There's nothing tastier than a brulee of creamy custard with a crackling caramel topping. A delicious comforting dessert.
- For the cream
- 600ml (1 pint) whipping cream
- 1 vanilla pod, split open
- Pinch of salt
- 10 large egg yolks
- 50g (1¾oz) caster sugar
- For the caramel
- 150g (5oz) caster sugar
- Oil, for greasing
- 5-6 small ramekin dishes
- Baking tray
To make the cream, pour the cream into a saucepan and add the vanilla pod and salt. Bring the mixture to the boil.
Meanwhile, tip the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl. Slowly pour the boiled cream over the egg yolk mixture, stirring well. Place the bowl over a pan of hot water and stir until the cream thickens to give a custard.
Remove the pan from the heat. Lift out the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds back into the mixture, discarding the husk. Strain the custard through a fine sieve and pour it into the ramekin dishes. Leave the custards to cool, then place them in the fridge and chill them well.
To make the caramel, pour 3tbsp water into a saucepan and add the sugar. Place the pan over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then increase the heat and boil until the sugar is pale golden. While the sugar is caramelising, scrunch up a piece of foil and wipe a thin layer of oil over the surface. Place foil in the base of a baking tray (this is to stop the caramel from running over the work surface) and place on a heatproof surface.
When the caramel is ready, pour it out on to the foil, then tilt the tray so the caramel runs out to give a thin, even layer. Leave the caramel to cool and set, then, just before serving, peel away the foil and break it into pieces. Press them into the brulee.
Top tip for making Vanilla brulee
The caramel goes sticky quite quickly, so don't make it too far in advance. To avoid getting fingermarks on the caramel, wear disposable Latex gloves and try to only hold it by the edges.