I learned how to make this recipe in London. At the time I wrote it in my recipe book as the “Best Brûlée Ever”. It’s wonderful served with tart fruits or fruity alcoholl.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
5 egg yolks
1 Heilala vanilla pod
4 tsp raw sugar to caramelise
fresh raspberries, lavender, orange segments, Grand Marnier and ice cream to serve
In a heavy-based pan heat the cream to a light simmer; do not boil.
Remove from heat.
Place the egg yolks in a clean bowl.
Carefully cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the egg yolks. Drop the empty vanilla pod into the cream.
Add the sugar to the yolks. Beat with a whisk until smooth. Add the warm cream to the egg mixture and mix well. Pass through a fine sieve.
For best results leave the mixture to settle for about 1 hour at room temperature or until the bubbles have subsided.
Preheat the oven to 105°C. Pour the mixture into 4 ramekins and place in a metal roasting dish.
Carefully pour warm water (about 35°C) into the roasting dish until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins, ensuring that no water is spilled inside the ramekins.
Cover the tray with tinfoil and very carefully transfer the tray to the oven; do not tilt it as this may cause water to tip into the mixture.
Bake for 1 hour, or until the middle of the looks almost set (see Tip below).
Try not to overcook or you will have scrambled eggs, but if undercooked it will not set.
Remove the brûlée from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate for around 4 hours or until set.
Just before serving, lightly sprinkle the surface of each brûlée with the raw sugar and caramelise with a blowtorch or place under a hot grill.
Serve with a splash of Grand Marnier topped with fresh raspberries, orange segments and lavender and a good dollop of your favourite ice cream or sorbet.
The brûlée is cooked when it is still quite wobbly; it should jiggle from side to side when nudged. However, it should not be liquid in the centre.
Note that it will firm up considerably in the refrigerator.
Heilala is a New Zealand company that grows and processes vanilla from Tonga—it’s available from New World Halswell and Lincoln.
Submitted by Stephen Gilchrist, The Trading Rooms Restaurant Akaroa