I got burned – lavender crème brûlée

This is a little spin on a traditional tasting crème brûlée. The lavender complements the vanilla well and adds another dimension to the custard.

This recipe is a set in the fridge one. I have made crème brûlée baked in the oven in a bain marie and set in the fridge. I’ve had success with both but find I am more confident with the set in the fridge version.

This recipe will fill 4 x 100 ml moulds

Make the day before

 

300 ml cream

½ vanilla bean. Split lengthways.

6 lavender heads

4 large egg yolks

25 g caster sugar

 

to make the brûlée crust:

Demerara sugar

 

Fill your kitchen sink half way with cold water. Sit your ramekins in the water.

Put cream, vanilla bean and lavender heads in a medium saucepan. Slowly bring to scalding point. Stir often if using pure cream, rather than thickened, as it catches easily.

Meanwhile whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Stop once the eggs yolks have broken down. Don’t whisk so much that the eggs become pale and foamy.

When the cream mixture arrives at scalding point, remove the vanilla bean and lavender heads (lightly squeeze lavender heads out with your wooden spoon or spatula against the side of the pan). Keep the lavender heads.

Pour a small amount of the cream mix into the egg mix. Whisk. Keep adding, one-third at a time, making sure to whisk, until all the cream mixture has been incorporated into the eggs. This is your custard.

Wash and dry the now empty saucepan. Take the ramekins out of the sink, but leave the water in.

Pour the custard into the saucepan. Add the lavender heads – you will remove these when you are happy with the lavender flavour – I removed after 1 and half minutes. Stir and slowly heat the custard over a gentle heat to thicken. It will be ready when it coats the back of your stirring utensil. If you run your finger down the middle, the custard shouldn’t run into either side.

When the custard is ready, take the saucepan off the heat and plunge it into the cold water to stop the cooking process. Stir for a few minutes while the saucepan is in the water.

Divide custard between your moulds. Wrap in plastic film and leave to chill over night.

To serve, sprinkle with an even layer of Demerara sugar. Using a blow torch, quickly and evenly caramelise tops.

 

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