Craving something sweet? Daniel Wilson’s mandarin crème brûlée has all the answers.
Crème brûlée is so rich and decadent. I love the flavour of mandarin, a perfect match for cardamom.
This method is a ‘no-bake’ one. You essentially cook out the custard until it splits, then blend to bring it back together. Don’t be scared — it’s more foolproof than baking!
For the langues de chat:
• 100g butter, diced
• 80g icing sugar
• 1 orange, zested
• 3 egg whites
• 100g plain flour, sifted
• 8 cardamom pods, toasted and ground, seeds
For the crème brûlée:
• 900ml pouring cream
• 175g caster sugar, plus extra, for sprinkling
• 8 mandarins, zested
• 15 egg yolks
• 30ml mandarine napoleon, or other mandarin-flavoured liqueur
• 24 mandarin segments
For the langues de chat:
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2 Cream the butter, icing sugar and orange zest in a food processor. Add the egg whites one at a time, until thoroughly combined, then scrape the mixture into a bowl. Sift the flour and cardamom over and stir until just combined.
3 Put the dough in a disposable piping (icing) bag. Pipe 16 thin lines onto the baking paper, into 8 cm lengths. Bake for 5–10 minutes, until browned evenly on the outside and bottom.
4 Cool on the baking tray and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
For the crème brûlée
5 Combine the cream, sugar and mandarin zest in a saucepan and slowly infuse over low heat for 30 minutes.
6 In a large bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks and liqueur. Slowly strain the warm cream into the egg yolks, constantly whisking to combine. Pour the mixture into a clean bowl and heat over a large saucepan of just-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until curdled and split — this will take 30–45 minutes.
7 Pour the hot mixture into a blender in small amounts and blitz well, scraping down the side, until the mixture is smooth and shiny.
8 Have ready eight 200 ml brûlée moulds and arrange three mandarin segments in each. Pour in the custard mixture. Firmly tap the moulds on the bench to release the air bubbles, then smooth the surface.
9 Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours or overnight, to set and get a dry crust on top.
1 Evenly sprinkle some caster sugar over the top of each set custard, until just covered. Scrape around the sides of the moulds with your thumb to clean away any excess sugar. 2 Use a kitchen blow torch to gently go back and forth across the sugar, until it is all melted and slightly darker than golden brown, but not burnt.
3 Serve immediately, with two biscuits per person to dip into the custard.
Recipe courtesy of Daniel Wilson, extracted from Huxtabook. Photography by Chris Middleton © Hardie Grant.