Belle’s Crème Brûlée in Mini Ramekins
|Ingredients:||2 cups double cream or heavy whipping cream
½ cup whole milk
1 vanilla pod
5 large egg yolks
⅓ cup extra fine sugar, plus more for caramelizing
Preheat the oven to 325°. Sit 4 to 6 3-ounce ramekins in a deep roasting or cake pan at least 2 inches deep, one that will enable a baking sheet to sit well above the ramekins when laid across the top of the pan.
Pour the cream and milk into a medium pan. Lay the vanilla pod on a board and slice lengthways through the middle with a sharp knife. Use the tip of the knife to scrape out all the tiny seeds into the cream mixture. Drop the vanilla pod in as well, and set aside.
Put the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk for 1 minute with an electric hand whisk until paler in colour and a bit fluffy. Put the pan with the cream on medium heat and bring almost to boil. As soon as you see bubbles appear around the edge, take the pan off the heat.
Pour the hot cream into the beaten egg yolks, stirring with a wire whisk, and scraping the vanilla seeds from the pan. Set a fine sieve over a large wide jug or bowl and pour the hot mixture through to strain it, encouraging any stray seeds through at the end. Using a big spoon, scoop off all the pale foam that is sitting on the top of the liquid (this will be several spoonfuls) and discard. Stir.
Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Pour the hot cream into the ramekins, filling them to the top. Put the pan in the oven and lay a baking sheet over the top so it completely covers the ramekins, but not the whole bath, leaving a small gap at one side to allow air to circulate. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until the mixture is softly set. To check, gently sway the baking pan. If the crème brûlée is ready, it will wobble a bit in the middle. Don’t let it get too firm.
Carefully remove ramekins from pan and set them on a wire rack to cool for a couple of minutes only, then put in the fridge to cool. This can be done overnight.
When ready to serve, sprinkle 1½ teaspoons of sugar over each ramekin and spread it with the back of a spoon to completely cover. Dampen the sugar using a spray bottle, then use a blow torch to caramelize it. Hold the flame just above the sugar and keep moving it around until caramelized. Garnish with raspberries and cream. Serve when the brûlée is firm, or within an hour or two.