Cuisine - - FIONA SMITH -


These brûlées look re­ally pretty topped with black and white sesame seeds, and the sesame flavour is de­li­cious. You can buy both toasted and un­toasted black sesame seeds, so if yours are al­ready toasted, just toast all the white seeds to­gether in the oven and take one ta­ble­spoon from those to add to the black for the top­ping, rather than set­ting it aside pre-toast­ing.

125g white sesame seeds 200ml whole milk

300ml cream

4 medium egg yolks

50g caster sugar

1 ta­ble­spoon black sesame seeds 2-3 ta­ble­spoons de­mer­ara or other sugar

Pre­heat the oven to 150℃. Ar­range 6 small oven­proof ramekins in a bak­ing tin.

Set aside 1 ta­ble­spoon of the white sesame seeds then put the re­main­ing white sesame seeds on a bak­ing tray and bake for 6-8 min­utes, stir­ring once, to toast.

Put the toasted white sesame seeds in a food pro­ces­sor and process for about 10 sec­onds to crush the seeds. You want them quite bro­ken up, but not turn­ing into a paste. Put these into a saucepan with the milk and bring to just below the boil, then re­move from the heat and set aside to cool.

Strain the cooled milk mix­ture, us­ing a spat­ula to press out as much of the milk as you can from the seeds. You want to end up with at least 125ml milk. Dis­card the seeds.

Put the strained milk mix­ture into a clean saucepan with the cream and gen­tly heat to boil­ing point.

While the milk-cream mix­ture is heat­ing, put the egg yolks and caster sugar in a medium-sized heat­proof bowl (sit this on a wet cloth to keep it from mov­ing while you stir), and stir un­til just com­bined.

When the milk-cream mix­ture be­gins to boil, take it off the heat and slowly pour it on to the yolk and sugar mix, stir­ring con­stantly to mix – I like to do this with a whisk to help mix in the yolks quickly, but make sure you stir rather than ac­tu­ally whisk, as you don’t want froth.

Di­vide the mix­ture among the ramekins then pour cold wa­ter into the tin un­til it comes two-thirds of the way up the ramekins. Bake for about 15-20 min­utes for shal­low dishes and 20-25 min­utes for deep ramekins. Start hav­ing a look at the ear­lier tim­ings – the cus­tard should still wob­ble a lit­tle when shaken. Cool and then chill un­til cold.

Heat a small fry­ing pan over medium heat and toast the black sesame seeds and re­served ta­ble­spoon of white sesame seeds to­gether un­til the white are turn­ing golden.

To serve, scat­ter the tops of the cold brûlées with the de­mer­ara sugar, and use a blow­torch or hot grill to caramelise the tops. Fi­nally, scat­ter with the toasted sesame seeds. If you are us­ing a grill, you may want to put them back in the fridge for half an hour be­fore serv­ing to cool down again.

WINE A trop­i­cal fruit-in­fused dessert wine. Try the One Off Sticky One Oh One Noble Gewurz­traminer 2016.

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