Alain’s Passion Fruit Brulee
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My thanks to Alain Benech, our very French chef at the football club, whom I persuaded to part with his delicious recipe for you all to make. Whenever it goes on the menu, it’s very popular and always sells out.
Begin by cutting the passion fruit in half and, using a teaspoon, scoop the fruit and seeds out into a large, deep mixing bowl. Then add the egg yolks and 3 oz (75 g) of the sugar to the bowl and, using an electric hand whisk on a high speed, whiz all the ingredients together for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is frothy and pale in colour.
Meanwhile, heat the cream and milk in a saucepan over a medium heat, whisking now and then, until hot but do not boil. Now, with the whisk on a slow speed, add the hot cream into the mixture, keeping the whisk running as you do so. Then strain the custard through a sieve into a large jug, discarding the passion fruit seeds.
Next, you need to put the ramekins into the roasting tin and fill them with the mixture. Now fill the tin with boiling water from the kettle to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins and place it on the centre shelf of the oven. Let the puddings cook gently for 40 minutes. They are ready when the custard is set but still wobbles when you move them gently.
At this point, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool, then cover them with clingfilm and chill them in the fridge for about 2 hours or, preferably, overnight.
After that, sprinkle each ramekin evenly with some of the remaining 2 oz (50 g) of sugar, dividing it equally. Then very lightly spray the surface with water, using the spray bottle. (This helps melt the sugar, speeding up the caramelising process.)
Now use the blowtorch to melt and caramelise the sugar. To do this, hold it over each ramekin, aiming the tip of the flame at the sugar – it will immediately begin to bubble and melt, and soon turn to a golden caramel. As soon as the sugar has reached a dark brown colour, move on to the next one and continue until they’ve all got a lovely glazed brown surface.
It will take about 40 minutes in all.
After that, allow to cool before serving.