Sunday Sweets- Crème Brûlée

Posted on: June 28th, 2009 by admin No Comments

(eatpress has been busy moving, please excuse our little absence.)

Another of the classic French desserts. This Sunday sweet is a simple delicate custardy delight that shouldn’t really be messed with. Yes you can add fruits and flavorings if that is your preference, but the original recipe truly is best.  It is Beans’ favorite dessert of all time.


Apparently this dessert is sometimes credited to being invented at Trinity College, Cambridge, however it is quite accepted now that the name ‘burnt cream’ as it was known, would never have been as popular as the French (original) alternative.

  • 500ml (18fl oz) double cream
  • 1 fat vanilla pod
  • 100g (4oz) caster sugar (plus extra for the topping)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs

Pre-heat the oven to 140C° (275°F)

Pour the cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod length-ways and scrape the seeds into the cream. Chop the empty pod into bits, and add these too. Bring slowly to boiling point, then turn off the heat and put a lid on. Leave to infuse for five to ten minutes.

Beat the sugar and all the eggs together in a large heat-proof bowl until pale and creamy. Bring the cream back to boiling point, then pour over the egg mixture, whisking all the time until thickened – this shows that the eggs have begun to cook slightly (you should have a smooth custard the consistency of double cream – take it easy though, a grainy texture means it’s been over-cooked and you’ll have to start all over again).

Strain through a sieve into a large jug, then use this to fill 6 ramekins about two thirds full.

Place the ramekins in a large roasting pan and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up their sides. Bake for 40 minutes to one hour, or until the custards are just set and still a bit wobbly in the middle.

Remove from the water and allow to cool to room temperature.

Just before you are ready to serve, evenly sprinkle one level teaspoon of caster sugar over the surface of each crème, then caramelise with a blowtorch. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes, then enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Ina Gartens book, Barefoot Contessa.

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