Crème Brûlée | Le Fermier
Crème brûlée…just saying the words out loud is enough to glaze over the eyes of most dessert lovers as they start to daydream about the <crack> of the toffee crust as it’s tapped with their spoon, or how the velvety vanilla cream almost dissolves as it hits their tongue, and the surprising <crunch> every now and again as their teeth find a shard of toffee.
Having grown up and studied cooking in France, this quintessential dessert has always been a big part of my life – both the cooking of and eating of it (eating it is definitely my favourite of the two).
Though the origins of this dish may not in fact be French at all (there are strong claims from both the English and the Catalans and its inventors), it’s safe to say the crème brûlée as it exists today is almost so synonymous with French dessert, it could be considered cliché.
I really enjoy making this dish for family and friends as there is an anticipation that builds up when guests know it’s on the menu, a kind of gastronomic foreplay if you will that makes the air feel electric. Thankfully, this little ramekin of decadence always satisfies, while still managing to leave the diner longing for just one more spoonful…
- 600 ml Thickened Cream
- 2 orange zest and segments ( blood orange if in season)
- 1 vanilla bean ( cut in half and seeded)
- 200 g caster sugar
- 8 egg yolks
Method : In a medium saucepan bring the cream and vanilla bean to the boil. In the meantime, in a mixing bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla seeds and the orange zest until the mixture become slightly white. Once the cream has boiled pour it over the egg mixture while whisking. Mix well for about a minute to make sure everything is dissolve. Pour the mix back into the saucepan and cook over a medium to low heat while stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon, occasionally whisking as well. Cook until you see a swirl of fat at the top, or, using a digital thermometer, until the mixture reaches 85 degrees Celsius. Then, pour the crème brûlée mix into a clean bowl and whisk for 2-3 minutes to cool it down. Put a couple of orange segments at the bottom of some ramequins and pour the mix over the top and leave to rest overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of caster sugar over the top of the crème brûlée and caramelise it using a cooking blow torch. A glass of chilled sweet white wine would compliment this wonderful dessert perfectly.