The ultimate classic of a French dessert.
From restaurants, to hotels, to homes, this creamy and luscious custard is constantly recreated everywhere around the world now and of course there’s a reason to! Because it’s so darn good and easy it has to be celebrated. You can change up its flavour countless of times and really, it’s hard to go wrong. Not to mention that crunchy caramelized sugar topping. I would sincerely like to thank the chef with the brilliant mind who thought of coating the surface of a custard with sugar and burning it. He must have been out of his mind then if you think about it. A man, in perhaps the 19th century, pacing his kitchen and suddenly had a thought: “I’m gonna burn the top of my custard!” But good on him, because he had just created one of the most divine desserts of all time.
I had my first Crème Brûlée back in Singapore, one of those buffets at a hotel with a vast spread of desserts. They flavoured it with Pandan extract and I remembering it being shockingly green but it was such a good tasting dessert. Now that I know how to make it, I just constantly remind myself never to make a custard green because it was just weird.
Tricky little things these can be when they’re in the oven because you don’t want to overcook them and have little bubbles everywhere. People tend to forget that the softness and texture of a Crème Brûlée is much similar to a Panna Cotta made right. Soft, silky, slight wobbly that the moment it hits your tongue it dissolves and coats your mouth with it’s creaminess. The only difference is of course, one is baked and the other isn’t. Living in Paris has most definitely enabled me to learn how to make the most delicious Crème Brûlée. With just the right about of eggs to bind everything together so it’s not too hard even when you bake it just right. Oh how I tucked that recipe in my pockets with glee when I finally got to make it at work.
I made mine with Fleur d’Oranger instead of vanilla just to spice things up a little but feel free to shake things up your way.
So from my home (and my secret recipe book which has my scribblings of recipes I’ve acquired over time from the best places) I hand you this incredible recipe. Happy Baking!
cream – 200g
milk – 160g
fleur d’oranger – 40g
yolks (medium eggs) – 4 no. // about 68g – 70g
caster sugar – 68g
cinnamon stick – 1 no.
peel of an orange – 1 no.
Preheat your oven to 100C with ventilation.
Heat the cream, milk and fleur d’oranger until it’s about 60-70 degrees.
Add in the cinnamon stick and orange peel. Cling film it and infuse for 10mins.
In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together and set aside.
Strain out the cinnamon stick and orange peel and add it to your egg mixture, whisking as you add in. Be careful not to incorporate so much air bubbles and foam.
Grate in some cinnamon and using a chinois à piston, fill your ramekins. Do not fill to much to the brim as when it is in the oven the fan will blow some of the mixture over.
Bake in the oven for 45mins or until set. (The centre should still tremble a little when shaken)
Leave to cool in the fridge and once cooled, cling film it without contact to the surface of the custard.
When you are about to serve, use a paper towl to pat dry the surface should there be any moisture on the top. Coat the surface with brown granulated sugar and tip off the excess so you have a thin coat of sugar.
Using a blow-torch, torch the sugar until caramelized and serve.