classic and replace the tea leaves with a split vanilla pod.
You may be surprised by how simple this recipe is, considering it’s a sophisticated French dessert. My only tip is to invest in a blowtorch – it makes things much easier!
500ml fresh cream
30ml loose earl grey tea leaves
5 large egg yolks
60g sugar plus about 4 tbs for the topping
- Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place 6 small ramekins/teacups (I used 4 large teacups) into a large roasting dish and set aside.
- Heat the cream over medium heat until just boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the tea leaves. Allow to steep for 10 minutes.
- Whisk together the egg yolks and 60g sugar. Gradually add the warmed cream/tea mixture and whisk together well.
- Strain this mixture into a jug and carefully divide between the ramekins/tea cups. Place into the oven, then fill the roasting tin with boiling water until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30-40 minutes (this depends on the size of the ramekins), or until just set. There should still be a slight wobble.
- Carefully remove the ramekins from the hot-water bath using tongs or oven gloves and place on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then, cover with clingwrap and chill for at least 2 hours (or up to a few days) before serving. The crème brûlée will finish setting in the fridge.
- Just before serving, sprinkle about 2 or 3 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the surface of each custard. Pass the flame of a blowtorch over the sugar, holding it about 5cm away and moving it around constantly until all the sugar melts, and darkens to a caramel colour. If you don’t have a blowtorch, you can briefly place the custards under a hot grill but the result is less consistent.
- Serve immediately.