Crème brûlée has its origins in England – it was invented at Trinity College, Cambridge, where it was known as Burnt Cream. Here the caramel is made separately and simply poured over. Alternatively, use golden caster sugar and a cook’s blowtorch; just sprinkle the sugar over the surface of the ramekins, very lightly spray it with water, using a plastic spray bottle, and then aim the tip of the blowtorch flame at the sugar and caramelise the sugar.
|1 pint (570 ml) double cream|
|6 large egg yolks|
|4 teaspoons cornflour|
|2 tablespoons golden caster sugar|
|a few drops pure vanilla extract|
|For the caramel:|
|4 oz (110 g ) granulated sugar|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need six 1½ inches (4 cm) deep ramekins with a base diameter of 3 inches (7.5 cm).|
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course and Delia Smith's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course
You need to start the recipe the day before, so that the custard can be well chilled and firm. First of all, heat the cream in a saucepan until it reaches boiling point, and while it’s heating, blend the egg yolks, cornflour, caster sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl.
Then pour the hot cream in, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, and return the mixture to the saucepan. Heat very gently, still stirring, until the sauce has thickened – which should only take a minute or two. (If it does overheat, don’t worry – if you remove it from the heat and continue to beat, the custard will become smooth again as soon as it cools.) Now divide the custard among the ramekins and leave to cool. Then cover each dish with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.
About an hour before serving, make the caramel. Place the granulated sugar in a heavy-based pan, then place the pan over a very low heat to dissolve the sugar gently and caramelise it (to get all the sugar to melt, just shake and tilt the pan from side to side, but don’t stir). When all the sugar has dissolved and you have a clear syrup (about 10-15 minutes), remove the pan from the heat and pour immediately over the custards, covering the surface of each one. Now just leave them for a few minutes for the caramel to harden.
Before eating the crème brûlée, tap the surface of the caramel with a spoon to crack and break it up. To remove any hardened caramel from your pan, fill it with hot water and bring it to the boil.
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Copyright © 2009 Delia Smith/New Crane Internet Limited, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
The ubiquitious creme brulee is given a welcome twist in this recipe with the addition of chocolate, making it even more of a treat! And Delia has found a brilliant cheat method for the caramel topping...
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.
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