French classic crème brûlée is a rich set custard which should have a thin and very crisp layer of caramelised sugar on top. Traditionally the custard is flavoured with vanilla, but in this recipe I’ve used Tonka beans instead. The South American beans have a more subtle flavour of vanilla, along with almonds, clove and citrus. Unique and utterly delicious – this is a surprisingly easy but very impressive dessert that everyone will love.
Tonka bean crème brulee
4 tonka beans
4 egg yolks
55g caster sugar
450ml double cream
Caster sugar for dusting
Toast the tonka beans for 5 minutes in the oven. Peel the skin off and chop into pieces. Put the cream and tonka beans into a pan. Bring to the boil and leave to infuse for at least 10 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar. Pour over the cream.
Pass through a sieve.
Line a roasting tin with newspaper. Fill your ramekins with the custard and put them in the roasting dish. Half fill with boiling water and carefully set in the oven.
Cook at 150 ? for 15-25 minutes. They are cooked when set like a soft jelly.
Refrigerate until the custard is firm. When ready to serve, top each ramekin evenly with a thin layer of sugar. Caramelise the sugar with a blowtorch and serve as soon as the sugar has cooled down.