Strawberry Crème Brulee

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In theory making crème brulee is a fairly straightforward procedure. There are however a few potential pitfalls that can make the whole process stressful and the end result disappointing, so with a view to avoiding those, here are five helpful tips.

  1.  When adding the hot cream to the whisked yolks make sure it is not boiling hot or it will cook the egg protein too quickly, making the custard grainy.
  2. Don’t over whisk the custard, the last thing you want is lots of air bubbles trapped inside as they will rise as the custards bake, spoiling the texture. Gently stir the hot cream into the yolks until it is fully incorporated.
  3. Cover the water bath tightly with foil making sure there are no holes or gaps around the edges; this will ensure the custard bakes quickly and evenly.
  4. When they are cooked immediately dust them with icing sugar to stop a skin forming.
  5. Finally, you will need a cook’s blowtorch to caramelise the sugar as a domestic grill will simply not get hot enough.

Strawberry Crème Brulee – makes 8

570ml milk
570ml cream
11 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
20 English Strawberries

  • Bring the milk & cream to the boil.
  • Whisk the yolks with the caster sugar and the seeds from the vanilla pod.
  • Pour over the hot milk and whisk gently. Pass through a fine sieve & skim off the froth.
  • Slice the strawberries and divide between 8 ramekins.
  • Pour the custard into the ramekins and place in a large deep tray. Pour in enough boiling water from the kettle to come just over half way up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake, covered with foil, at 140°C for 20 minutes, or until just set.
  • Remove and leave to cool (dust with icing sugar to prevent a skin from forming). Chill to set fully.
  • Sprinkle with a thin layer of caster sugar and glaze with a cook’s blowtorch.
  • Return to the refrigerator for a few minutes to allow the sugar to set hard then serve with shortbread.

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