That burning desire
Now is the perfect time to indulge in the sinfully rich French dessert known as creme brulee.
The literal translation of crème brulee is burnt cream; a misnomer, in fact, as it’s not the cream that is burned but the crunchy toffee topping.
To achieve the perfect topping it’s worth investing in a cook’s blowtorch. You can buy cheap brands but probably a mid-range price tag will deliver better service without breaking the budget.
INGREDIENTS: 250ml pure (unthickened) cream 1⁄ cup 4 caster sugar plus one tablespoon extra 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 2 large free-range egg yolks (reserve whites for another recipe) fresh berries, to serve
METHOD: Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Place two oven-proof ramekins in a small baking dish. Place cream in a saucepan with 1⁄ cup sugar and add vanilla bean paste. 4
Heat over medium heat until bubbles appear around the edge; do not allow to boil. Using a wire balloon whisk, whisk egg yolks in a jug. Still using the whisk, beat the hot cream into the egg and sugar mixture until combined. Pour custard into the ramekins, and use a spoon to skim off any froth.
Fill the baking dish with enough hot water to come halfway up the ramekins and cook custard at 160 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Custards should still jiggle a little.
Remove from oven and carefully lift each ramekin clear of the water with a spatula or egg slice. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack then cover loosely with foil and refrigerate for at least an hour.
TO SERVE: Sit the ramekins in cold water in a baking dish to prevent curdling. Sprinkle the tops of the custards with the remaining caster sugar. Using a cook’s blowtorch, heat the sugar, moving the flame constantly, until it bubbles and turns a rich dark brown. Serve with fresh berries.
Spoil (and impress) your beloved with a dreamy creme brulee.