This simple dessert is a true French classic, dating back to the 1600s. Versions of the dish exist outside of France, such as Catalan creme from Catalonia and the Cambridge burnt cream from the UK. Eric Chavot's classic crème brûlée recipe will help you to achieve the perfect custard wobble and crisp caramel topping. Make the set custard base a day before serving to ensure a perfect finish.
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Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2
Add the cream to a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds, then add the seeds to the cream along with the empty pod. Bring the cream to the boil, then remove from the heat
450ml of whipping cream
1 vanilla pod
In a bowl, mix together the egg yolks and sugar. Pour into the cream and whisk until combined
6 egg yolks
70g of caster sugar
Pass the liquid through a sieve and divide the mixture evenly between 4 ramekins to 3/4 of the way up the sides
Place the ramekins in a deep-sided roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the side. Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until just set
Once set, remove the ramekins from the water and allow to cool before chilling in the fridge overnight
The next day, sprinkle each crème brûlée with a spoonful of Demerara sugar to coat the surface evenly. Place under a very hot grill for 1 minute, or until caramelised. Allow the sugar to cool slightly and harden before serving
Demerara sugar, to caramelise
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