Rachel Khoo star of new BBC show The Little Paris Kitchen shares her recipe for traditional French dessert crème brûlèe
- 300ml double cream
- 200ml milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- 6 egg yolks
- 100g sugar for the caramel topping
- 30g caster sugar
- 30g raw cane sugar
Pour the cream and milk into a pan. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the grains. Add the pod and grains to the cream and milk. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and remove the pod from the pan.
Combine the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl, then slowly pour in the hot cream, whisking continuously. Do not overwhisk as you want to avoid creating too many bubbles.
If you have time, pour the custard into a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight. This gives the vanilla grains more time to flavour the cream and milk.
Preheat the oven to 110ºC/225ºF/Gas Mark ¼. Divide the custard between 6 wide, shallow ramekins and place in a roasting tin. Pour cold water into the tin to come halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the custard is set around the edges but still slightly wobbly in the middle. Remove the ramekins from the water and set aside until cooled to room temperature. Cover the ramekins with cling film (don’t let it touch the custard), and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
When ready to serve, make the caramel topping. Uncover the ramekins and check to see if condensation has collected on the custards. If it has, gently place paper towels on the surface to soak up the moisture. Mix the two types of sugar together and sprinkle a nice even layer over each custard. Do this by holding the spoon at least 30cm away from the ramekin- sprinkling from a height is the best way to create an even layer of sugar.
The custard can be made up to 4 days in advance, but the caramel topping has to be done just before serving. Caramel becomes soft with time, due to the humidity in the air.