09 April 2008

Crème Brulée (for Nancy)

A few years ago I was in Chantilly (north of Paris - France) with 2 friends and we had lunch in a very quaint little restaurant "La Belle Bio" (serving organic food). For dessert I ordered one of my old time favourite "crème brulée", it was the best I had ever tasted and when I asked if they wouldn't mind giving me their recipe they agreed. Since then I have made it many times with some modifications, it is such an easy recipe.

Crème brulée
(adapted from La belle bio in Chantilly)
For 6 people
6 egg yolks - free range and organic preferably
96 gr honey (if you don't like honey you can do it with sugar)
150 ml whole milk (for a lighter cream use reduced fat milk)
450 ml liquid cream
Orange zest (you can replace this with edible lavender it gives a very subtle flavour, or with orange blossom water)
A dash of vanilla
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk (hand whisk is enough).
Pour the liquid into each individual ramekin.
Place the ramekin in an oven proof dish and pour water around them (this is what we call in French a "bain Marie" - make sure the water doesn't get on your cream mix).
Place in pre-heated oven at 110 C/ 230 F
Bake for 45 mn to 1 hour (to determine when cooked the liquid shouldn't move anymore).
Take it out of the oven when ready and let it cool down then place in the fridge.
When ready to serve pour some muscovado sugar or any plain brown cane sugar will do and run a blow torch over it to caramelise the sugar (alternately if you do not have a blow torch you can place under the hot broiler for a couple of minutes, the inconvenience with this is that it also warms up the cream which is supposed to be cold)

It is best to prepare this in the morning for the evening or even the day before as it has to be totally chilled.
In case you do not have individual ramekin, no fear, use any oven proof dish that will fit in a bigger oven proof dish for the "bain Marie", just increase the baking time since the quantity is much larger to cook at once.

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