As part of Christmas dinner I made Pavlova, one of my favourite things to eat. The only problem with it is that you have all those left over egg yolks to use up. Luckily I have the answer crème brûlée.
Crème brûlée is another favourite of mine, I first tried it when I was a teenager working as a waitress in a local hotel. Occasionally there was one going spare and even though I don’t like traditional custard I instantly loved this set version.
The pavlova I made was a variant of Nigella Lawson’s wedding pavlova which used 8 egg yolks. I also had a full tub of double cream to use up so that determined the basic ingredient amounts.
130g castor sugar
8 egg yolks
600ml double cream
3 tsp vanilla essence
Demerara (or other brown) sugar for the brulee
- Preheat your oven to 150c and boil a kettle full of water.
- Place the sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl or wide necked jug and whisk together.
- Place the cream in a pan with the vanilla essence and heat slowly while stirring with a wooden spoon or a whisk (don’t actually whisk) until the cream is just below the boil. The best way I can think to describe this point is that there will be some steam and the cream will start to look a little “fuzzy”, not as bubbly as froth but moving towards it. Don’t boil the cream or it will scramble the eggs. If you do over heat the cream take it off the heat and continue to stir for a few minutes until the cream has cooled down a bit.
- Once the cream is heated have a whisk at the ready, then slowly pour into the bowl with the egg mixture whilst whisking continuously. Continue to whisk to stop the eggs scrambling until the custard begins to thicken.
- Place 6 to 8 ramekins in a deep roasting tray and pour the custard into them – about 3/4 full.
- Place the tin into the preheated oven and pour the boiled water into the tin so that it comes half way up the sides of the ramekins. (by adding the water once the tin is in the oven it reduced the chances of splashes)
- Cook for 40 minutes or until the custards look just set.
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. (I find a fish slice handy to lift the ramekins out of the (very) hot water.
- Once cooled store the ramekins in the fridge until ready to eat.
- Just before eating add a desert spoonful of demerara sugar to the top of each ramekin and use a cook’s blowtorch to caramelise the sugar. If you don’t have a mini blowtorch you can do this under a hot grill but you may find the custard begins to melt before the sugar has completely caramelised.