Crème Brûlée or burnt cream is one of the classical desserts which has its origins in France in the 17th century. It is closely related to both Crème Anglaise and Crema Catalana. The crème is served cold and is coated with a thin layer of, almost glass like, caramelised sugar.
- Place the egg yolks in a mixing bowel, add the sugar and beat well.
- Heat the cream in a saucepan until just below the boiling point.
- Slowly add the hot cream to the egg yolks beating all the time.
- Pour the cream back into the saucepan, place over a medium heat and continue to stir until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour the mixture into small moulds or ramekins and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
- Before you serve: Sprinkle the top of the crème with a layer of caster sugar or light brown sugar and brown under a very hot grill or with a blow torch.
With lime: Add the zest of two limes to the cream when heating it.
With Orange: Add the zest of 1 large orange to the cream when heating it.
With Vanilla: Add half a vanilla pod to the cream when heating it.