Thursday, 15 March 2012

Lavender Crème Brûlée

Serves: 4
Preperation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 35 mins
per serving: 630 calories; 50g fat

What you need:

2 vanilla pods
300ml double cream
200ml full fat milk
8 egg yolks
75g sugar
1 bunch lavender
4 tablespoons of caster sugar

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 140°C, 275°F, Gas Mark 1.
Score the vanilla pods lengthways and run a knife up the pod to remove the vanilla seeds.
Scrape the seeds into a pan with the pods, cream and milk and then slowly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Remove the vanilla pods from the pan and little by little add the milk and cream to the egg mixture, whisking continuously. For a more intense flavour add a small handful of the lavender flowers, but the trick is to be delicate - you only need a hint of the flavour.
Remove any bubbles or froth from the mixture before dividing it between 4 little shallow serving dishes. 
Stand these in a suitable-sized roasting tray filled with water halfway up the containers.
Bake for around 25 minutes or until the custard has set but is still slightly wobbly in the centre. Allow to cool at room temperature then place in the fridge until ready.
To serve, sprinkle each crème brûlée with 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar and some more of the lavender flowers and caramelise under a very hot grill or using a kitchen blow torch.

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