An absolute French classic. Creamy, custardy and vanilla-y, with an absolutely delightful caramelised sugar crust that is just as enjoyable to crack as it is to consume. It’s a delectable treat that I’ve made over and over, and will never stop making until I’m not satisfied with cracking the surface with the back of my spoon anymore (which will be never). It’s a definite must try for anyone who enjoys the simple pleasures in life. Or just anything sweet and fun.
- 430ml thickened cream
- 100ml full cream milk
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 5 large egg yolks
- 50g caster sugar + extra
- Kitchen blowtorch
- 4x 175ml ramekins
- Deep oven-safe dish
- Small saucepan
- Fine mesh sieve
- Measuring jug with a pouring spout
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Pour the cream, milk and vanilla bean paste into a small saucepan and whisk.
- Place the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk with a hand mixer until light, pale and fluffy.
- Place the small saucepan on the stove and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until simmering, and immediately take off the heat.
- Slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture and whisk constantly.
- Scoop the foam off of the top of the mixture dispose of (the foam causes the top of the custard to not be smooth).
- Strain the cream-egg mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring jug with a pouring spout.
- Place 4 small ramekins (175ml) in a deep oven-safe dish and fill with water 2cm deep.
- Pour the mixture evenly into the ramekins and bake for 30 minutes until set. The custard should be firm on the edges and jiggle in the centre.
- Let them cool for 10 minutes, then place in the fridge to set and cool completely for 4 hours to overnight.
- Just before serving, sieve caster sugar in a layer over the surface of the custard and using a kitchen blowtorch, caramelise until golden brown in colour.
- Set aside until it cools and the top is hard and set. Serve immediately.
Honestly, I just love to make this dessert because I am obsessed with using my blowtorch. I love watching the sugar dissolve, crystallise and caramelise right before my eyes, and I will likely never stop being fascinated by it.
*crack*! The most satisfying part about this dessert; after the feeling of smooth, delicate, vanilla-y custard on your tongue.
If I’m honest, this one’s a tad lumpy because I was lazy and didn’t scrape off the foam (it still tastes great if you’re lazy, just the top scoops won’t be as smooth as the rest). This image is to show that there’s more to scraping off the foam than just wasting precious mixture like I thought.
This is one of my favourite recipes and is easily adaptable to many other flavours by infusing various ingredients, as it’s such a flexible, simple dessert. Infuse it with earl grey, add a touch of matcha, incorporate a bit of lavender – the possibilities are endless.
If you do make it, let me know how it goes, I’d love to know! Hope you’re having a lovely day wherever you are!
– Jess x