A brûlée beauty – when made with good-quality cream and vanilla, this is still one of the best desserts you can have.
To set the crème, you can either cook it on the stovetop or in the oven, but I find baking it gives a better, creamier texture
• 350ml double cream
• 125ml milk
• 2 vanilla pods, split and seeds scraped
• 4 eggs
• 4 egg yolks
• 130g caster sugar
1 Preheat the oven to 150°C.
2 In a saucepan, gently warm the cream and milk with the vanilla pods and seeds, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse and cool for about 20 minutes.
3 In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolks with 50g of the sugar until smooth. Remove the vanilla pods from the pan, then whisk the infused cream mixture into the egg mixture.
4 Pour into 8 ramekin dishes until nearly full. Sit the ramekins in a high-sided ovenproof dish and pour in enough warm water to come two-thirds of the way up the ramekins.
5 Carefully transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes until just set. Remove the ramekins from the water bath, leave to cool and then chill in the fridge for an hour.
6 To serve, sprinkle over the remaining 80g of caster sugar and blowtorch to form a crisp caramel. Alternatively, heat the grill to high and grill until the sugar is crisp and golden.
Recipe courtesy of James Martin, extracted from James Martin’s French Adventure. Photography via Peter Cassidy.